This is one of the most frequently asked questions people ask me when I tell them that I’m an Independent Celebrant!
In some ways I fell into this work through a series of events. Back in 2013 dear friend asked me to lead her wedding and I enjoyed it so much that I began wondering how I could do more. In the run up to this event, I was already exploring how to bring more joy and positivity into my life. I’d been through 18 months of horrible bereavements starting with the sudden passing of my Mum and then a number of family members and friends in quick succession. I began to question everything in my life.
My brilliant, funny, loving and crazy Mum was the ‘celebrant’ in our family. She was a phenomenal actress and speech trainer and had led several weddings and funerals for family and friends. In fact, when my friend approached me to conduct her wedding she told me that had Mum been alive she would have asked her, but it was fitting to ask me to do it now and pick up where Mum had left off. Looking back, I’m so grateful that my friend planted this seed…which has led to such a fulfilling business!
My background as a consultant and coach means that I am used to public speaking and writing. I still do this work and enjoy these skills in a different way.
In addition, I’ve always valued being a part of a community. Remember that old saying…’It takes a village…’ It feels somewhat primal. If you look back in history or at other cultures, most have someone who facilitates the honouring of milestones whether a birth, marriage, coming of age or death. Being able to help create a space to honour the special milestones in our lives truly is a privilege.
It was important for me to use my skills to honour equal marriage. My ex-husband (now affectionately known as the ‘Wasbund’) married his fabulous husband in Mexico City in October 2013. Being a part of their wedding truly was one of the sweetest moments in my life. To see them both so happy and able to legally wed was hugely inspirational. I knew that if I was to launch my business it had to be open to EVERYONE regardless of gender. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait long as equal marriage became law in the UK in March 2014.
Lastly, over the years I’ve been to enough ceremonies that were very beautiful, but somewhat ‘run of the mill.’ In no way do I think they’re awful – they just need to be refreshed! Hearing the same vows and wedding blessing over and over again lacks meaning and frankly, doesn’t honour the uniqueness of you as a couple or a family. Ceremonies shouldn’t be prescriptive otherwise we risk losing their true meaning and depth. Having a celebrant-led ceremony means that you are a part of an experience that is unique to you and 100% reflects who you are. There are no restrictions, no prescriptions – just unbridled joy, creativity and meaning!
So thank you Mum, Lisa, Joseph, Eduardo and many others for being my inspiration and raving fans!
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