Meet Michelle Taylor, Essex Marks Tey Hotel member. Michelle has changed careers and you could never guess her career choice! And we do hope Michelle gets her big wish. You can meet Michelle at our Essex events, and get to know her now and hear her big ambitions! WHAT MADE YOU SET UP YOUR BUSINESS? My husband Kev, is a retired Essex Police Sgt and when he first retired he was thumb twiddling for some time, not knowing what to do with himself…He all but fell into Wedding Photography 7 years ago and is now making great inroads into the business locally. Not wanting to be in the same position when I retired from the police, I started to think about what I wanted to do post retirement, it was still over 5 years away at the time, but I knew I did not want to be one of those retired officers that took up a Civvy post just to stay employed or focused. Kev suggested I picked up a camera and followed in his footsteps, I could not think of anything worse….Just like my cake decorating skills , I could picture in my minds eye a fantastic finished product, but lacked the skills to create said product from scratch…..I said ‘Id rather marry people’……So began my research. I had heard of Humanists, but I believe in something rather than nothing so ruled them out of my equation…I stumbled by chance across the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants a small but upcoming organization, the cost of training was reasonable, so I took the plunge. I completed my Wedding and Family Celebrancy training in July 2011 and have not looked back since. I love spreading the love and joy that abounds at any family celebration and I was finally able to put my skills and creativity to good use, I can write a good story and what better story to tell of how two people met, fell in love and decided to get married. As well as Weddings I also write and conduct, Naming Ceremonies, Vow Renewals, Commitment Ceremonies and have (on one occasion only, I hasten to add) conducted a Doggy Wedding as a publicity stunt for the dogs owners. WHAT WAS THE REASON THAT YOU DECIDED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE BWN? In a word…… NETWORKING!!! I know someone who had attended a couple of meetings at the beginning of 2015 and she told me that the BWN was a great way to get myself ‘out there’ …Meet likeminded business women and to pick up some tips and contacts along the way. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOUR BUSINESS? GROWTH & MORE GROWTH! I retired from the day job in October 2015 after a very hectic year, all of my spare time that year had been spent writing and conducting ceremonies. I always knew 2015 was going to be a tough year, two jobs and NO spare time, but it has been worth it. In my 1st 12 months I conducted just one ceremony, last year I did 16, this year I already have 20 booked in! I don’t want to be flat out like I was last year, I want to grow but at my pace, allowing me more time for family and friends, socializing etc, something that is very hard as a shift worker. I think I will find my work/ life balance…Finally…. As a self employed and very fulfilled Wedding Celebrant. I want to spread the word about Celebrants, not many have heard of us, I want the whole of Essex and beyond to learn that there is more to a good wedding than just the party after the ceremony. The ceremony itself should reflect each couple, their unique quirks and should be fun and laughter filled, not JUST a formality so we can say ‘We’re married’. I have had some cracking venues over the past few years, with more to come this year. I have worked and will be working with some awesome couples and families, and there is nothing the puts a cheesy grin on my face like saying at the end of a wedding ceremony, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen please make some noise and be upstanding as I introduce to you Mr and Mrs………’ WHAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR YOU TO KNOW? ‘HOW, WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHO’ We all need a helping hand to get our businesses seen and I want to learn it all….OK that may be a bit unrealistic, but each meeting is about learning
HOW to expand your business WHY you should do certain things to make your business grow WHAT you need to know to make a success of your business WHEN is the best time to do it……NOW !! WHO’S going to do it….ME!!
I’m always on the lookout for couples who want to step outside of the ‘normal’ box . I want venues to realise the worth of a Celebrant and I want to know how best to promote myself in this expanding industry… I want to be a cut above the rest and being a member of the BWN helps me to achieve all of the above. I’m up for any challenge, and the one I’ve set for this year? …Well, that’s to find a couple as mad as me who really, really want a Harry Potter themed ceremony… I have the wand, the cape and even some props…..I just need the couple now.
The BWN is a brand of excellence as far as I am concerned, and being a member shows to the outside world that I am wanting to expand my horizons, mix with some awesome women and LEARN.
Wow! Thanks Michelle, we are so pleased to hear of the benefits you get from our events and we hope you get your dream wedding!
After being a Police Officer for nearly 30 years (As I write this I have 194 days left to go!!!) The time came for me to start thinking of life outside of the ‘job’…It’s all I’ve ever known, I joined the cadets as a fresh faced 16 year old and the regulars at 18…My life thus far dedicated to trying to help others and make a small part of the world a safer place. I am only 48, too young to retire, but I wanted to find something that would take me on the next part of my life journey.
My husband retired from the police in 2009 and spent the first 18 months, recovering from 31 years of shifts and twiddling his thumbs before he followed his passion for photography and became a qualified Wedding Photographer….’Come and work with me’ he said…..’No chance’ I replied, ‘I’d cut heads and feet off…I’d rather marry people…..’
So the old cogs started whirring and I stumbled across the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, the organisation I trained with in 2011…My 5 year pre retirement plan was in place….
I am now a Wedding and Family Celebrant.
What is one of those I hear a lot of people ask……No I’m not a celibate…(although I am an old married woman so that probably goes with the territory!)
What I do, is wonderful and fulfilling, creating a ceremony that is truly reflective of the couples and families that I now have the pleasure of working with.
It’s a role I can combine with the day job and it gives me so much pleasure I don’t see it as a job…..People actually WANT to invite me into their home to discuss the biggest day of their lives and to tell me their life story.
I write and deliver bespoke Weddings, Vow Renewals, Naming and Adoption Ceremonies….In fact if you can think of an excuse to have a family celebration I can write a ceremony to reflect the love and feelings we humans can have for each other (and even the pets).
A Celebrant led wedding can be held anywhere, it does not require a licensed venue. It can include anything you wish from the secular to the spiritual.
I’ve conducted Weddings at a Zoo, In a Stately home, back gardens and Jimmy’s Farm.
The have ranged from fairly formal and traditional to Pagan and Steam Punk.
Your imagination really is your only limitation!
Everyone is different, everyone has a unique story to tell, I get to hear those stories, write a script and deliver them with warmth and humour. AND I can honestly say that all of the feedback I have thus far received has been amazing.
So as my retirement from my day job rapidly looms, I feel as ready as I can be for the transition, into a new career. A job that is so different but I think equally rewarding.
I can’t end without a shout out to Mandie and the BWN. I’m so glad that I have found her and her organisation.
I’ve learnt so much from the meetings I’ve attended so far this year…My Linkedin profile is generating contacts and views I never thought possible from just a few suggested tweaks, and the networking opportunities at the meetings have been second to none. I can’t wait until the end of the year when I can commit to attending the meetings properly…..That darn day job interfering again!
So……..What will your story be?
P.S. ….DESPERATELY looking for someone to book me for a Harry Potter themed wedding…I have the wand and the cloak….Just need the excuse……
(It’s great to have you on board Michelle and wish you every success with your new job, and will the Harry Potter wedding have a Hagrid and Dementors? We can’t wait to find out!)