The 2018 Wedding Industry Awards National Celebrant of the Year? That’ll be me then!

Claire Bradford of Creating Ceremony wins the 2018 Wedding Industry Awards national final Celebrant of the Year After my gushing post about winning the South East regional Wedding Industry Awards final only a couple of months ago, here’s an even more over-excited one: I blooming well won the title of ‘Celebrant of the Year 2018’ at the national finals in London last week!

To say that I’m over the moon wouldn’t even be close to describing how amazing it feels to receive this accolade. I’m humbled and honoured all at the same time to be flying the flag for celebrants in this country. This year was the first year that they’ve included a ‘Celebrant of the Year’ category and it’s brilliant to see that the word is spreading about what we do. It’s official! Celebrant-led ceremonies are the way forward for couples who want a unique ceremony that reflects their relationship.

I was really looking forward to the awards night, as it was going to be at the swish Cafe de Paris in Soho, but mostly because I was going to be meeting lots of fellow celebrants that I knew from forums we are on but whom I’d never met in real life before. Lots of us (finalists and others who wanted to come along and say hi) met up before the awards for some pizza and a massive load of chat. We discussed what the collective noun is for celebrants – no conclusion was reached but I vote for ‘a jubilation’, based on the happy noise we created that evening.

Those of us going to the finals all sat together and the atmosphere at the venue was electric. It was lovely that there was so much mutual support among us and, when my name was called to my huge surprise, the biggest cheer was from the celebrants in the room. What an honour it is to work with such a fabulous group of professionals and all-round lovely people.

The only people who can vote in this competition are couples with whom we have worked in the previous year. There’s no getting on Facebook and asking all your friends and their granny to vote! Couples are asked to score the supplier on a scale of 1-10 for several questions, and then get to leave their longer feedback. Until today, I hadn’t been able to see what my couples had written – the tissues were well and truly needed when I did! Comments such as:

“Everyone at our wedding told us how wonderfully wonderfully touching and uplifting the ceremony was, and we couldn’t agree more with them.”


“We literally couldn’t have asked for a better person to marry us. She always got exactly where we were coming from and we really felt as though she took the time to get to know us because she wanted to. She helped us both bring out the best in our ceremony and so many guests said it was the best wedding they had ever been to.”


“The ceremony that she wrote was beautiful and light in tone but still serious enough to convey the importance of the day. All in all, couldn’t have asked for a better celebrant and would hands down recommend her!”

See why I blubbed?!?

So, now the celebratory hangover has subsided and the reality of winning has hit me, I’m determined to use this award to promote not just me but also all the amazing celebrants there are all over the country – and all over the world! Ladies and gentlemen, watch this space – celebrants are going to change the (wedding) world!!

Watch my rather overwhelmed winner’s video here (and marvel at how many times one person can use the word ‘brilliant’ in a minute and a half!)

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