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News and musings about my life as a civil celebrant
What Can One Say …?
What Can One Say …?

6 May 2020

It’s not that easy to come up with a useful or informative blog every week. Even less so under Lockdown. Hardly anything is happening in the world of weddings. Still less in the world of Vow Renewals and Namings. But so much seems to be happening in the world of funerals that it’s impossible to keep up!

So, rather than tell you what you already know or something that is already out of date, here is a bit about me and how I found myself in the world of celebrancy.

Background

I came from a lower middle-class Ealing home, and was pretty conventional till my mid 40s. To summarise incisively, I was a teacher for 25 years, but was to lose my mojo. In fact, I definitely experienced a mid-life crisis, and went through a pretty unpleasant couple of years.

However, unexpectedly, this became a time for personal development. I went into network marketing (health and wellness). I loved the products and that I could help others in quite surprising ways, but the money wasn’t to be earned there (to prosper you need to build teams, and I wasn’t great at that). So I lost a lot of money – yet I have never completely stopped this work.

On the other hand, network marketing demands personal study and growth. I read self-help books, attended workshops and even took on a coach. I began to change, quite without realising it.

When the opportunity for something quite different arose three or so years later, I was ready for it (at least, subconsciously).

The Damascene moment

I met a civil celebrant at a business networking meeting. Having never heard of such a job, I asked him what it entailed. His enthusiasm was infectious, and I was almost hooked. I rang him soon afterwards with a few questions – one of which was “how do I train?” Decision made.

So I trained. I plunged into a profession that I might have dismissed earlier. After all, as far as I had been concerned, a wedding was either a full religious or a secular Register Office ceremony. Surely people shouldn’t be encouraged to choose how their big day should be marked?!

I had been used (by and large) to teaching and presenting. That was largely a one-way process (the way I did it!). My new profession would encourage me to go beneath the surface. I had to help people make their own (informed) choices. It would involve listening to people and understanding their vision by asking the right questions. I would have to guide and advise them, working together with them to achieve their dream. The icing on the cake would be attending beautiful venues to conduct a wonderful ceremony and sharing in their delight.

Seven years down the line, I am still in love with my profession. As I have worked at my delivery, business results have become better – but that was until Coronavirus. Now crystal-ball-gazing is impossible and I may have to rebuild my business from the bottom up.

However, I am optimistic. The work will be out there – after all, why shouldn’t people mark their big day as they would wish? I intend to continue to be available and to deliver an excellent service.

I shall be delighted to deliver dreams as before.

Author:

Michael Gordon can help prepare and conduct a tailor-made civil ceremony in or around London or, indeed, in Europe. Telephone me now on +44 (0)7931 538487 or contact me directly by e-mail.

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