Well what a year 2018 has been!
Things kicked off the way they would continue in January, with a gobsmacked me being crowned Celebrant of the Year 2018 at the national TWIA awards ceremony in London.
The award not only gave me a pretty thing to put on my shelf, but also opened other doors, not least being asked by Terri Shanks, founder of the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, if I would start taking some of her celebrant training courses. Er, YEAH!!
So I have now taken several wedding and family celebrant courses and am looking forward to taking more of those and some funeral courses in 2019. As an ex-teacher, I love being back in the ‘classroom’ again and sharing my passion for celebrancy.
The award was also part of my being asked to conduct a wedding for ITV’s This Morning, live from the Royal Albert Hall in October (the first wedding ever held there). To be honest, it still feels like I dreamed it!
I had the great pleasure of working with 24 couples on their wedding ceremonies and 2 on their vow renewals. I also ‘named’ 5 gorgeous babies and conducted 54 funerals, helping families say goodbye to their loved ones in a way that’s personal to them. To be able to get to know so many people and tell so many stories – of love, of life and of hope for the future – remains a huge honour and one that I know I will never ever take for granted. This really is the best job on the planet.
In doing all of that, I’ve been privileged to work in some great venues and with some awesome suppliers and dedicated Funeral Directors. I am so lucky to be part of two incredibly supportive ‘industries’ (sounds very impersonal for a very personal thing) with funerals and weddings – the support and friendship I have gained from both has been amazing.
On top of that lot, this year I have continued in my role as content editor for the Celebrants’ Collective, an online membership site for celebrants from all over the world. In March, Natasha (the site’s founder and all round awesome human being) and I held a workshop for celebrants in London and then in November we held an unforgettable two day retreat in Malaga, Spain. We celebrants are a chatty, amiable bunch and so many friendships were forged in that time that I know we will all treasure for a long time.
Well, that was a gushier post than I set out to write! Suffice to say, 2018 has been a stellar year. Thank you to everyone I worked with who have helped make it that way and bring it on, 2019!
Here are just some of this year’s wedding highlights – I hope they bring a smile to your face!