All throughout July, we’ve been sharing some thought provoking interviews with some awesome suppliers. We’ve interviewed a range of suppliers across the wedding planning industry to get their inside take on what it means to plan a wedding. We’ll be talking best bit, inspiration and about some of the biggest challenges of planning your day.
This week, we’ve been speaking to the lovely Susan Denton. Having first met her at Tying the Nott wedding fair this spring, we’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with her on a few little projects and we can honestly say she has been great to work with and we know she is awesome.
For those who may not have come across your work before, can you describe a little about your business and how you got into being a wedding celebrant?
Being a celebrant, I am here to create unique and wonderful wedding ceremonies for people who are different and stand out from the crowd! They will want the ceremony to reflect their personalities and ideas, include their families and friends, even their pet! They often want to choose or write their own vows and ring promises to make it a truly unforgettable experience!
I trained to be a celebrant with the FPC a few years ago when I decided to re-energise my work-life balance. I read an article about being a celebrant in a magazine and it seemed like the perfect profession for me with my experience of mentoring, public speaking and my writing and presentation skills.
In three words how would you describe your brand?
Who or what inspires the creativity in your work?
There are two groups of people who inspire my creativity. The first is the couple! I take my cue from them. They’ve been working and saving for this for a long time. I work closely with them to ensure that they get the ceremony of their dreams: the one that matches their personalities and their wishes for their special day.
The second group of people who inspire me are the awesome suppliers that I work with! The wedding planners and stylists, the dress suppliers, the photographers, the florists, the make-up artists, the hairstylists and so many more! We always support each other at the venue before and during the Day. We meet-up too and share ideas about new trends in the wedding industry which then gives me a wider set of ideas to share with my couples.
What trends are you currently seeing and how do you predict the future of wedding services?
There are so many brilliant trends this year! Outdoor weddings are becoming more popular and I predict that this will continue as couples become more aware of all the choices that are out there! The venues can be licensed or unlicensed; people can enjoy the countryside and can stay overnight in yurts and tents. It makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere. I have also experienced more couples asking for Handfastings, whether the full-on ceremony which includes pagan and ancient British rituals or the ribbon tying element which can include ribbons or cords of different colours which can be tied around the couple’s hands not just by the celebrant but by family members or friends too. At one of the Handfastings I conducted; over 65 ribbons were used. In the future, I see more couples becoming aware of the European model, which I am promoting, where they decide to have a short civil ceremony at the Register Office followed by, at a time and day of their choosing, a celebrant-led ceremony at an indoor or outdoor venue – the sky is really the limit!!
What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding celebrant?
My advice is to get to know your celebrant! Check out their website and Facebook and Insta pages. Chat with them on the phone and, if possible, meet up or Skype them before you make your decision to book them. The celebrant and couple relationship is important – not everyone gets on with everyone. Maybe you have a common interest like festivals or old country estates or the same taste in music! I’ve met couples at pubs, at railway stations or at their home: it doesn’t take long. Then you can relax because you know you have chosen the right person for your celebrant!
How far in advance do you suggest couples come talk to you?
I am already booking in couples for next summer and have a couple about to book me for a ceremony in two years’ time! No time is too soon! We can save the date and then everyone knows where they stand. Every year there are always certain Saturdays that are super popular throughout the summer from June to September so, it is good to book me in!
Which wedding blogs, magazines or other resources do you recommend that couples check out, to gain inspiration?
I would definitely recommend the Unconventional wedding website. Then there’s the Wedding Espresso website with its super informative podcasts. Other favourites are Engaged and Ready, Rock and Roll Bride, Hitched and Brides Magazine. And I really rate Pinterest and Instagram.
Finally, what's the best thing about being a running your business?
There are so many brilliant parts to being a celebrant, it is so difficult to choose! My main aim is to support the couple and give them the opportunity to have a celebration they will always remember with love and laughter!
There’s no doubt though that each wedding day is very special. Being the first part of the couple’s day, seeing all the guests arriving, checking my script and the making sure the best man has the rings! Then conducting the ceremony for them both, seeing the love on their faces, sometimes the tears and then realising that it’s ended with a kiss and loads of cheering and time for an OJ before the drive home!
P. S. Look out for more interviews with amazing wedding suppliers over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing them over on our Facebook.