Certified wedding celebrant Vimbai Mukuze took our wedding celebrant training course after being awarded our POC Bursary. She now conducts wedding ceremonies in the UK and overseas.
Read on to learn more about Vimbai's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
I was a Registrar/Ceremony Officer for the Register Office.
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
As I was already in a wedding ceremony officiating and presenting role in my previous job as registrar, I have amassed great interpersonal and communication skills and of course public speaking skills as well.
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
I love, love, love people and I genuinely believe in “happily ever afters”, so to be a part of someone’s day and to help them say those words and express their love is an honour and quite frankly the best job in the world (in my humble opinion).
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
They couldn’t tell me enough how they thought this was my “calling”.
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
My biggest fear with becoming an independent celebrant was some of the push back I’ve had from people who don’t expect a person of colour to be doing this job. Unfortunately the few instances I’ve had over the years as a registrar where the couple and/or the guests haven’t been too happy to have had me as the registrar on their day, purely based on my heritage or skin colour, had quite profoundly knocked my confidence. Although I can’t stress enough how these instances are very few and far between, it’s surprising just how much of a “thick skin” you think you have and yet you don’t.
Then I came across Claire and Natasha who were cheering me on. Who made me see that I could be the representation other people of colour would love to see and that, coupled with the confidence I do get from the amazing couples I’ve “married” in the past, who don’t give a hoot about my ethnicity, it became a no brainer to train with them. I am forever grateful for the opportunity and belief they had in me as it’s literally changed my life! Now I get couples who choose me, for me. And what an honour that is!
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
I was worried I lacked knowledge on the different types of ceremonies that a couple may want to have, eg. sand or hand fasting, as these aren’t usually offered by the Register Office. Not only does the course explain in detail the different kinds and their origins, any gaps in my understanding were filled by the amazing 1-2-1s you get to have with both Natasha and Claire, on a twice weekly basis.
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
Claire’s voice because you can’t help but hang on to every word and it makes learning such a pleasure. And she’ll give real life examples based on her vast experience that make each section so much easier to understand and digest. And then there’s Natasha’s humour on the coaching calls. She’s honest, but funny, sprinkled with a little bit of sarcasm and so much sweetness.
How has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
The training confirms how your couples will choose you for you and that there’s no wrong way to do things. They repeat that over and over on the course and now it’s drilled into me. As long as I’m giving my best to couples I’m doing the right thing!
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
That there’s never a silly question. Do what feels right and the right couples will come along and hire you.
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
I think I’m fun and laid back whilst maintaining my professionalism. I'm very sincere in my approach as a celebrant so if I’m shedding a tear writing a script, because the love story is heartwarming, then it’s me and that’s ok and that’s who they want.
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
I’ve been to a wedding exhibition and had a stand at the Modern African wedding show and spent the day educating the attendees and the public on what and who celebrants are and what they can offer for their special day.
I’ve been talking about myself when I find myself in a hotel that does weddings and leaving business cards.
I use my Instagram a whole lot and I’ve been lucky to get a few leads from wedding vendors and planners who have recommended my services to the couples they have as clients based on them thinking we’d be a match and so far that’s worked out fantastically well.
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
Don’t hesitate. Do it! At the very least you’ll learn so much and best case scenario you’ll be one of the lucky ones who do something amazing and get paid for it ❤️
We are so proud and excited to have Vimbai 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.