Contributors profiles

We are so proud to be able to bring a whole host of talented individuals into the ECC arena, to learn from and be inspired by. Chosen for their expertise and expert knowledge of their fields and industries, it is a pleasure to have these individuals literally at our fingertips.

Our experts all come from different walks of life and backgrounds and they will be sharing their expertise and experience of Business Administration, Social Media & Marketing, Client Care Services, The Art of Celebrancy and Personal Care & Development.

Take a look below for a full profile and biography of a handful of the expert contributors who will be featuring on the ECC learning zone.

 

Han Hills

Celebrant, Author & Voice Artist

Bio & credentials

Han is an Officiant, Voice Artist and Author based in Wilmington, North Carolina. Originally from the UK, and trained in Theater and Anthropology, Han brings an understanding of performance, and an understanding of ritual to the ceremonies he writes and performs for couples in the Carolinas.

Han has been a Celebrant for 13 years, and has helped hundreds of couples find their voice in unique ceremonies that reflect their love and story. He believes that every ceremony is a performance with the stars and most important audience being the two people at the centre-stage. The secret sauce to ceremony is in using theatre, art, music, voice, and staging to touch the emotions of everyone at a deep and powerful level.

Performance is at the heart of almost every aspect of Han’s life. When not stepping down the aisle, he is in the studio recording audiobooks. He also owns a successful web design business.

Han is the author of “The Complete Celebrant Handbook” and “The Humanist and Non-religious Celebrant Handbook”.

Expert areas: The Art of ceremony, ceremony creation, crafting ceremonies and ceremony text and ceremony performance.

Marie Burns Holzer

Wedding Minister & Business Coach

Bio & credentials

In 2011, Marie started Let’s Get Married SoCal with less than $100 to her name, no connections to the wedding industry, and only a few weddings performed for friends under her belt. Within three years, she had created a celebrant agency with six celebrants working under her and three photographers partnered for elopement services. After realizing she was moving away from the heart of her mission – to celebrate the love two people share in a personal, authentic, and completely custom way – she moved away from the agency business model, raised her prices, and never looked back. She specializes in custom-written ceremonies that are as fun, unique, and full of heart as the couples who invite her into their lives for this awesome moment.

As of this writing, she has performed over 700 weddings in locations ranging from country backyards with chickens competing for the mic to world-famous venues in Malibu, Beverly Hills, San Diego, and Pebble Beach. She has won the Couples’ Choice Award from WeddingWire five years running and takes great joy in the 200+ 5-star reviews online for her work in celebrating and creating marriages. You can listen to her wedding podcast, Drinks with a Minister, in which she chats with movers and shakers in the wedding industry on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play. Marie is based in sunny Southern California where she attends Comic Con with her therapist husband of 13 years, plays video games and reads Harry Potter with her rambunctious daughter, and hikes with two dogs.

Expert areas: Business planning, social media, marketing, writing, processes and automation, tech, and care of the entrepreneur

Josh Withers

Wedding Celebrant & Business Coach

Bio & credentials

Josh Withers and his wife, Britt, travel the globe making fun and meaningful marriage ceremonies. After a career in breakfast radio and broadcast radio consultancy Josh and Britt turned their side passion into a full time business which now spans three brands and hundreds of couples a year.
Josh has one simple goal: to make weddings awesome. Jump on board if you’re of
the same spirit.

Expert areas: Anything related to making marriage ceremonies better
and helping celebrants lead sustainable, enjoyable, profitable businesses.

Terri Shanks

Independent Celebrant & Celebrant Trainer

Bio & credentials

Terri Shanks is a highly experienced Wedding Celebrant having conducted over 3000 ceremonies since 2003. Her personal training saw her travelling the globe to study under some of the world’s leading celebrants/celebrant trainers.

Using her extensive knowledge & experience Terri subsequently wrote and delivered one of the first training programmes in the UK specifically designed for Independent Celebrants. Since setting up her training college in 2007, she has now trained more than 800 celebrants.

Whilst most of these have been within the UK, Terri quickly found her expertise was being sort after worldwide. She has now trained both Funeral & Marriage Celebrants from all 5 continents, as well as having been flown overseas to provide specialist Marriage Celebrant Training for International Wedding Planners. Terri founded The Fellowship of Professional Celebrants (FPC) in 2010 and since that time the FPC has quickly grown to become the largest organisation of professionally trained Independent Celebrants in the UK. The FPC has a network of Independent Celebrants all of whom are professionally trained and certified under Terri’s acclaimed Training Programme.

Terri is also extremely proud that by donating a percentage of training fees to charity, she has raised over £20,000 for varying nominated charities on an annual basis.

Nova Reid

Founder of Nu Bride, Wellbeing & Diversity
Consultant

Photo by Roberta Facchini

Bio & credentials

Nova Reid is Founder and Director of multi-award- winning platform; Nu Bride. She is a certified NLP Life / Wellbeing Coach and Diversity Consultant and enjoys helping individuals and business reach their truest potential and inspire change.
Nova is no stranger to speaking in front of large audiences; she started her career as a professional actress and singer in theatre and TV, which continues to serve her well for her joy for educating through public speaking.
She started professional training in mental health in 2010 and has a therapeutic background in counselling skills and over 10 years extensive experience working in mental wellbeing notably with organisations such as MIND charity.
She qualified as a NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Life Coach, accredited by the Professional Guild of NLP in 2012 and studied Mindfulness with Stanton Psychology in 2013.
Simultaneously, it was after her own engagement in 2012, Nova discovered a huge gap in the market with race representation in the wedding industry and media. This led to becoming founder and editor of multi-award- winning wedding blog; Nu Bride. Nu Bride is dedicated to adding inclusive diversity into the UK mainstream wedding industry, by encouraging media and businesses to expand their reach and think about the way they portray and market to wedding couples.  Nu Bride has grown to be a leading platform and beacon for inclusive diversity and as a result, Nova is approached by many well-known brands and press, to offer consultancy, produce editorial shoots and events with inclusive diversity at its core.

Her progress and influence has not gone unnoticed and she gained several industry awards and nominations and been awarded multiple wedding blog awards for the work she has been doing in the wedding industry. Notably at Wedding Magazine wedding blog awards in 2014 The Savoy – 2015 The Tower of London – 2016 – Andaz Hotel. Most recently she has been nominated as a Positive Role Model in the 2017 National Diversity Awards for the work she has been doing to bring inclusive diversity into the UK wedding industry and beyond.

Often described as inspirational, Nova is passionate about equality and is proud to be invited to be a regular mentor at the Women of the World (WOW) Festival London. Nova is frequently invited to speak at a variety of events and has been invited to host conferences on a range of topics (including self care, being visibly and diversity in business to name a few). As such, she is approached by many equality-minded well-known brands to offer private consultancy, produce campaigns and events with inclusive diversity at its core.

Expert areas: Confidence, public speaking, visibility and vulnerability, self care, diversity and inclusion

Lillian Lyon

Celebrant & Celebrant Trainer

Bio & credentials

Lillian is an Australian, multi-award winning celebrant and and a qualified celebrant trainer and assessor, training both individuals seeking to become celebrants and training celebrants in ongoing professional development. Having been a celebrant herself for the last 15 years, her expertise is constantly in demand.

In Australia, all Commonwealth Registered Marriage Celebrants are obligated to complete annual ongoing professional development. Being a professional trainer for a reputable national training organisation, allowed Lillian to step up to the plate even more than after she had won the ABIA Best Marriage Celebrant award. A bit of pressure never hurt anyone!

Lillian doesn’t believe that any celebrant is better than the next. And she is a firm believer in peer-to-peer inspiration and the idea that there is always something to learn, no matter how many awards you’ve won, how much notoriety you have or how busy your diary is.

During her training presentations, she gets to travel and meet a wide range of celebrants
from all parts of the Australia and gets to witness celebrants enjoying the networking aspect, given that being a celebrant can be quite an isolating career.

Lillian is really looking forward to sharing her expertise with the ECC members and believes that knowing your industry is key to developing your celebrant business.

 

Expert areas: Social media, cultural diversity, client management, marketing and ceremony creation.

 

Natasha Johnson

Independent Celebrant & Wedding Blogger

Bio & credentials

Ten years ago when Natasha commissioned her first ever website to be built for her new celebrant business, she never realised how much she would enjoy the process of planning and creating her site. Although, happy with the results, she decided, after a new-found geekery with html and coding that from then on she would design her own future websites. And so she did. From regular facelifts and complete renovations for her celebrant’s site, to designing websites for family and friend’s professional websites, including the award-winning engagedandready wedding blog and the ECC site too.

She took Engaged and Ready from 3 to 10,000 unique visitors in just two and a half years, without paying for ANY advertising. In doing so she has learnt the valuable tricks of the trade needed to have not only great-looking websites but ones that were SEO optimised, user-friendly and that ticked all the boxes that Google loved to have ticked.  As a wedding blogger too, the learning curve as to what is needed to make a blog stand out and used as a marketing tool, has been a valued one.

Expert areas: Blogging for business and making business websites work

Want to know what topics these Expert Contributors will be sharing with ECC members? Take a look at our topic timetable here.