How to bring theatre in to our ceremonies

By Natasha Johnson

July 26, 2018

celebrant ceremonies, Celebrants, ceremony delivery, voice coaching

Now that I am in the midst of a busy wedding season, I have been thinking a lot about the way I deliver my ceremonies. And having read an inspired post by my Celebrant friend Maria Northcott, from A Sweet Start, about how what we do is so much more than just writing a script, it got me thinking about my overall ceremony delivery.

You’ve got to admit it, but as much as the ceremonies we lead come from the heart, there is an aspect of them which is ‘performed’, where we bridge the gap which lies between a natural delivery and a stage performance.

The word ‘performance,’ may make some shudder. Those who feel their delivery is 100%  natural, without a hint of ‘performance’ about it. Or those who perhaps don’t like the idea that a ceremony is performed in any way, because that would make it seem non genuine.

Regardless of how we feel about the word ‘performance’ in terms of ceremonies, we cannot deny that leading a ceremony goes far beyond standing up and reading a script –  there is so much more to it than that. And so this is why it’s important to distinguish the idea of performance from that of acting. We could also do with remembering that the way that a ceremony is delivered is not in any way an act.

Performing is an entirely different concept to acting. It’s about a whole package of behaviours. It’s about presence, it’s about energy, about physical positioning, about voice delivery, body language and stage/people management, just for starters.

You may incorporate all of this into your ceremonies already without even thinking about it in terms of theatre or performing, or for others, it may be a new idea altogether.

So who is up for learning some more about this and digging deep into this subject?

I am beyond excited that in September we are going to be kick-starting our new season of live online sessions with the first session ‘How to bring theatre to our ceremonies,’ led by Celebrant, Author and Voice Over Artist, Han Hills.

The name Han Hills may be familiar to you and if it isn’t, make sure to get familiarised with it! As well as being the author of the best-selling ‘The Complete Celebrant Handbook’, (which every Celebrant should have on their bookshelf, by the way), Han is also an excellent Celebrant educator, with a forward-thinking approach to the art of ceremony.

We cannot wait for his session on Wednesday 19th September and for him to share his pearls of wisdom in this area. As with all of our sessions, they take place online and are live and interactive, so questions can be asked and will be most certainly answered by Han. But don’t worry, only Han will be on view, so you could even attend in your pyjamas, if you wanted to! And for those who can’t attend live, the replay is made available soon afterwards.

Han’s session will start off our autumn offerings which will also see us have sessions with Lillian Lyon, an award winning Celebrant and Celebrant trainer and Penny Haslam, former BBC Presenter and Producer. We’re also now just confirming our next big names for December onwards.

Our live sessions, which run from September to May, are just one of the many benefits of being a member of the Celebrants Collective. Members also have access to our online Resource Room and Learning Lounge which are full of guides, features, worksheets and quizzes and online tutorials on all areas of Celebrant business.

Each member also has their own listing in our members’ directory, a membership badge for your website and promotional platforms and will feature in a spotlight interview on the Celebrant Collective website or our sister-site Engaged and Ready. Not to mention fab support and career advice through our private members’ Facebook group (different to our public Facebook group).

All of this is available for just 10 Euros a month, paid monthly or annually.

You can read more about our membership here.

We hope you’ll be joining Han and I in September, as well as for our other sessions, and if not beforehand, to take advantage of all the materials in our Learning Lounge and Resource Room.


The Celebrants Collective is a membership platform for Celebrants, from all over the world, who want to undertake ongoing career development on a monthly basis. From live Q&A sessions with industry experts, a Resources Room full of useful and regularly updated celebrant-related material, to celebrant-related articles and tutorials, the Collective is about empowering Celebrants to be the best they can be. Take a look at our full benefits here.

We have our first Celebrant Retreat convention this November, in Malaga, Spain, where we’ll be spending two days enjoying Celebrant connection, education and inspiration. Fancy joining us? Click here for more information.

Ps. Have you joined the Celebrants Collective Facebook group. Made up of over 1000 Celebrants worldwide, it’s a great spot for support, advice and camaraderie. Come and join us now.


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About the author 

Natasha Johnson

Natasha is the founder and co-director of awesomeness at the Celebrants Collective, with her business wife, Claire Bradford. When she's not overseeing celebrant development and supporting the hell out of their members, she can be found drinking fabulous Spanish wine, dancing to Beyoncé and hanging out on her veg patch, sometimes all at the same time. She lives in Malaga, Spain with her two favourite humans, three dogs, eight chickens and two giant African snails. (Don't ask!)

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