UKCAPSA Diploma Graduate, Ayrshire based Humanist Celebrant Marie McWilliams shares how she decided to invest in becoming a Celebrant!

Marie is a huge fan of amateur dramatics, and it was her love of the stage that led her to UKCAPSA.

One of her fellow cast members was working as a Humanist Celebrant and as they sat down for a coffee one day, she asked him “what is it you do?”

After hearing all about the training course, and the range of work that he did celebrating the big milestones in people’s lives, Marie was feeling uplifted and inspired.

She mulled it over for a while, wondering if being a Humanist Celebrant was for her. She researched UKCAPSA and the Diploma and she felt that the cost was prohibitive at that time with two boys still living at home. So, she talked herself out of it and left it at that.

Life would change for Marie when the council department that she worked for was earmarked for closure. severance was offered, and she decided to accept. It took six months for the department to fully close. In that time, she spoke to her Celebrant friend again.

Marie celebrating with the new Mr and Mrs Paterson. Photo: Marie’s own.

She had this niggling thought in the back of her mind that, yes, she could be good at this! What drew her to being a Celebrant was the ability to draw on her people skills from a long career as a Carer, a love for theatre, people and love for romcom books.

She went for it and signed up for the UKCAPSA Diploma! Embarking on the online training was daunting at first, but she soon got used to the training platform and the communication tools. She loved that there was always someone available for support and guidance as she made her way through the units.

She found creative writing a challenge. During her career she wrote factually, so moving to writing creatively didn’t come naturally to start with, however with support from her tutor she found her flair and really started to get into it.

She also found recording herself presenting to camera quite comical, sitting in her kitchen talking to her computer! However she started to understand how different it was going to be standing in front of a room full of wedding guests and her tutor helped her to prepare for that live experience.

On completing the course, she felt an enormous sense of achievement! “I’ve done it!!!”

On recounting her experience of performing at her first live wedding ceremony she says;

“I felt so nervous, I was trembling, it felt just like a stage audition. I made sure I wore a long skirt so no one could see my knees shaking! I learned a lot from that first one, and afterwards I felt SO good! It really does make you want to go back for more!”

Marie now sees herself being a Celebrant for a long time, she thoroughly enjoys every single ceremony and loves the positive feedback that she receives. That rubber stamps that feeling of sheer satisfaction, every time!

She loves that she gets to travel around Scotland visiting venues that she otherwise likely wouldn’t see and meeting lots of different people is the icing on the cake!

Marie on stage with her theatre company. Photo: Marie’s own.

Complete our quick form below to find out if training to be a celebrant is perfect for you! There are no wrong answers!

One of our friendly training team will be in touch to chat it all through. 

You will then be equipped to make an informed decision on whether or not becoming a Celebrant is right for you!

If it’s a YES and you would like to go for it, we are with you every step of the way through your Celebrant and Public Speaking Diploma training course!

Marie McWilliams
Marie McWilliams

UKCAPSA Graduate and Humanist Celebrant