When shining a light on the core values of a Heart-led Celebrant, and what we hope is innate to those we train, our top three are: integrity, acceptance and creativity.

Integrity is one of those words you hear used a lot, but what does it really mean? And what does it mean as a Heart-led Celebrant?


Sometimes, when we try to ascertain the meaning of a word we end up following path lines of other words which, while not meaning exactly the same thing, keep us on familiar terrain.


When I think of integrity, it’s along the lines of ‘who you are and what you do when no one is looking’. And maybe that’s all honesty, truth and authenticity is anyway.

Others would say integrity is being consistent with one’s ethical and moral values. It’s the polar opposite of hypocrisy.

It is said that “how we do anything is how we do everything”.


What does all this have to do with being a Heart-led Celebrant?

I’ll often say to our students that when working with a bereaved family, for instance, act as if it was your own parent’s funeral:

  • Care
  • Be kind
  • Give 100%. No skimping. No compromise.

If you say you’ll deliver a script to a client by a certain date, then do it.

If you say you’re a celebrant who writes bespoke ceremonies, then write bespoke ceremonies. Don’t cut and paste from other ceremonies you’ve written or poach material and pass it off as your own. For the love of all things beautiful and creative, don’t use AI to write your ceremony script (why the hell are you being paid if you’re not doing your job?) or outsource to a ghost celebrant. If you’re using these options then your client needs to know so they can make an informed decision.

A while back, a celebrant posted on social media about some celebrant award she was entering and begging clients to vote for her. I gently pointed out to her that it wasn’t a ‘real award’. N.B Any award that you have to pay for or that is based on a personality contest rather than on quality of work, isn’t worth anything. This celebrant’s response was that they didn’t care if it was real or not. They just wanted badges on their website so they could attract new clients. I was gutted. Gutted that the celebrant knew what they were doing was deceitful and didn’t care, and gutted for their future clients who’d be fed a lie.

Another celebrant proudly announced they’d won ‘celebrant of the year’ but what they didn’t proudly boast was that they have to pay hundreds of pounds for the title. To my mind, these acts don’t embody the principles of integrity.

One of my favourite quotes is “It’s better to write for one’s self and have no audience, than to write for an audience and have no self”. I dare say this applies to celebrant awards. “Better to have integrity, and no paid-for fake awards than to have awards and no integrity.”


Integrity may not win you awards (fake or otherwise) but it will allow you to sleep at night knowing you are being true to yourself and to others.  

So, whatever meaning you want to give to the word integrity, it really comes down to this: who are you when no one is watching? Seems to me this is right up there with quantum physics and the law of attraction. In homeopathic terms: like attracts like.

As a Heart-led Celebrant with integrity, you will, by the very laws of this incredible Universe, attract clients who share this core value.

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  life stories and love stories. Veronika also runs workshops and retreats for celebrants.

Alongside celebrant training, Veronika Robinson officiates beautiful and bespoke ceremonies across Cumbria, from Cornwall to Callanish, and internationally. She earned her Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cumbria.

Veronika is the author of many books both fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Celebrant Collection:
Write That Eulogy;
The Successful Celebrant;
Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner;
The Blessingway;
The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children;
The Discrimination-free Celebrant;
The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.

Also 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!”

You can also find the wonderful library of magazines Veronika edited, here: