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After being a Police Officer for nearly 30 years (As I write this I have 194 days left to go!!!) The time came for me to start thinking of life outside of the ‘job’…It’s all I’ve ever known, I joined the cadets as a fresh faced 16 year old and the regulars at 18…My life thus far dedicated to trying to help others and make a small part of the world a safer place. I am only 48, too young to retire, but I wanted to find something that would take me on the next part of my life journey.

My husband retired from the police in 2009 and spent the first 18 months, recovering from 31 years of shifts and twiddling his thumbs before he followed his passion for photography and became a qualified Wedding Photographer….’Come and work with me’ he said…..’No chance’ I replied, ‘I’d cut heads and feet off…I’d rather marry people…..’

So the old cogs started whirring and I stumbled across the Fellowship of  Professional Celebrants, the organisation I trained with in 2011…My 5 year pre retirement plan was in place….

I am now a Wedding and Family Celebrant.

What is one of those I hear a lot of people ask……No I’m not a celibate…(although I am an old married woman so that probably goes with the territory!)

What I do, is wonderful and fulfilling, creating a ceremony that is truly reflective of the couples and families that I now have the pleasure of working with.

It’s a role I can combine with the day job and it gives me so much pleasure I don’t see it as a job…..People actually WANT to invite me into their home to discuss the biggest day of their lives and to tell me their life story.

I write and deliver bespoke Weddings, Vow Renewals, Naming and Adoption Ceremonies….In fact if you can think of an excuse to have a family celebration I can write a ceremony to reflect the love and feelings we humans can have for each other (and even the pets).

A Celebrant led wedding can be held anywhere, it does not require a licensed venue. It can include anything you wish from the secular to the spiritual.

I’ve conducted Weddings at a Zoo, In a Stately home, back gardens and Jimmy’s Farm.

The have ranged from fairly formal and traditional to Pagan and Steam Punk.

Your imagination really is your only limitation!

Everyone is different, everyone has a unique story to tell, I get to hear those stories, write a script and deliver them with warmth and humour. AND I can honestly say that all of the feedback I have thus far received has been amazing.

So as my retirement from my day job rapidly looms, I feel as ready as I can be for the transition, into a new career. A job that is so different but I think equally rewarding.

I can’t end without a shout out to Mandie and the BWN. I’m so glad that I have found her and her organisation.

I’ve learnt so much from the meetings I’ve attended so far this year…My Linkedin profile is generating contacts and views I never thought possible from just a few suggested tweaks, and the networking opportunities at the meetings have been second to none. I can’t wait until the end of the year when I can commit to attending the meetings properly…..That darn day job interfering again!

So……..What will your story be?

P.S. ….DESPERATELY looking for someone to book me for a Harry Potter themed wedding…I have the wand and the cloak….Just need the excuse……

(It’s great to have you on board Michelle and wish you every success with your new job, and will the Harry Potter wedding have a Hagrid and Dementors? We can’t wait to find out!)

 

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