East London-based certified celebrant, Sarah Bentley trained in our wedding celebrant training course and now creates bespoke wedding ceremonies which celebrate your unique story, beliefs and personalities.
Read on to learn more about Sarah's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
I was a journalist and radio broadcaster for 15 years and then in 2012 I founded the UKs first fully vegan community cookery school and charity which I've been co-running ever since.
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
My journalism and radio presenting skills have been so useful. My favourite part of these jobs was always hearing people's incredible stories. I've done a lot of party and event hosting, panel discussions and even a Ted Talk - so these experiences and skills come together in a beautiful, soulful way when being a celebrant. It's such an honour and privilege to create ceremony for such special milestones in people's lives.
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
I've been wanting to do it for years but never found a training collective that really resonated until I found Claire and Natalie. I love people. I love holding space. I love love. I love public speaking. I think the world needs more ritual and ceremony - so I'd love to be part of making that happen beyond the usual "hatches, matches and dispatches" - a brilliant phrase I'd never heard before taking this course.
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
They all said variations of.... "That is so you....you'll be brilliant at it...don't you already do that?" And other really wonderful things. It was very affirming. It's a rare thing to find something in life that brings you so much joy and uses all your various skills. I think we spend a lot of time doubting ourselves. Our choices. Our life path. Our abilities. From the moment I started the course I thought wow - with a lot of training and practice I could really do this. That's a wonderful feeling.
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
The website and messaging resonated with me. A lot of courses I'd looked at seemed very formal and quite traditional even. The website talked about inclusion and diversity which is really important to me. Natasha and Claire's approach just spoke to me on so many levels. I signed up almost instantly!
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
It was the unknowns really. How to structure a ceremony. The process of working with your clients. How to ensure you stay within your budgeted time frame when you could probably work on each ceremony every day for a month. Pricing. The course and tutorials helped with all of that.
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
The live tutorials were brilliant. Such a great opportunity to ask all your questions and get real life experience from Natasha and Claire's wealth of knowledge and meet other trainees.
How has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
It was a very thorough process with everything covered. I was very impressed with the structuring of the course and the breadth of topics covered. It really prepared you for life as a real-life working celebrant. I felt really ready to get started once I'd completed it.
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
What an utter joy and privilege performing this role as a job will be!
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
Joyful. Inclusive. Open minded. Supportive. Creative. Soulful. Up for anything that makes the couple happy - within reason!
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
When I finished the course, my charity went into an extremely busy time, so I had to hit the pause button on my big celebrant launch. However, I did my first wedding in March in the Yorkshire countryside, and it was just fabulous and very moving. We did a handfasting and it was just magic. I'm doing some traveling now until September, so I'll get my website up and running and launch properly from September 2022! Very exciting.
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
If you love people. Love sharing and telling stories. Ritual and ceremony makes your heart sing and your soul fill up - then absolutely go for it!
We are so proud and excited to have Sarah 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.