My awesome daughter is studying to be a nurse and she told me recently about the ‘6 Cs’ of the NHS, which are a set of values for all health and social care staff, which underpins all that they do. (In case you are wondering, the 6 Cs of the NHS are Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment and you can read more about them here).
This reminded me of when I’d been asked to describe my company’s ethos when I entered The Wedding Industry Awards in 2018. Without knowing at all about the NHS’s 6 Cs, I had described 6 Cs of my very own! Although this was the first time I’d written them down in this way, I realised that these were the values that run through everything I do as a celebrant, like words through a stick of rock.
Here are my own 6 Cs (and I was thrilled to see that I share two of them with the amazing NHS!):
Connection is key to everything I do with the couples and families I work with. I strive to develop a great rapport with you right from the beginning, as well as connecting you together in ceremony (whether that’s literally by using a handfasting in a wedding, or by uniting everyone there in a shared moment of focus and emotion).
Creating ceremony, I believe, should very much be a collaborative process. I’m not about shoehorning your names into the same old script that everyone else has. And yet I can’t create a truly personal ceremony without the collaboration of the couple or family I’m working with, both in giving me the memories, thoughts and ideas to work with, and in the refining of the ceremony itself.
In order to do both of the above, communication is super important! I love meeting face-to-face wherever possible but, if geography or timing dictates, we can still communicate well over Zoom or similar and get to know each other that way. And our communication doesn’t stop after the meeting – I’m always at the end of a phone, email or WhatsApp to answer questions, reassure, bounce ideas off, have a giggle or whatever you need.
It sometimes takes courage to challenge convention when it comes to ceremonies and to stay true to what YOU want when you’re faced with a barrage of ‘shoulds’ from church, traditions or even well-meaning but opinionated family members. But it is your right to be able to celebrate your love story or your loved one’s life story in a way that suits you, whether that’s quirky, pared back, full of song, religion or stormtroopers. And I’m dedicated to fighting your corner and championing your choices all the way.
This is what I’m all about. So much so that my spellcheck still gets confused about celebrant and celebrate! Celebration of your love story, your personalities and your union. Celebration of your loved one’s life, the funny things they said and the things they taught you or inspired in you. Celebrations full of joy but not toxic positivity – because it’s important also to acknowledge the grit in the shell and its role in creating the pearl.
It’s the first word of my business name because I don’t just conduct ceremonies, I create them – with your collaboration. It’s about the creation of a safe space to bring you and your closest people together in a ceremony where you can express yourselves as you need to. Creation of a ceremony that is unique and full of all that you hoped for it and more. Creation of memories that will last a lifetime. That’s what I focus on when I’m meeting with you, when I’m writing your ceremony and when I’m standing with you and supporting you on a milestone day.
So there we have it! My 6 Cs.
If these resonate with you and you’d like to find out more about working with me, please get in touch. I’d love to hear from you!