Celebrant Training in the UK: why you should be aware of the hidden costs

When a person is searching for a celebrant-training course, hopefully they find the one which best suits their own ethos. I’ve blogged before about the various reasons someone might choose to train with us at Heart-led Ceremonies Celebrant Training.

Today I want to touch on the hidden cost of a celebrant-training course, and this applies specifically to the ones based on attendance rather than aptitude.

If you want to get a certificate quickly, that is gained simply by attending a course, then that is more than possible. It’s tempting for those people who want to become ‘overnight celebrants’ and are looking to cut costs and corners by paying a low course fee.


The cost of an easy course is that it’ll cost more in the end. A lot more. How?

• You’ll arrive to meetings with your clients and at your ceremonies inadequately prepared
• You’ll be begging experienced celebrants for information, advice and guidance
• You’ll let your clients down

Now, while some celebrants are more than happy to pass on their years of experience (at no cost to you), it’s the latter point that you should be concerned about. If it doesn’t rattle you, then allow me to be bold enough to say that celebrancy isn’t the right path for you. Your clients only get one chance at their ceremony. Do you really think it’s fair to them that it should be placed in the hands of someone who is inadequately trained and prepared for a role which bears so much responsibility?

Cumbria celebrant Veronika Robinson officiating at Askham Hall.

If we come to this role with a strong ethos of care, empathy, self-awareness, responsibility, reflection and willingness to be the best we can be, then why would we choose anything less that the best possible training?

One of the things our students (celebrants-in-training) always say to us, usually within an hour or two of starting their training, is that they had NO idea just how much was involved in the job.

Cumbria celebrant Veronika Robinson officiates at Carlisle Crematorium, Eden Valley Crematorium, Beetham Hall Crematorium, Distington Hall Crematorium, Roucan Loch Crematorium (Scotland), and Lancaster Crematorium.

So many people think it’s just a matter of ‘stand up and speak for 20 minutes’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Those moments at the lectern or by the altar are such a small part of our work.

Whether a person chooses our Certificate in Celebrancy or Diploma in Advanced Celebrancy and Ritual we, as trainers, can guarantee that they’ll be certified when they’ve reached the level of competence required to do this job with excellence. If a celebrant-in-training is prepared to do the work, we are with them every step of the way. You get as much out of a course as you put into it.


An integral part of our training is self-awareness and personal development.

If a celebrant-training course doesn’t ‘change your life’, then your celebrant practice probably isn’t going to change other people’s lives either. As Gatekeepers of the Liminal Space, we are charged with the unique role of accompanying people as they cross the threshold during their rite of passage.



You have a choice when deciding on a celebrant-training course:

• A comprehensive course focussed on quality and one-to-one tutoring, support and life-time mentoring where you’re assessed based on aptitude


• A course where celebrants are churned out in large numbers with no accountability, no rigour, no pride in ensuring each celebrant is the best they can be and are certified for attending



When choosing your training course, it is important that you research who the trainers are. There’s no point having a trainer whose background is based on business or marketing (though those things are helpful). You need someone with decades of experience as a celebrant. It really does take that long to become a master of the craft and to have lived through many, many different experiences.


Cumbria funeral celebrant Veronika Robinson officiates at the Carlisle Cemetery Chapel.

Learning to be a celebrant is akin to an apprenticeship. That is, you’re learning from someone who is vastly experienced. It’s not just academic, it’s practical too. Your trainer should be someone who is as invested in you as you are in your path. They will, ideally, be someone you can count on at any time. Too many courses promise ongoing support and yet fail to deliver. New celebrants (especially on courses with little content) are left floundering.

A Heart-led Celebrant serves individuals and their community, and practises deep-level listening, presencing, healing and holding the space. They have learned to create, write and officiate beautiful ceremonies based on what is meaningful to their client.

Celebrant trainers Paul and Veronika Robinson are based in Cumbria, England.

Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson are a husband and wife team whose boutique celebrant training Heart-led Celebrants attracts people from around the world. Heart-led Celebrants has earned a reputation for excellence in celebrant training, and those who are certified exemplify the highest standards in the industry.

Veronika is the author of many books including the popular Celebrant Collection: Write That Eulogy; The Successful Celebrant; Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner; Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner; The Blessingway. Three more titles will be added in January 2024: The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children; The Discrimination-free Celebrant; The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.

Award-winning voice artist, Paul Robinson, has had a whole career centred around his voice and other people’s. He’s highly experienced as a celebrant, celebrant trainer, trained actor, drama coach, voice-over artist, singer, broadcaster, compère, and ventriloquist. Paul is an excellent communicator and teacher, and has a sixth sense about how to relate to individuals, groups and audiences.