Although as a photographer and film-maker I cover a large number of conventional weddings, I’ve occasionally found myself working with Michèle at weddings where the bride and groom have preferred a Celebrant, and the difference between the two is very striking.
Michèle brings an extraordinary personal touch to the occasion, one that in each case is unique and tailored specifically to meet the needs of the clients. It’s not just personal in content, but also in terms of a real connection between the bride, the groom, Michèle, and, through her, the congregation. I’ve watched as Michèle has helped couples really share what they are about, and – more importantly – what their marriage is about.
I’m lucky enough to observe many beautiful conventional weddings that are wonderfully and imaginatively personalised, but while conventional officials or priests are always delightful and charming, they’re legally restricted in the language they have to use, so that the words said and rituals used in one wedding for the most solemn moments are all things I witness frequently.
Not so with Michèle, because this is where she can go a step further, and construct entire ceremonies based specifically on clients’ personal contexts – like their values, beliefs, spirituality (or otherwise).
And because I observe her at work live, as it were, as well as in the editing of film, I certainly get to see the details and the painstaking work that goes into every aspect of the ceremony, from entrances, costumes, and presentation right through to notes and markings on texts that she uses. No detail is left to chance, and every step has deliberate and considered meaning.
For a wedding that wants to bring individuality and personal connection right to the heart of the ceremony, Michèle is the person to do just that.
Django Zazou, October 2017
People will of course expect you to get good feedback from all the ‘happy’ occasions such as weddings and naming ceremonies. It may seem a little strange therefore to be positive after a celebration of someone’s life. If anyone is in the unfortunate position of planning one or even a more traditional funeral, I could not recommend Michèle highly enough. She recently carried out my dad’s celebration. Although she had never met him she worked with me and my family, allowing me a lot of input into the day. However, although a lot of it was my words, these were delivered with compassion, dignity, respect and even a little humour by Michèle. This helped make what could have been a very sad day become a happy event to remember and commemorate my dad. Guests on the day commented on how good Michèle was and what a beautiful delivery of the service she achieved. By working together with her I was able to give my dad the send-off he deserved and would have wished for – and this was demonstrated in the comment made by a few people – “What a lovely service, because it wasn’t about God, it was all about Harry”.
I can’t thank you enough for what you did for us on that day and how much you helped me get through it, simply by your smile and knowing exactly when to catch my eye as if to say, “it’s ok, you can do this”.
Andrew, November 2016
The ceremony was marvellous and it was the warm, sincere, special occassion which we had hoped for. Your enthusiasm and sparkle were beautifully fitting and really brought everything together. You were instrumental in creating a marvellous occassion, which we will always treasure memories of.
Most of our guests (and us!) had never been to a naming ceremony before. We have had many compliments on what a superb ceremony it was and how much they enjoyed it.
Lorraine and Jon, September 2016
We had an absolute blast, it was a very special day indeed!
We felt it was perfect, we both felt it was very personal but informal which was exactly what we wanted.
You guided and helped where it became a bit overwhelming for us but you also encouraged us to make it as personal as we wanted. I honestly think that a good rapport with you gave me the confidence to go down the route of saying my own vows and then Kieran feeling to do something so unique with his.
Nothing but praise; Nearly everyone said what an amazing and very moving ceremony it was. A lot of people thought you were a friend of ours as it was so personal, which was a lovely and unexpected thing to have achieved.
We thought it was faultless.
Nicole and Kieran, August 2016