A fresh origin story: Batmeg
Geek wedding celebrant
Mr Senior and I have been re-watching every modern live action Batman movie, in order, over the past few weeks and it's got me thinking of MY superhero origin story.
(In this analogy my superpower is celebrant-ing: Creating life affirming, memorable occasions and helping humans to express their individuality. It's not quite superstrength or laservision, but you get me, right?*)
So I didn't fall down a well and get attacked by bats. And if it's not obvious: I'm not a wealthy socialite orphan. In fact, you may think the parallels between me and Bruce Wayne are limited. And you'd probably be right.
Here's the jist of what happened to transform me from a humble 9 to 5 employee to a superhuman/celebrant, bringing light where there was once darkness. The secret history of Batmeg if you will.
Nerdy wedding celebrant
⚡️Up until 2020ish I worked in charity events. On the whole I loved it, but honestly after ten years it was super sad and very draining. When the charity cause is sad (eg sick children at Great Ormond Street) people need to share their experiences of trauma and loss. I found that difficult when (like we all do) I carry my own grief around with me.
⚡️When the pandemic hit and I was furloughed, I had time to seriously think about a career change. My number one criteria was "I want a happy job." SIDEBAR – I acknowledge my privilege in having this level of choice compared to many who don’t.
⚡️We were chatting one day and my mum suggested I think about becoming a celebrant. It made sense: I could bring my events and public speaking experience. I would get to build relationships with people at a happy time in their lives. And I could help them to have a ceremony they loved as much as I had mine.
⚡️*FLASHBACK SCENE* In 2013 my beloved and I had a humanist wedding ceremony at the Lantern Theatre in Sheffield. The preparation for our ceremony was romantic and fun, and the ceremony was the best bit of our day. This was thanks in large part to our humanist celebrant Hannah 🖤
⚡️So... I applied to Humanist Ceremonies, was accepted to train as a celebrant and then studied for months to become accredited.
TW: Bereavement – Skip the next two bullet points
⚡️In the meantime though, my mum got really poorly and eventually passed away. I’m incredibly lucky that she saw me pass my training and conduct my first ceremonies. She was super supportive of my career change and I genuinely would not have done it without her.
⚡️ *FASTFORWARD TO PRESENT DAY* I’m still dealing with the loss of my mum. I can’t even really go into it because I don’t want to use my post as a personal therapy session. But needless to say the main driver behind everything I do is making the most out of life.
Being a celebrant gives me the opportunity to live life to the full myself and to help other people to do it too.
Wedding celebrant values
And that brings us up to where we are now. I’m not fighting crime and locking up bad guys (is that a tad problematic when you really think about it?), I’m just a celebrant. But it’s wild how fortunate I am to have this role, and to run a business completely aligned with my values.
As my values are at the core of everything I do, they're integral to my origin story too. My personal values are…
This is what humanism means to me. Some people say “being good without god.”
Living life to the full
Appreciating the small things, and making brave decisions.
I believe this is linked to mental wellness. Personalised ceremonies allow people to be authentic and share their real selves with their loved ones.
To my family, friends, clients and to myself. Nurturing physical and mental wellbeing. Treating people with a spirit of generosity.
Being open-minded, non-judgemental, kind.
I’m proud to wear my values on my sleeve, like a symbol emblazoned across the chest of my latex superhero costume (am I taking the metaphor too far?) And I love to work with clients whose values are important to them.
I don’t necessarily say of each client in their ceremony, “Aren’t they great human beings?! They’re so ethical and GOOD.” But it seems odd to me NOT to acknowledge these factors which shape our lives and our relationships. For folks who aren’t religious the only way to embrace your personal values during your wedding or your child’s naming ceremony, is to work with a celebrant. But as you’re here I guess you already know that.
If you’re not put off by my hokey origin story remake, then drop me a line to talk about Batman films or (if you really want) your wedding or naming ceremony. Now, turn around for a second so I can silently disappear into the night without saying goodbye yeah?
*Before you come at me eagle-eyed geek extraordinaire, I know that batman has neither superstrength nor laservision. And he doesn't really wear latex.
The cheesy headshots in this post (which my mum loved!) were taken by LGBT wedding specialist photographer Nelly Naylor.