Hi, I’m Veronika Robinson, and I’d love to give you a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a celebrant trainer.
Just like being a celebrant, no two days are the same. And, also like the clients we meet and work with in celebrancy, no two celebrants in training are the same.
The trainings we offer are creative, practical, inspiring, and for some people completely life changing. Not only does it afford them a brand new career or engaging vocation, but it opens up a door of creativity and service. For many, it leads to a complete overhaul of their life and they see every part of it in a new way.
To get to this point, their training begins with one-to-one sessions with me and one-to-one sessions with Paul Robinson for vocal coaching and presentation.
Since March 2020, the day that shifted the world on its axis, our training has been via Zoom. This does mean that each new student can work and study in the comfort of their own home and save on travel and accommodation costs. They still receive the same training as anyone who has visited us and trained in our home.
I begin the training day with three hours on Zoom. This allows for lively interchange, teaching and questions. The rest of the day, the celebrant in training engages in a mix of independent learning and completing various assigned work. This will need to be completed before our session the next day. I assess this work before our Zoom session. All modules are due to be completed in 12 weeks. During this time, the celebrant in training also has five vocal and presentation sessions to augment their sessions with me.
After the Zoom, I’ll ‘unzoom’ myself with a swim or a walk. The afternoon might be a mix of officiating a ceremony (such as a funeral at the crematorium or an eco burial) or a wedding. Celebrants in training who are in driving distance of me in Cumbria have the option of shadowing me at ceremonies. This is a great opportunity for them to see a celebrant at work, and to recognise what their path ahead might look or feel like. For example, after one of my eco burials, my student said “It never occurred to me not to wear high heels!” Indeed. Always keep wellies and flat shoes in the car.
I use whatever time remains of the day to assess scripts and other submitted written work sent in by students who’ve completed their twelve weeks of training. There may be one-hour Zoom sessions with celebrant graduates who want some support or guidance about any aspect of celebrancy. I’m always available to graduates for ongoing support. This is inclusive in their training investment fee.
Once a month, Paul and I host a group CPD session with our celebrants in training and graduates. This is a lovely way to keep the connection going (I’m invested in long-term relationships). Our topics cover any and all aspects of celebrancy, and allows for advice and support between others who’ve chosen Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training. This creates a chance for these celebrants to make connections with each other.
I never imagined, when I trained as a celebrant almost 27 years ago, that one day I’d be teaching others to be celebrants. In hindsight, it’s a natural extension of what I do. Passion for a subject inevitably has us wanting to share it with others. Every day I hear from Heart-led Celebrants who share their stories and experiences with me, and it fills my heart to bursting.
Veronika Robinson is co-founder and co-tutor at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training, editor of The Celebrant magazine, a celebrant of 27 years experienced in all rites of passage and ritual creation. She lives and loves her handcrafted life in Cumbria.