Featured Celebrant(s): October/November 2017
At the UK’s biggest and best wedding exhibition, National Wedding Show, in September, these following five wedding celebrants represented our network; giving free advice on alternative wedding ceremony ideas, answering questions, handing out leaflets, heart-shaped lollies and stickers, and raising awareness of our organisation and celebrants. Over 11,000 people attended this paid show this year, many of whom would have seen our stand, in a prominent position near the entrance of the exhibition.
So, for these two months, we want to say the best thanks
to these not-so-famous five celebrants, from London, Surrey, Wales and the West Midlands: Jill Satin
, Blake Hutchings
, Audrey Simmons
, Maxine Beech
and Tasha Gray
, for all their work to promote our network of celebrants and the meaningful, personalised ceremonies we deliver to many future brides and grooms, as well as other all the other wedding suppliers who attended.
Audrey and Maxine
Tasha and Blake
Why did you become a humanist celebrant?
I was at a wedding when I first heard about humanism and humanist weddings. To be able to use my writing skills creatively to convey a couple’s story in such a genuine, heartfelt way was very appealing. I really love meeting couples and helping them to create their dream ceremony. To make something memorable and to evoke emotion and happiness is such a privilege and I also really love to be involved, but not the centre of attention, so it suits me perfectly to be conducting the ceremony. Then, I discovered that there are namings too, as a non-religious alternative to christenings, and I wished I’d known of these when my daughter had been born. In fact, we can create all kinds of ceremonies; it’s great to be able to help people mark rites of passage in their lives.
What kind of ceremony do you find most satisfying?
All of them so far have brought a sense of satisfaction. And they’ve all been very different. I’m satisfied when the couple, or parents, and their families or friends, compliment me on the ceremonies afterwards.
What’s your advice to someone wanting to become a Humanist Celebrant?
You shouldn’t get into this ‘for the money’ as with all the research, writing, meetings and admin involved, it is time-consuming and the hourly rate would probably work out as below minimum wage. We’re not commercial like other wedding suppliers.
You should be someone who has empathy, an open-mind, an ability to write scripts and an ego that can take a lot of requests for last minute edits from the couple, or the parent/s, and their families or friends. You should also be able to speak in front of large crowds and be calm enough to cope with unexpected. You might like travelling and going to all kinds of interesting locations; many of us will happily travel abroad for weddings and we all enjoy seeing the variety of places that couples find to hold their ceremonies.
Tell us about some of your most memorable moments.
There are so many memorable moments, that it would be hard to choose just a few.
However, the first wedding that I did was my brother’s. The memory of being there with my brother, whilst waiting for his absolutely beautiful bride to walk in, and the happiness on their faces as they read the script I’d written with their own love story, still brings tears to my eyes. And I never get bored of teasing people and saying that “I married my brother!”
Blake, Maxine and Audrey have all been featured in the past.