San Francisco-based certified celebrant, Kelley Coyne trained in our wedding celebrant training course and now creates heart-centred ceremonies for the weird, the offbeat, the kooky, the absurd, the wild couples that are romantic and courageous at heart.
Read on to learn more about Kelley's celebrant journey.
What did you do before becoming a celebrant or in addition to being a celebrant now?
I am a sound engineer, educator and video preservation tech (I digitize old videos like VHS's, Betas, and U-Matic, for the non-profit BAVC Media)
What experiences or past skills do you think helped you with being a celebrant?
Teaching helped me with pacing, reading the room, producing calm in a stressful environment, and lesson planning is oddly similar to ceremony script planning. My experience in live sound for events definitely helps me with producing quality sound amplification for ceremonies.
I've dabbled in acting and performing my whole life as well, and that along with my work with others in a 12-step program make the celebrant career path such a wonderful medley of performance and heart support to others.
What made you want to train to become a celebrant?
Though I love my current job, I felt a desire to support people through big life events. As a kid I always thought being a pastor would be really rewarding, but I didn't align with any particular religion. I love that I can do the same thing with this job and meet people where their hearts are at, whatever their spiritual beliefs.
What did your friends and family think of your decision to become a celebrant?
They were a bit confused at first but once I explained what the job is, they all said how perfect it is for me.
Why did you choose to train with the Celebrants Collective?
I heard Natasha on the Bridechilla podcast and her words and path to being a celebrant struck something deep within me. Listening to her I only had positive, warm feelings and suddenly could see myself right in her position. Of course, there's parts of me that doubt myself, but the excitement and encouragement of the Celebrants Collective is louder!
Did you have any worries about being a celebrant which the course has helped you resolve?
Yes. I had this idea about myself that I could not write. Claire and Natasha supported me through that, and once I learned to just write from my heart instead of my head it kind of just flowed! I felt so supported to just be my authentic self.
What was your most favourite part of the course and why?
My favourite part of the course was envisioning my ideal couple and writing a ceremony for them.
How has your training with the Celebrants Collective helped you to become a confident celebrant?
I feel confident I can do the job just as me instead of putting on a costume or something, trying to pretend to be a religious officiant or something. I like that I can fully be myself for this line of work, and the couples that works for will be attracted to me.
What’s been your biggest takeaway so far about training to be a celebrant?
There's not a one size fits all for a celebrant - your job is to be as authentic as possible. In that way, you're a supportive, grounded presence for the couple and their loved ones.
What kind of celebrant do you think you’re shaping up to be?
Since taking the course, I had a bunch of personal stuff come up with my own wedding and a career change, so now I am getting back to starting my celebrant business and I have my first wedding next month! I'm really looking forward to putting everything I learned to practice!
How have you been making a name for yourself since you became certified or in the process of getting certified?
I plan on doing a blog post on sound for ceremonies since it's my specialty.
What would be your advice to someone looking to train to be a wedding or funeral celebrant?
We are so proud and excited to have Kelley 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.