The ultimate guide to online wedding and funeral celebrant training courses

By Natasha Johnson

January 14, 2021

online funeral celebrant training, online wedding celebrant training

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you must be seriously interested in training to be a celebrant and doing an online wedding or funeral course, not to mention super excited by the thought of it all. Woo hoo! We completely understand how you must be feeling, as we were once there ourselves, on the cusp of starting our amazing journeys as celebrants. And what a journey it is!

We’ve written this guide to help you get a good understanding of the ins and outs of being a celebrant and how to go about starting your wedding and/or funeral celebrant training course. We want to point you in the right direction of the relevant information that you might be looking for. 

We want you to be as well informed as possible, so that you can make the right choices for your celebrant training, be it funeral or wedding celebrant training, which will enable you to start your celebrant journey off in the best way possible for you. 

As this is a pretty meaty guide you can check out our table of contents below and can click on any of the headings to jump directly to the information that you'd like to read about first!

So let’s get started, celebrant-in-the-making! Let's help you with everything that you want and need to know about online wedding and funeral celebrant training courses.

What is a celebrant?

A celebrant is a person who helps others to celebrate, commemorate and mark different life events in special and meaningful ways. Weddings and vow renewals, funerals and memorials and baby-namings ceremonies are probably the most well-known life events that celebrants work on, but their work is not limited to these events. Many celebrants also offer services which sees them leading corporate ceremonies such as building commemorations, house-warmings, mother blessingway ceremonies, adoption and coming-of-age ceremonies. Not to mention coming-out and gender transition ceremonies, divorce ceremonies and single-life transition ceremonies, to name a few more. All events in life deserve to be marked, acknowledged or celebrated and cherished.

Want to know what it’s really like to be a celebrant? This blog post will tell you more.

What do celebrants do?

The main role of a celebrant is to create and lead a personalised ceremony for the occasion that is being celebrated or commemorated, and this involves many processes. Celebrants will meet and communicate with the couple, family or client in question. They will listen to their wishes and make suggestions based on their experience and wisdom, when needed. They’ll offer their clients their full guidance and support. They then take all that they’ve learnt and what their clients want for their ceremony and they use it to create a bespoke ceremony for them, which they then lead professionally for them on the chosen day. Whilst this outlines a general work process, because all celebrants have their own unique ways of working, this process will be honed and shaped according to how each celebrant works with their clients. 

What countries have celebrants?

We’re everywhere and growing fast! Most countries have celebrants whose job it is to help couples and families to mark different life events from weddings to funerals. They may sometimes be called different names, for example, in the USA you can have both celebrants and officiants, but in general celebrant is a universal term to describe what we do. Celebrants can be found in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Thailand and Indonesia and most parts of Europe too, including The UK and Ireland.

How much money can celebrants earn?

This is the million dollar question! We get it and we understand how important it is to get an idea of your earning potential before starting out as a celebrant. The difficulty in answering this question is twofold. Firstly, it depends on how you plan on working as a celebrant. Is it going to be your main gig? Are you the breadwinner in your family? Or is it something that you plan to have as a part-time job that complements your full time job?

Then there is also the fact that celebrant prices vary from country to country, and even from area to area. And with celebrants having the opportunity to set their own fees and prices, it does make it even more difficult to say exactly how much a celebrant can charge and earn. There is also the fact that different celebrants cater to different markets, which can determine very different prices. 

As a guide to get started with, celebrants in the UK typically earn between £180-240 for a funeral and £500-1800 for a wedding. In the USA, celebrants and officiants can charge anywhere from 400-1200 dollars or more, for a wedding ceremony.  

Some celebrants also offer additional services to their clients too like, Master of Ceremonies, ceremony and pre-dinner co-ordinator, script-writing only services, coordinated rehearsals, end-of-life planning for funeral celebrants etc. These can be offered at an additional cost to ceremony services.

We recommend looking at celebrants in your area to get a feel for what they charge and then also considering what kind of income you would like or need to earn as a celebrant.

Why do your celebrant training course online?

We now live at a time when technology is at its best and most innovative. Where thanks to technology we can learn new skills, start new careers, meet new people and join new communities all through the power of the internet. 

At the time of writing when we are in the midst of a global pandemic, when many of us are facing physical and geographical restrictions, the fact that technology allows people to still learn new skills and develop a new career is nothing short of amazing. And to be able to do it all within the comfort of your own home is an added bonus too!

Online celebrant training, the kind that we offer at the Celebrants Collective, gives you the best of both worlds. The ability to keep learning, the flexibility of self-study combined with being a part of a wider online community of trainees, for that much needed personal touch.

You can read more about the benefits of online celebrant training here.

How does an online celebrant training course work?

Our wedding celebrant training has been thoughtfully designed in two parts. We have the main online wedding course which is available to our trainees via their personal training account. This means that once a trainee is approved to join our course, they get access to their training account where they can get stuck into the course immediately. Or whenever they have the next opportunity to! And that’s one of the great advantages of our online celebrant training, trainees can start whenever they like and can work their way through the course at their own pace. You don’t have to wait for a next available course start date or for a course group to have filled enough places to go ahead. You simply start when you’re ready. 

The second part of our training involves our twice weekly 1.5 hour group tutorials. Over Zoom we come together online to have deeper discussions around the wedding celebrant training course and to explore themes and answer questions that our trainees have. These sessions are so much fun and are such a wonderful way to bring the online learning alive, as well as getting to meet the other course trainees too. And the great thing is that you can attend as many sessions as you want, which our trainees do! We only ask that you come to a minimum of three to satisfy the course requirements, but most trainees continue with the sessions well past the minimum.

Our celebrant training is fun, flexible and thorough. We don’t tell you how to be a celebrant, we show you. We use the skills that you already have from your previous life experiences and we show you how to use them in the best way as a wedding celebrant. This makes our online celebrant training, modern, sophisticated, relevant, diverse and inclusive. 

Want to know more about our modern online celebrant training? Read this post for more information about our celebrant courses. 

Where are Celebrants Collective trainees from?

Because of the nature of our online training, we’re lucky enough to have celebrant trainees study with us from around the world. We’ve had trainees join us from the USA, Spain, France, England, Scotland and Ireland. If you’ve got a computer or phone and internet connection, then it doesn’t matter where you are in the world.

How do you choose your celebrant training organisation?

When there is so much choice to choose from it really does make it difficult to know how to choose and who to choose to do your celebrant training with. Whenever we’re asked this by prospective trainees we always suggest that after you’ve done your research and made a list of favorites, to choose the organisation that feels right for you. The organisation whose website and way of communicating suits you, whose style matches your style and above else, an organisation who you can picture yourself not just training with, but being a part of for the duration of your future as a celebrant. An organisation who will not only represent you but who you will also go on to represent as well. An organisation that is going to support you and have your back whilst you continue to develop and grow as a celebrant.

We’ve written a fab blog post that explores in more detail how to choose your celebrant training organisation. You can read it here.

What happens once you’re trained as a wedding or funeral celebrant?

The answer to this question depends on who it is that you train with. Here at the Celebrants Collective we pride ourselves on the fact that you don’t just do a course with us, but that you actually begin a journey with us. It would be silly of anyone to think that taking a celebrant training course alone makes you into a celebrant. Excellent celebrant training gives you an excellent foundation with which to build on, but after training there is still so much to learn, experience and get used to, many things which training alone cannot cover. This is why at the Celebrants Collective your learning does not finish when your course is finished. After your formal training is complete, you’ll then graduate to our members HQ where you’ll be able to continue your celebrant growth and development within our celebrant community and our celebrant education programme, which allows you to continue with us as and accredited celebrant. 

How much does celebrant training cost?

When you start out doing your research on celebrant training and everything related to becoming a celebrant, one of the first things you will want to know is the cost of training to become a celebrant.

You will find that the price of celebrant training varies from organisation to organisation, from country to country. Our own celebrant training costs 1200 Euros, a figure which might seem a lot (or not!) when looked at in isolation. And this is what is important when it comes to looking at the price of training. Not just what the cost is but what it is that you're getting for your investment. 

You can read this blog post for more information on celebrant training costs.

Do you need a diploma or other qualification to become a celebrant?

In the UK, most other European countries, the USA and Canada, it’s mostly not necessary to have any type of qualification to be a celebrant. In many places, whilst it’s not legally-required to train as a celebrant, it is necessary in order to fully appreciate and understand how a celebrant works.

These countries outlined above have no national governing body for celebrants, which dictates course formats, duration, content and structure etc, as well as different standards of practice, for example.  So it’s purely down to each training organisation to determine their own structure of training, delivery of training and recognition of training.

So in the UK for example, some training organisations have made their courses into academic courses which give their trainees a diploma or other type of academic qualification on passing their course.

However, the majority of trainers, like us at the Celebrants Collective, don’t. There’s no right or wrong, and neither path is more beneficial than the other. Nor does one path give celebrants more weight than the other.

Read more about celebrant diplomas, certifications and qualifications here.

Why should you do your celebrant training with the Celebrants Collective?

We’d like to think that having read through everything that we’ve written and you’ve done a bit more research for yourself, that you’re weighing us up as a top option! Yay! We hope so! At the end of the day, it all comes down to what feels right to you and which organisation you feel will give you what you need as a celebrant trainee and also a developing celebrant. Who will help you to be the best celebrant that you can possibly be and increase your chances of having a successful celebrant career?

In case you need any more reasons to train with us, here are some more.

To check out our full training website, visit our celebrant courses here.


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Photography credits

Top left: Goble Photography

Top right: The Lovehunters

Bottom right: Evergreen Malaga

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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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