Lincolnshire based certified celebrant, Celia Pontin trained in our celebrant training course and now conducts ceremonies in and around Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire.
Read on to learn more about Celia's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
I have worked in so many eclectic work environments within the public and private sector since the age of 17 that my dealings with a raft of personality types has been wide-ranging, and yet the common goal has always been to treat each person irrespective of their 'title' with the same amount of respect. Not always easy when at times there has been the need to soothe 'chips on shoulders' and equally manage 'huge egos'!
But maturity in age and experience in life has rewarded me with skills that I feel have enabled me to deal comfortably, respectfully and positively with people from so many walks of love, which in turn help with the person-centred role of being a Celebrant.
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
To feel rewarded by a title that intrigues and interests people and one that makes me feel like I can hold my head up high and be proud to say and describe what I do; to feel creative; to feel different, to feel passionate about a role and really convey that passion when talking about the role itself.
As a PA typically I've always felt like an underdog, I don't feel that way saying I'm a Celebrant!
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
On the whole, pretty positive... not everyone really understands it but for most that do, very supportive.
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
With a lot of trainers to choose from, discovering CC was the only website I just kept going back to and the feeling and style was the best fit for me. I love the content, conversation style, friendship and just the overwhelming feeling of support - gorgeous!
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
I was terrified of being a Celebrant (imposter syndrome)! But the course content just kept gently pushing me forward and you can just 'feel' that gentle support steering you towards self-belief and the human touch is just perfect.
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
It was all enjoyable, I can't pinpoint any one thing as overall it just felt like no other training I've undertaken; it was the gradual feeling all the time of just being gently steered towards the goal I'd set myself, but without any pressure and also the constant underlying reassurance that there was no absolute definitive right or wrong way just confirmed that the course was right for me. I was being guided, supported, my hand was being held and ultimately, bit by bit, it all started to feel as though it could all really happen.
How has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
I'm not sure I'm particularly confident yet, but I'm not daunted by it any more either! Again, it's the constant feeling and support provided that reassures, and the keeping in touch is amazing as so often 'you pays yer money' and then support disappears. It's not like that with CC - they have your back!
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
For me it's a huge accomplishment that I actually finished the course! I'm a serial course starter and never a finisher, and yet I actually completed this course which speaks volumes to me, that actually this really matters to me and it's something that I can actually do.
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
Well, it's very early days, and I've only had one enquiry for a wedding and one enquiry for a funeral. But the feedback was fantastic post the funeral and, whilst I was nervous conducting the ceremony, I was not terrified or wanting to run to the hills! Instead, the experience was incredible.
I have confidence in my writing ability and my style, so I won't compromise on that, and I'll always put the effort in no matter what as my determination for a truly bespoke ceremony will be paramount.
When I heard of one celebrant who had conducted five ceremonies in one day, I was aghast, how can that ever truly be personal? Still, I'm not judging... perhaps I'm secretly in awe and wonder if I could ever get to that stage. But then a little voice also says, no matter what, that would never be my style so I'll stay true to myself!
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
I have a lovely website and gorgeous business cards, I've touched base with a few venues and a couple of funeral directors, but I also have work alongside, so apart from a little on Facebook I confess to sitting back a little to see if word of mouth brings in the business... I'm quietly confident!
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
You can't be half-hearted! The passion to work with people really has to be there, and the pleasure in that is so much more than hoping for regular financial reward.
Do it because you really want to, not just because it seems like quite a nice thing to do - be realistic about your expectations of yourself and what you can really do for your clients - this is not rocket science or important in the sense of saving lives, but nevertheless, this IS about people's lives and how they are made to feel, so the role you play in people's lives really matters too!
We are so proud and excited to have Celia in our Celebrants Collective community and we know she'll be a fabulous celebrant ambassador.
If reading this makes you really excited about training to be a celebrant, make sure to check out our homepage for more on our celebrant training online and in-person courses.