Celebrant ceremonies are becoming a more and more popular choice for outdoor weddings. It means your guests don’t miss out on the ceremony element of your day (if you choose to get the legal part out of the way beforehand) and is a great choice for a tipi wedding, whether it’s held outdoors or inside our tipis.
We spoke to Hazel, AKA The Rainbow Celebrant, a self-proclaimed colour obsessed, cheesy 90's music-loving Celebrant who helps fun-loving couples create one of a kind ceremonies that reflect their personalities.
Hi Hazel! We’re so excited to be chatting with you! Let’s get things started – tell us a bit about your background...
I’ve been a Celebrant since 2018 and it’s a career I kind of stumbled into. I’ve always been a writer, I studied Creative writing at university but I never really found a job that used my skills as a writer.
I legit stumbled across an interview in a magazine with a celebrant whilst working in a job I was no longer enjoying and thought, hey, I could do that. So I shadowed a local Celebrant for a month or so to make sure the role was definitely something I would love and then booked my Level 3 Diploma in Weddings and Naming Ceremonies.
What exactly does a celebrant do?
A Celebrant is just a type of wedding officiant who specialises in writing and delivering completely bespoke ceremonies that are tailored to each couple or family. Many couples don’t realise that they don’t have to choose a church ceremony or a civil service with a registrar when it comes to finalising the details for the actual ceremony.
A celebrant works with each couple to create something one of a kind that reflects their beliefs, values, and personalities... and the best part is, we can officiate anywhere and at any time. There are no restrictions.
With a civil ceremony, every couple gets the same ‘insert name here’ script with limited options to add in a small amount of personalisation such as a poem, or some vows, as long as they are less than a minute long. As a Celebrant, I can include whatever content the couple wishes in their ceremony, which even includes religious elements like prayers or blessings if that’s something that is important to the couple. There are no limitations on the length, location, time, or even content of your ceremony. Literally, anything is possible!
I think modern couples are fed up of the same 'cookie-cutter' ceremonies and are often looking for a way to make their ceremony different from all the weddings they’ve been to before. As a Celebrant I offer them the perfect solution.
What would you say makes you different from other Celebrants?
When I first started out as a Celebrant I wasn’t sure how well my unique personality would be received. I’ve got brightly coloured hair, I’m a bit wacky and loud and I’m definitely not someone who blends into the background of a wedding photo!
Thankfully I saw a gap in the market – if all the other celebrants were more traditional then surely there were lots of alternative couples who were in desperate need of a Celebrant like me with a big personality and a wardrobe full of rainbow dresses.
Weddings can be super stressful and serious so I make it my mission to make the day as stress-free and fun as possible leaving my couples to relax and enjoy their special day. Over the years I’ve found that couples are drawn to me because of my fun and colourful personality and so many of my couples are now considered my friends.
What part of being a Celebrant do you enjoy the most?
I genuinely love every aspect of my work as a Celebrant, but my favourite part is the wedding day itself. All my couples are so different from each other and it’s amazing to see all their ideas come to life during the wedding day and the smiles on their faces during the ceremony.
This year alone I’ve had Disney themed weddings, gothic pagan handfastings, festival weddings filled with live music and plenty of beer, a ceremony on the stage at a nightclub and even a rainbow glitter rave with glow sticks!
What does the usual process look like for you and your couples?
The majority of my work with a couple is before the wedding day itself. Couples book me anywhere from two years to two months before the wedding and we spend lots of time getting to know each other. The way it usually works is:
No Pressure Chat
I always like to give couples considering a celebrant a no obligation chat so they can see if we have a spark. It’s important that they like me, trust me, and feel that talking to me is a safe and judgement free space where they can be their authentic selves.
Ceremony Planning Meeting
Once a couple have decided I’m ‘the one’, we get together and go over ALLLLL the details of the big day so I fully understand the logistics of the day, but also share their vision and help them bring it to life.
Most of my couples are hoping for a stress-free, relaxed wedding day and are happy to go with the flow rather than having a very rigid timeline and structure for the day. They’re more bothered about having a good time with their family and friends and less bothered about that ‘perfect Instagram moment’.
To write a couple’s love story, I need to know all the juicy info about their relationship – where they had that first date, who made the first move, who said I love you first, and what their other half’s best and worst features are.
I'll send them a fun quiz which they sit down to complete separately and then I get to see their relationship from both perspectives. Once I understand their journey as a couple I can start to write their ceremony with their love story at the heart of it.
As the ceremony starts to take shape I also help the couple to create heartfelt vows to exchange on the day, to choose music or poems to include in the ceremony and chat to them about potential rituals they might like to include if they want to get their family and friends involved somehow.
How do you conduct your ceremonies? Is each one different?
All of my ceremonies are completely different in style, but most of my couples want the ceremony to be relaxed, light hearted, and filled with moments which will get their guests smiling and laughing.
Whether it’s a festival themed wedding in a field or a boho wedding in a tipi, the majority of my couples just want the ceremony to be fun, personal, and anything but boring. Traditions like exchanging rings and writing your own vows are still incredibly important to a lot of my couples, but for the rest of the ceremony they want to think outside the box and do something that makes their ceremony unique.
Most of my couples write their own vows, with a little help from me, and listening to them make promises and declare their love for one another is often my favourite moment during a ceremony and always gets me a bit teary eyed.
Do you have a favourite moment from a ceremony you’ve carried out?
So many of my favourite wedding moments involve the couples four-legged friends.
During a festival-style wedding in a field this year, the couple’s dog walked down the aisle with the bridesmaids and sat at the front next to the couple whilst I started the ceremony. As I was telling the story of their proposal the dog got up, started circling right at the front of the ceremony area and decided this was the perfect opportunity to do it’s business, right in front of everyone! Thankfully everyone found it hilarious!
Another time a couple really wanted a confetti shot MID CEREMONY but their venue wouldn’t allow confetti inside. We bent the rules slightly, and as the couple kissed every guest threw pom-poms at them instead of confetti. Once the ceremony was over I then crawled around the floor collecting hundreds of pom-poms so the venue wasn’t left in a mess!
Which are your favourite types of ceremonies?
I love it when couples want to break tradition and do something totally unique and out there, and of course I love weddings that are filled with colour, confetti and especially smoke bombs.
So often in a ceremony only one party gets to do a grand entrance, so I love it when both parties decide to enter in a unique way. I recently had a groom and his groomsmen dance down the aisle fist pumping all their guests as they entered, which was amazing.
I’ve had a couple hide their rings inside a pinata which was filled with confetti and beat the crap out of it mid ceremony, instead of the tired ‘give the rings to the best man’ approach.
Unfortunately I’ve not had anyone do it yet but I’m completely obsessed with the Tik Tok trend of having a flower man enter and throw petals everywhere whilst doing a silly dance, so I’m hoping I get to see that first hand very soon.
What advice would you give to couples starting their search for a celebrant?
Since I started out as a Celebrant just over three years ago, the number of Celebrants has increased massively, which is great, because it means there is so much more variety for couples.
It’s really important to choose a Celebrant who is almost like a friend. You feel that spark with them, you can talk to them and laugh and joke, they get your sense of humour, they can relate to you, but they also respect your beliefs and values and listen to what you really want out of your wedding day.
You should consider things like:
Have they had professional training as a Celebrant?
Are they fully insured?
How many ceremonies like yours have they done?
Do they have great testimonials from past couples?
Do they have a certain area of expertise?
Are they someone who would fit in at your wedding as a guest if they weren’t a paid supplier?
Make sure you choose a Celebrant who can do the style of wedding that you want, and do it exceptionally well.
I’m all about the fun, non-traditional couple who are really chilled out. I’d be completely the wrong choice for a couple in a high-end venue with a rigid timeline, a very traditional approach and a desire for every single detail to be perfect.
Of course, budget will be another thing you need to consider. Celebrant fees can vary massively and that’s because each Celebrant’s fee is reflective of not only their experience and their skills, but also of their individual circumstances and other work commitments. The person you choose will be a huge part of your wedding day, so it’s important to base your decision on more than just price, and try to find that genuine connection with someone.
Do you travel or do you cover a particular area?
I am based in Lancashire but I travel all over the UK. I regularly work with couples in Yorkshire, The Lake District and Birmingham. Often with couples further afield we’ll do lots of video chat meetings initially and I’ll travel to you the day before the wedding to finalise everything and officiate the wedding.
Aside from creating bangin’ ceremonies, what else do you love doing?
You mean there is a life outside of weddings?? Ha!
I work the majority of weekends so it’s a good job I’m not really a party animal. You’ll usually find me at home either binge watching far too much Netflix or reading a cheesy chick-lit book. I am a complete reality TV junkie… think Love Island, Married at First Sight Australia, First Dates or The Circle.
I have really bad taste in music… no really… I'm talking Steps, S Club 7... and the most cheesy 90s boybands still frequent my Spotify playlist daily.
My number one love is without a doubt my latest rescue dog, Marge, a Rottweiler that I rescued from the meat trade in China. She’s absolutely adorable and I have no shame in the fact that I treat her like my first born child. You can find her on Instagram @Marge_The_Rottweiler.
What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?
You can find me pretty much 24/7 on Instagram @hazeltherainbowcelebrant sharing stories, filming silly reels or watching too many cute dog clips and I’m always happy for people to drop into my DMs for a chat.
If you prefer, you can contact me via my website www.sunkissedceremonies.com
Thanks for chatting with us, Hazel!