With so many celebrant-training schools (organisations, companies and tutors) appearing quicker than mushrooms sprouting up in Autumn, it can be hard to decipher the best choice. It’s all so confusing! But, even William Shakespeare warned: “All that glitters is not gold.”
Words can sound grand and imposing (when celebrant trainers are trying to attract new celebrants).
What’s so different about us at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training? We put our words into action. The reason we work one-to-one is because celebrancy should be an apprenticeship. We tailor the training to each person and their learning style to give them every chance to absorb and then put their learning into action.
Please be wary of celebrant-training tutors who’ve had minimal experience as a working celebrant (or, worse, none). Many have fewer than five to ten years in the field and are setting themselves up as experts. It takes decades to become an expert in one’s field.
Celebrancy is a rapidly growing industry in the UK and many people with marketing or business backgrounds (or even brand new celebrants!) are jumping on the training bandwagon to earn ‘easy money’. You do the maths: £3-5K per student, and 15 to 20 students per course. On the other hand, be mindful of the cheap courses. You’ll find that this ‘one size fits all’ set of modules is lacking in proper mentoring and you’ll be left to fend for yourself.
So when choosing your course, look at it from every single angle. Always come back to this: am I going to learn from someone with genuine, extensive experience as a working celebrant who can give me the thorough and rigorous training needed? Am I being honoured as a person or as simply another number?
The first thing we’d say is ‘trust your instinct’. Don’t just look at a website and make your booking. Speak to your potential tutors. Engage with them. Learn who they are and find out what makes them qualified to teach you. Do you connect with them? Listen beyond their sales pitch.
We’ve had too many people come to us for training because the training they received elsewhere (despite paying £2k or more) was inadequate. To this end, we are no longer taking on people who’ve trained elsewhere first. This is because we essentially have to start again and help them unlearn the poor teaching they had.
There’s a huge difference between how many people a training organisation has trained to be celebrants and how much experience the tutors have actually had working in the field. If you do your research, you’ll find there are actually very few trainers in the UK who’ve had long and viable careers as celebrants.
I’d already been a celebrant for over twenty years (which seems a reasonable apprenticeship and path to mastery before one engages in passing on the craft – though one should never stop learning) before I considered training others to be celebrants. It wasn’t a path I’d even planned. Clearly it was meant to happen, but it came about organically when someone who follows me on social media was inspired by the ceremonies I’d posted about. Even when she asked me if I’d offer training, Paul and I only went into it with the idea of a one-off intimate training (a small group of six people). Interestingly, two of those people were married by me the month before. They were so taken with their wedding and the relationship we’d built up, that they too wanted to venture into the path of celebrancy. The experience of training others was amazing and it truly was a pleasure for Paul and I to share our respective experiences. Over the years since then, we’ve enjoyed training many wonderful people on a one-to-one basis. We feel this is best for optimal learning. When a celebrant works with grieving families, they have to know what they’re doing. It’s too easy for people to slip between the cracks when they’re in a group-learning situation (or even worse, attend a celebrant course which gives out certificates based on attendance rather than if the person is capable of doing the job). We care about the celebrants we train, but also all the people we’ll never meet: their future clients. We want those people to have the best possible experience. For this reason, we make no apologies for the high standard and rigorous nature of our training.
The mix of ideas in our teaching curriculum is original to us, and authentic, in the sense that we live those ideas every day. It’s not just theory we’re passing on. You can see us in action. Our students have the option of shadowing Veronika at family visits and ceremonies so that they can see the process from beginning to completion. Veronika has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and readily shares her knowledge and experience of making every word count.
From the voice and presentation modules, our students can not only see Paul demonstrate everything he teaches due to his excellent, first-class, teaching skills, he also has a beautifully balanced voice and well-honed technique. He can help you to achieve these things because of his own vast experience in the fields of voice and presentation: celebrant, voice-over artist, broadcaster, speaker, theatre and TV actor, singer and ventriloquist! There isn’t a celebrant tutor in the UK who has those credentials. He also has a sixth sense about how to get the best out of individual voices.
When a student trusts us, as their teachers/trainers to guide them, they cross a threshold where miracles happen.
Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson (voice and presentation coach for celebrants) are tutors at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training. Veronika Robinson is a specialist in ritual and has been officiating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies since 1995. She’s a certified Infant Loss Professional; founder of Penrith’s first Death Café; is certified in Self-harm and Suicide Awareness and Prevention; is a celebrant for the charity Gift of a Wedding; and mentors celebrants around the world in all aspects of celebrancy including mastering writing life stories and love stories. Veronika also runs workshops and retreats for celebrants. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cumbria.
Write That Eulogy
The Successful Celebrant
Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner
Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner
Three more titles will be added to the Celebrant Collection in late January 2024, and will be included in the training materials for our students:
The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children;
The Discrimination-free Celebrant;
The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.
Also publishing in 2024:
Every Couple Has a Love Story: A Wedding Celebrant’s Guide to Creating Compelling Narrative from Once Upon A Time to “I do!”
When Death Is Chosen: A celebrant’s guide to suicide-bereavement ceremonies
Mindfulness for Celebrants
Metaphysical Marketing for Celebrants
You can also find the wonderful library of magazines Veronika edited, here: www.thecelebrantmagazine.co.uk