As part of our ‘Tales from the Celebranthood’ series of blogs, this week we’ve interviewed one of our sensational Celebrants, John Leo Scott, for some insight into the world of a Celebrant and what it means to him personally.
What made you want to become a celebrant?
I was at a crossroads in my life, losing my business and becoming personally bankrupt. My sister suggested I contact a lady who conducted ceremonies in the Savoy Park Hotel, which, after an interview, gave me a start. There was no real formal training, just shadowing couples meetings and ceremonies before being thrown in and told to get on with it.
How did you go about finding training etc?
During my time with TLC I knew I needed a more structured organisation and found Fuze. This was quite a revelation, as they had a really good online resource centre, and training. I started the training course and benefited immediately from the camaraderie and friendships. The organisation felt inclusive and caring.
How have your skills developed over time? Creative writing, public speaking etc
I have developed a range of skill sets; listening attentively to my couples, adapting ceremonies to suit their individual needs, personal organisational skills, something I have to work on regularly, and also my creative writing. Quick thinking pre-ceremony is a must and something I am tuning up.
What does being a Celebrant mean to you?
It’s not one singular thing. It is many things. Being a celebrant means connecting with couples at an incredibly special and pivotal moment in their lives. Listening, understanding, creating. It is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. Seeing my reviews, gifts and compliments from couples is so special.
Tell me about Humanism and how it is part of what you do?
Accepting people from all different walks of life, understanding that we are all part of the tapestry of life. Contributing to the overall wellbeing of others, uplifting others, giving freely of myself in order for others to benefit. It’s not all about receiving. Giving without the expectation of not receiving is something we all must learn. Mother nature gives is this earth, it’s up to us to look after it, so that those walk in our footsteps inherit a better place.
Do you have any funny stories you can share?
When a couple were in the middle of their vows and their daughter mentioned she had done a peepee in her nappy.
What is your favourite symbolic gesture and have you come across any totally unique ones?
I love the ring warming, especially when MOTB and MOTG say the ring blessing before the rings are circulated. Those moments in time where closing your eyes and thinking of the bride and groom during the ceremony focus’s your attention and reminds us why we are here.
What tips would you give someone starting out as a Celebrant?
Embrace it. Love it. Live it. Starting out is like learning to drive, so so nerve wracking. That first ceremony where you fly solo, questioning yourself “why did I choose to do this” is like your driving test. Mega stressful. But with every ceremony you put under your belt it gets easier and easier, however the nerves are always there.
Oh and social media, get yourself an Instagram and Facebook account and get a wiggle on it.