The AOIC has announced that a number of its members have won awards at the Second National Convention for Celebrants.
Held on 27 September, at Kettering Conference Centre, the event aims to provide the opportunity for UK celebrants to come together to share ideas and experiences. Celebrants are also able to listen to guest speakers and browse a number of relevant trade stalls.
During the afternoon, the award ceremony took place for the 2018 National Celebrant Awards.The event is held to “reward truly outstanding celebrants”. Any practising celebrant can be nominated, whether they conduct funerals, family or couples ceremonies, and can be nominated by peers or by people for whom they have been of service.
To achieve the basic criteria as an outstanding celebrant, nominees must display a wealth of skills, including “warmth, sensitivity and imagination”. They must have a good knowledge of literature available to them, such as poems or music and they must be able to empathise with their clients in order to write and deliver a meaningful prose.
Across two practises, the ‘Funeral Celebrant Category’ and the ‘Family and Couples Category’, there were three categories within these groups for which celebrants could be nominated: Outstanding Celebrancy Practise, Most Promising Celebrant and Influencing The Wider Celebrancy Profession.
AOIC members Emily Rawlinson and Rosalind Love took home Family and Couples Category awards, with Rawlinson winning the Outstanding Celebrancy Practise award and Bristol & Avon’s Love taking runner-up in the Most Promising Celebrant category.
Rawlinson, who practises in Berkshire and is also the vice president of the AOIC, was nominated by her clients and described as “amazing” and “outstanding”. Her “unique gift for listening” and subsequently “creating imaginative and beautiful ceremonies” is what drew the judges attention to her work.
The Outstanding Celebrancy Practise award is given to already established celebrants who continually surpass expectations, possess very high levels of skill and put their heart and soul into every ceremony.
The Most Promising Celebrant award is given to those who began practising after 1 January, 2017, and who show great potential for the future. The AOIC’s Rosalind Love took the runner-up prize after impressing judges with her “creativity, passion for accuracy” and for her “incredibly special ceremonies”.
In the Funeral Celebrant Category, the Most Promising Celebrant award was handed to Fiona Brown, an AOIC celebrant working across the Yorkshire area. Similar to the Family and Couples Category, the trophy is given to a person who began practising post-January 2017.
Brown drew attention from the judges because they “felt that there was something over and above in what Fiona gives to her families”, in addition to the outstanding nominations they received from her clients.
She said: “I am overjoyed to be given this award. It is a real credit and a real honour, particularly as the nominations came from clients who were happy with the service – it means so much more. I only fully qualified in June, 2018, but I have already completed 35 ceremonies.
“I did go to the Second National Convention for Celebrants and found it to be a fantastic event. I have also found that being a part of the AOIC has really helped as through them, I have received most of my wedding bookings, too. Everyone is so supportive.”