Celebrating celebrant-led ceremonies | Vicky Meets

Vicky meets... Claire Bradford, celebrant at Creating Ceremony.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 8:59 am

• What does a celebrant do – and what can’t they do?

A good celebrant creates and conducts super personalised and unforgettable ceremonies that truly reflect the people they are for. We create awesome weddings, namings, funerals or anything in between: big birthdays, vow renewals, housewarmings, divorce ceremonies – you name it, we’ll create a ceremony for it. We don’t do ‘insert name here’ yawnsome one-size-fits-all ceremonies or the legal stuff (yet) – but watch this space because marriage law is reforming as we speak.

• What are the advantages of a celebrant-led ceremony?

Claire Bradford. Photo by Neil Walker Photography

You can choose your celebrant, for a start! You don’t just get the person who’s on the rota that day. And when you’ve chosen the celebrant that fits your vibe, they will get to know you and what’s important to you, then work with you to create your dream ceremony. Celebrant ceremonies are personal because they are created to fit you, rather than shoehorning you into a pre-existing template. And if you’re planning a celebrant-led wedding, you can have it anywhere, not just in a licensed venue.

• How did you become a celebrant?

Over the years, I have been an English teacher, then a life coach for 15 years. I also used to work for the Church of England and I once even had my own radio show on the BBC. All of these experiences gave me some great ‘ingredients’ and when I discovered celebrancy, I realised I’d found the right recipe for me!

• What are the most memorable occasions you have been involved in?

There have been so many, but the one that is top of mind was when I conducted a wedding live on TV from the Royal Albert Hall for This Morning. It was the only wedding they have ever had there (and ever will have, I’m told) and it was possible because a celebrant can conduct a ceremony in an unlicensed venue. It showed the public what a celebrant ceremony can be like – and I got a kiss from Phillip Schofield! It was a completely amazing day. I’ll also never forget an intimate and beautiful funeral I conducted in a redwood forest. To be able to help people to say their farewells in a creative and meaningful way and in a place they love is an enormous honour.

• What would you say are the highlights of your work?

I love it when I talk to couples or families and they start to realise the freedom they can have in their ceremony. When they feel confident in me and start to break free of all the conventions, norms and expectations it’s awesome. And, with my other business hat on, I also relish training other people to become celebrants so that they can join me in doing the best job in the world!

• Where can we find more details about your services and training opportunities?

For more information about my celebrant work, my website is www.creatingceremony.com and social media @creatingceremony. For training enquiries visit www.celebrantcourses.com

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