Q&A With Cornish Celebrants

We talk to Nicola and Denise from Cornish Celebrants about what being a celebrant in Cornwall entails, going from registrars to celebrants, and advice for couples considering using a celebrants for their wedding.

Explain to me what a celebrant does?

We celebrate!!  We write, create and conduct celebratory ceremonies for all of life’s events – weddings, renewal of vows, namings, celebration of life, positively single, birthdays – you name it we can celebrate it!

How did you get into becoming a celebrant and how long have you been a wedding celebrant?

Nicola – I worked for Cornwall Registration Service for nearly 20 years before the service was re-structured which led to my redundancy in 2014.  Denise and I worked together and decided to form Cornish Celebrants, offering bespoke wedding celebrant ceremonies in Cornwall.  We knew from our work in Registration that a lot of couples wanted something more bespoke and flexible than the legal offering, and with our unique skill set we realised this was something we could offer them.  The business started on 9th September 2014.

How do you go about conducting a ceremony?

It all starts with our initial contact with the couple!  We love to chat to them and get some ideas about their vision for the ceremony.  We can then offer suggestions, and then we get down to the creative writing of the ceremony incorporating all the ideas we have discussed.  We share the script with the couple and make any changes they would like, and then its ready to go! 
After years of doing several wedding ceremonies a day in Cornwall when we were Registrars, we are so happy to offer our couples the flexibility afforded by only conducting one ceremony per day, which means we can delay the start of the ceremony if necessary due to weather or dress malfunctions, and, feel totally relaxed about it! 
We always arrive at least an hour before the ceremony is due to start, find and chat to everyone who is going to play a part in the ceremony, set up our battery operated PA system and make sure everything is ready.  We always bring everything we need for a ceremony and spares besides – copies of readings, ribbons, handfasting, anything required for any rituals.  Our years of experience really tell – we can cope with almost anything!

What do you find most challenging about being a celebrant?

Sat Nav – finding fields in the middle of nowhere can be quite a challenge, we can’t do without a book of maps as backup!

And what do you find the most rewarding?

That smile as the bride and groom see each other for the first time, and when they say their vows, at those most heartfelt moments the hairs on the back of the neck start to stand up.

What’s the best moment you’ve had as a wedding celebrant?

So so many – we love getting to know our couples and some of the reviews we have had reduce us to tears!

Do you have a favourite type of ceremony to conduct?

We love it when the couple really stamp their personality on the ceremony with wonderful rituals, unusual reading which are just “them”, and their own vows written straight from the heart.

What is your advice for any couples who are just starting to look into their wedding ceremony options?

Don’t be afraid to look at all the options – religious, civil or celebrant.  Try and think what you want from the ceremony – it is the heart of your day, the reason for the celebration and the option you choose should make your hearts sing.

When not working at weddings, what do you do to relax?

Nicola – I have a menagerie at home to look after, Poppy a retired pony, two dogs, a Labrador named Bella and a Terrier called Pip, Arthur the cat and some chickens (two brown rescue chickens both called Brownie as they are very alike, Iris who is a Bluebell Moran, and Mary a White Sussex Bantam) and an extremely wild garden that I am trying to tame!  I love walking on the beach with the dogs, reading and baking.  

Denise – I have a very gorgeous chocolate brown working cocker spaniel called Fern! She loves running in the fields and the tougher the terrain, the better so she does keep me fit. I also love swimming and especially relaxing afterwards in the steam room and Jacuzzi. My son is a musician so our front room is partially decorated with guitars, so as a family, we love listening to music and having a sing song…. fortunately he didn’t inherit my singing voice!

Looking for wedding celebrant in your area? Check out our Wedding Directory.

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