I absolutely love my role as a wedding and life milestones ceremonies celebrant. (I also do vow renewals, commitment ceremonies, coming out / gender change ceremonies, adoption ceremonies and I'm a funeral celebrant, writing story-led, uplifting funerals and grand goodbyes for anyone wanting a meaningful, personalised and totally fitting, non-religious send-off.) I'm a people person and I love a story.
I work all over Yorkshire and I'm a recommended celebrant at many beautiful venues, including The Tithe Barn, Bolton Abbey near Skipton, Ripley Castle near Harrogate, Grassfield Hall in Pateley Bridge, Wharfedale Grange in Harewood, Swinton Estate in Masham, Wood Hall in Wetherby, Hazlewood Castle in Leeds, Skipbridge Country Weddings in York and Rudding Park in Harrogate. But I also work at plenty of other places including village halls, pubs, gardens, bespoke wedding venues and in tipis in farmers' fields!
I'm a music addict, a festival goer, a film lover, a dog person, a cat sofa. I am a wife, a mum, a wildlife lover. I'm a housework disliker, a wishful holiday booker, a creator of stories, a non-runner, a hard worker, a story lover, an essay proof reader, a rule breaker, a GoT fan, a disinterested cook, a would-be vegan, an incurable romantic, a party die-hard, and a lover of good friends and red wine!
I trained to be a wedding celebrant following 15 years of experience in agency PR, event management, copy writing, script writing, wedding and portrait photography and corporate and community video production. I use all of these storytelling, visual awareness, wedding and event management knowledge, experience and skills to work with couples to plan, interview, write and conduct ceremonies that are perfect for them.
I'm relaxed, professional, smiley, inquisitive, unflappable and I have a good sense of humour! I love to write. I love to plan an event. And I adore a wedding. It’s my great privilege that I trained with and am accredited by Humanists UK to write and deliver wedding ceremonies.
I don't go in for awards recognitions from judges who've never seen me at work but a lot of my weddings do come from recommendations - from venue managers, couples and testimonials. Last year, I was asked to describe humanist weddings by the BBC.
There are three things about being a celebrant that I love. No. 1 is meeting people and hearing their unique stories. No. 2 is crafting a bespoke ceremony script using all the information gathered in our meeting and delighting couples with a wedding ceremony script that is totally "them". No. 3 is delivering the ceremony on the day, seeing how everyone reacts to the love in the room, and keeping in contact with my couples afterwards because we've got a connection.
I do believe in people and love (I've been married for 27 years now, and have two kids, a dog and two cats). Aside from planning, writing and delivering weddings, (my all time favourite thing) I also write and conduct humanist funeral and celebration of life ceremonies (which I also love); and my husband and I still run a small commercial photography and video agency, which we've done together for the past 14 years.
In no particular order, I've lived in Harrogate, London and Surrey. I've travelled enough of the world to open my eyes and my mind, but not enough to be totally satisfied. I'm still curious. I'm a believer in grabbing opportunities and experiences and celebrating the good things in life while I have the chance, and I'm a humanist with a sprinkling of artistic licence and magic!
What humanism means to me
The very first wedding I photographed was a humanist ceremony – and it blew me away. Although the ceremony didn’t go into detail about humanism, I asked the bride and groom before the wedding if they could explain what humanism was. Their brief description sounded to me like a way of thinking – a non-religious philosophy - that stood for everything in which I already believed.
Humanism is a way of thinking that is fair and just. It supports curiosity, is tolerant of all others’ beliefs, and celebrates the life we have. And I liked that. I did a short quiz on the Humanists website, and I found thatI was pretty much a humanist! Of course, there is a whole load of things to learn if you delve deeper, so if you are interested, please click here: https://humanism.org.uk
I am very excited to have been featured on BBC Look North and other local media to talk about humanist weddings. I've also written blogs and articles for The Celebrant Directory, Hitched.co.uk, The Sun Pavilion in Harrogate, The Honey Fund, The Sun Pavilion in Harrogate and Humanists UK which can also be accessed from my blog page. Thanks to my fab brides Kayleigh and Lisa and their great photographer Ray Sawyer, in 2020 I had a double page editorial in Yorkshire Bride and a billboard in Northern Ireland to celebrate the legal recognition of gay marriage. And in 2021, two of my weddings made it into the wedding press!