Updated: Sep 23
A wedding celebrant is a person who performs and officiates Wedding Ceremonies.
A celebrant spends time with their couples, getting to know them and learning about all aspects of their lives. Once the Celebrant knows the couple better, they can put down on paper a ceremony that reflects the uniqueness and personality of the couples love story!
“The beauty of what celebrants offer is the sheer versatility to help couples create tailored, unique ceremonies that reflect their personalities and love for each other.” - Jennifer Constant, founder of The Celebrant Directory
Shelley (SJW Celebrant) will write a ceremony that is a celebration of the two of you. This will include your love story and your hopes and dreams for your future together.
Shelley knows that ceremonies are not an ‘insert-name-here’ affair, but should be written about the individuals and families themselves.
The ceremony should be a bespoke, personal, funny and heartfelt service that will make you laugh and cry, maybe both at the same time!
Tell me about your Business… and a little bit about YOU. How, why and when you started
Hi, I started working as a celebrant in March 2019, so I am at the very start of my journey. I trained with the Institute of Professional Celebrants in February, although I had been doing a lot of prep work before my course.
I wanted to become a celebrant as I felt that the current choices for ceremonies were limiting for couple’s individuality. Everyone wants truly bespoke and one-off elements for their wedding day from invites, to dresses and entertainment but the most important aspect of the day is the ceremony and I want to be able to offer couples the option to make this as unique as themselves. Saying vows to one another, that you have written to reflect what is important to you and your relationship is one of the highlights for many couples.
I firmly believe in your day; your way and I can make this come true.
How long did it take to complete your Course?
What can couples expect when they choose you to write their ceremony?
I have completed a training course and spend several hours a month adding to my skills. I attend additional and specialised training in the wedding industry and am continually developing my knowledge. I recently attended a celebrant convention where I learnt about many new unity rituals that I can add into the main ceremony that involve the couple and other members of the wedding party.
Weddings are usually booked at least a year in advance, if not two. I usually meet the couple before they book me, it is important to get along with the person who is going to lead your ceremony. If we don’t meet in person, we can chat on the phone or Facetime.
I will start working with the couple about twelve to nine months before the wedding month. We begin with a meeting when all about the feel, theme and focus of the wedding. I hear about the other suppliers and get to spend some time with the couple getting to see their personalities and how they interact together. This gives me a foundation for the feel of the ceremony. I then send them both a questionnaire called, ‘Your Love Story.’ They complete this separately and this is a brilliant insight into what is important to each of them and also what views they share.
From these meetings, conversations and answers I begin to create the ceremony. I send an outline of the ceremony to the couple for their approval a couple of months before the wedding date. They may, or may not, choose to see the full ceremony, word-for-word, many prefer to hear it for the first time on the day.
Alongside writing the ceremony, I also support the couples in writing their personal vows.
Why you love your business
I am passionate about creating bespoke ceremonies that resonate with the couple whose day it is. Weddings are no longer about the beginning of a journey but often are another step on a journey that begun several years before, it is important to celebrate this.
My business encompasses many things I love - meeting people, listening to their love story, understanding what’s important to them, creating a ceremony and delivering the ceremony to your guests ensuring everyone feels their part of this special occasion.
Tell us about your studio/workspace? Can couples visit you?
I work from home mainly in my office and generally meet couples at their wedding venue. This me a feel for other aspects of their day. Occasionally it is impossible to meet at the venue, in particular if it is a tipi wedding in a field or wood.
We would still meet at the proposed site to get an idea of the logistics and then pop somewhere for a drink and a chat.
What do you love most about working in or designing products for the wedding industry?
The wedding industry is a beautiful industry to be involved in with so many talented and wonderful suppliers who really are making dreams come true. I love that I can really create ceremonies that are reflective of a couple’s beliefs, loves and experiences.
Who would be your dream client? Dream collaboration?
My dream client is one who doesn’t follow the crowd and is comfortable in saying what they want. Often this is second time round marriages, or modern couples who have a strong aesthetic in what they like.
I love creating home wedding ceremonies and intimate evening weddings.
Describe your business in one sentence for the couples reading this blog post
Being a wedding celebrant is the art of listening and hearing. Of creating meaning and ceremony. The delivering of ceremony with joy, integrity, passion, laughter and sparkle.
The celebration of important transitions across the whole life cycle. The love of delivering ceremonies created from your stories with you, and for only you