Bride Hacks

REAL Supplier Spotlight – celebrant SJ

Do you need a wedding celebrant? I'll be honest, before I started this blog I thought that wedding celebrants were just for people who wanted a very spiritual humanist wedding ceremony. Turns out I was wrong, and anyone can hire a wedding celebrant, with the biggest benefits being that they can completely personalise your service and marry you anywhere. We spoke to Celebrant SJ to find out what she loves about her job and the trends she's noticed in the wedding industry.

Why did you start your business?

I’d always been excited by the role of a celebrant but never quite had the guts to leave the job that I had been in for over 14 years. I was comfortable and safe. Then I had my son and my life changed forever. I started to think about my choices and how as a youngster I loved a challenge. I would happily run head first into anything that came my way. (This all sounds very dramatic doesn’t it?!) I also wanted to help people. I wanted to give back. So, I took the plunge and trained with The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants. That was the turning point for me, nothing could stop me. It lit a fire in me and I haven’t looked back. This job is incredibly rewarding and I am honoured to have the opportunity to be allowed to play a small part in such significant and special days.

In short I started my business for my son, he inspired me to make a change for the better.

humanist wedding celebrant UK
Photo by Rachel Burt Photography

What do you love most about working in the wedding industry?

Being a celebrant means that I get to meet amazing people. That’s obviously the couples that I get to work with on their ceremony, but also the incredible wedding professionals I meet along the way. From awesome photographers, to florists, to venue dressers and musicians. It’s a joy to be around such talented people and I feel so, so lucky.

Same sex wedding celebrant
Photo by Matt & Kizzy wedding photography

What question do you get asked most by couples?

‘Is that really possible?’’ is what I get asked the most.

I think it’s because, if you work with me as your wedding celebrant there are no limitations. I’ll often offer ideas and possibilities that couples haven’t thought about before. There are no rules when you work with me, it’s true! If you want to walk down the aisle to Metallica or incorporate Disney into your vows, I will be there to assist you.  There’s bucket loads of individuality and creativity in every ceremony I do, and it’s my job to give you the best experience ever. So the answer to the question is always, ‘Yes, absolutely. Let’s make it happen!’

Wedding celebrant SJ

What wedding trends have you noticed recently?

I adore wedding details and the time and effort that people put in to create the perfect setting. A trend that I have noticed recently is having your ceremony in the round. The couple getting married are slap bang in the middle, with their guests surrounding them. Amazing! It creates intimacy, togetherness and a totally different approach. Another plus point is that everyone has a tip top view of your wedding dress or outfit, making sure that every single stitch, button and detail is appreciated. I like the sound of that!

Do you have any tips for couples looking to save money on their wedding?

Most businesses will put their prices up each year, even if it’s just a couple of quid more. My top tip would be to book in advance. If a couple is marrying in 2020, but they book me in 2019 then you’ll be charged at 2019 prices. It’s as simple as that. An easy way of securing a great deal even if your wedding is a year or more away.

Wedding celebrant North West
Photo by Alex Ford Photography

I always encourage my couples to discuss the price point too. From the off if you have a budget in mind then don’t be afraid of letting me know. I can work with that and come up with a plan. Similarly, if the quote I give you isn’t as you’d hoped then please talk to me about it.  I’m always happy to discuss things and fit in around you.

What should couples bear in mind when contacting you about their wedding?

I want couples to know that they can suggest anything to me and I will listen. You may have loads of ideas already or you might have none. Either way it’s all good. My job is to help you explore those ideas or to help you come up with them. I am not here to pass opinion or tell you it can’t be done, I am here to support you and make your ceremony wishes come true.

UK wedding celebrant

Anything you’d like to add?

If you want flexibility over where you have your ceremony (with a celebrant it can be anywhere), no limitations when it comes to the content of your service (traditional, modern, funny, the choice is completely yours), then get in touch! Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, I will encourage you to do so.

Celebrant SJ is based in North West England. Check out her page in the REAL Directory and why not click on the heart to save her to your profile?

Join the conversation over on our Facebook group for REAL brides to be!


Gaia Hudson

Written by gaia_bkir

Founder of Brides Keeping it Real and mum of two little ones, Leon & Ada. Passionate about providing a supportive online community for brides and grooms who want an achievable, uncomplicated wedding planning experience.