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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Happy Third Birthday, Legacy!

It is three years since I did my first celebrant training.  More were to follow! Time has flown past.  I have officiated at seventy-six (and counting!) ceremonies and have loved each and every one!  I can’t say which was my favourite because they all tell unique stories, have twists and turns, and have all been written with care, love and integrity.

It took several months before I officiated my first ceremony.  It was a funeral, and it resonated with me.  A mother had become bereaved.  I could stand in her shoes.  Carefully, I listened as the family gathered their thoughts and shared stories about their loved one, telling stories that had them in fits of laughter.  “I never expected this to be fun”, was the consensus.  I felt privileged to have been trusted.

Solemnising marriages appears to be the “Holy Grail” for celebrants

Later that same year, I dipped my toe into weddings.  Mainly because Denis and I had become nearly weds and I wanted to know more, much more!  Many celebrants contacted me and told me not to bother because I would lose bookings to celebrants who could legally marry couples.  Being able to solemnise marriages appears to be the “holy grail” for celebrants, and I got caught up in the unfairness of it all.

Legacy Celebrant

Over the years, I have “lost” wedding bookings because I can’t conduct a legal marriage due to the law in Scotland.  “Why don’t you train to be a humanist celebrant?  Then you’ll be able to do the legal part,” is a statement I’ve heard on more than one occasion.  The answer is simple.  I am not a humanist – humanism is a belief system that does not resonate with me, and I won’t affiliate myself with something I do not believe in.  Where would my integrity be, then?  Non-existent is the answer.

According to the Humanist Society Scotland, “Humanism is a non-religious approach to living an ethical life that is based on reason, compassion, and tolerance. Humanists use science and rational inquiry to try to explain the universe and reject supernatural explanations.”  I don’t subscribe to that; I believe there is an energy surrounding us that is far more incredible than science can explain.  Some call it God, others Spirit or the Universal Energy.

Other belief systems have celebrants who can do the legals, and I did look into becoming one of them, searching for the “holy grail”, but it all boils down to the same thing.

Being independent is very important to me.  I’m a free Spirit, a free thinker, and I enjoy the liberty that brings.  It means I can align with my client’s beliefs, be they atheist, spiritual, agnostic…  I love the diversity that it brings.  Being affiliated with a belief system comes with conditions, rules and regulations that my couples and I would have to abide by.

One of the reasons couples want the “legals” on their wedding day is that they believe it is less hassle. But, the truth is, it is more bothersome!  I blogged about it here. However, if the legal part is crucial to you on your day, I have partnered with a fellow celebrant who can solemnise your marriage if available.  It will incur an additional charge.

“Having the legal part on your wedding day can be more hassle”

When I first stepped into the world of Celebrancy, I created a persona of myself.  I dressed how I thought a celebrant should, I bought court shoes (I never wear them), and I used language that I thought celebrants should use.  But this wasn’t me.  Then one day, while browsing the internet, I came across Heart-Led Celebrant Training.  Eagerly, I read what this entailed, and it resonated with me.  It wasn’t long before I had booked to do my training.  It was intense.  A week of 121 sessions, homework and then five weeks to complete assignments.  It unshackled me from convention, and the persona was gone.  No more court shoes for me!

I am grateful to be my authentic self.  Realising I don’t lose weddings because they were never my people has been a breath of fresh air.  The clients that book me are my kinda people, but more importantly, I’m their kinda person!  Our conversations flow beautifully; there is so much laughter and joy generated.  I couldn’t wish for more.

The past three years have been a massive learning curve, and the next three years will be the same.  And I welcome them with open arms!  Every day is a school day!

Let me tell your stories in a unique and personal way!… Contact me Isabel Addison.