What is your most memorable wedding?
When I was invited to conduct a wedding for a couple coming over from Australia and who said that it was in Central London - I only found out the day before that it was at the Ritz Hotel ! I was so excited I took a selfie in the Ladies Cloakrooms lol! It was an absolutely beautiful room and the couple had a fabulous London photo shoot afterwards! One of the other memorable weddings was in an Animal Sanctuary with a herd of 30 cows and bulls - all of whom were very well behaved, except one, who decided to come up behind me and lick my dress! All my weddings are unique and therefore so wonderfully memorable!
Describe your style in 5 adjectives.
relaxed, authentic, inclusive, romantic, fun
What about your business are you most proud of?
Deciding to set up a business that almost no one knew about! It has taken several years to become more established but I wouldn't change this and love being such a key part in a couple's day, and seeing their eyes light up when they realise just what a Celebrant can offer - a really personal and tailored ceremony, with so many ways to make it memorable, inclusive, special and authentically about the couple.
What is your No. 1 wedding planning tip for couples?
Apart from booking your Celebrant as soon as you have your Venue to ensure you're not disappointed, set a budget that's affordable and reasonable to achieve over time, and won't cause you to stress or get into debt and start your marriage off with financial worries.
What is your favourite personal touch you have seen at a wedding?
The Ring Warming custom, where the rings are passed hand to hand to each guest, who is asked to hold and warm them with their love and wishes for the couple's future happiness. This is such a beautiful way to include everyone as a participant in the ceremony, just just a spectator. As most Celebrant ceremonies tend to be non religious, it also allows those who practice faith, to say a silent prayer or give a blessing, which again is inclusive and personal.
Describe your typical process with a couple.
I like to meet in person or over skype and answer the couples questions, and then send them a booking form, when they feel comfortable with my style, ideas, and experience. After the booking I send them a couples questionnaire which helps me to create the personal part of the ceremony, and allows me to write in the correct or most appropriate style and format. I send drafts by email and keep in touch with the couple by phone, email or text. Drafts are usually approved quickly but I aim to have them completed at least 6 weeks before the day itself, so there are no last minute stresses, and on the day i usually arrive at the venue an hour beforehand and help with the co-ordination, meet the guests who are reading, introduce myself to their wedding planner, or generally just try and usher or orchestrate so we have a smooth running ceremony. If the couple do want me to meet them at the venue that's fine, and also if they want to hold a rehearsal before the big day, that's all part of my service and fees.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve been asked to plan?
My most unusual wedding was when the couple asked for it to be held in a field with 30 cows and bulls as they were both animal welfare lovers and wanted to create a ceremony that involved animals. The buddists who look after the herd introduced me to each one and gave me their story - how they came to be at the sanctuary and their little personality quirks! It was a really wonderful experience - walking into a field in my wellies and feeding the herd their favourite treats - ginger biscuits - afterwards!
How do you ensure a stress-free wedding?
I try to set everything out clearly in terms of what i can do and what timeline i am working towards. I keep my appointments and timings with couples so they don't have anything to worry about - the ceremony is always ready on time and on the day I am there to keep things moving smoothly. If we need to wait for guests or members of the wedding party, then no problem - i only conduct one wedding on any date so I can give couples 100% focus and attention.
What do you love most about your job?
Tip Number 1 is to Book your Celebrant when you are thinking about your venue. We work in licenced and unlicensed premises, and in almost every location - indoors or outside. But we only conduct one wedding on one day, much like your photographer, so please consider booking us early so as to avoid any disappointment.
My Second Tip is to consider other /alternate days of the week! You may be pleasantly surprised to find that venues will be more budget friendly. Your guests will always make time for your Wedding, it is a big moment for them too!
What is your favourite moment at a wedding?
I have to say my favourite moment is the Vows and the Ring exchange and hearing two people deeply in love give their personal promises to each other, and exchange precious rings, the outward symbol of their union, in front of their family and friends. Weddings are all about deep and meaningful emotion,so i do expect there might be some happy tears!