WHO IS JUSTINE AND WHY DID I BECOME A CELEBRANT?
My education followed a fairly standard UK path - however, when I finished my A levels - I wanted a year out, so took myself off to Paris age 18 to be a stagiaire at a very prestigious parisian hotel, after 6 months I relocated to the west coast of France to became a campsite courier - my love of France has remained ever since that year - (my in-laws subsequently moved to South West France in the 1990s - so many a family holiday has since been spent around the pool - sipping vin rouge and eating local cheese and figs!)
In a nutshell, I graduated with a business degree, married Chris a year later in a church - because back in the 90's our wedding choices were very limited and I started a career in customer service management. Roll on a few years and Chris and I were entrenched in the rat race, making a good income and we treated ourselves to a holiday in Africa (there is a story behind that but it will have to wait until another time!) - we fell in love with Zimbabwe and South Africa and realised it was possible to get to Africa independently and overland - our adventure started - we researched and researched - bought ourselves a Land Rover 130 and packed up our jobs and our life as we knew it. We drove (well after a small hiccup on our first departure!) through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan....shipped to Kenya (due to war in Eritrea) and spent 2 glorious years exploring east and southern Africa, working sometimes to supplement our trip funds and we had the TIME OF OUR LIVES! We were literally brought back to reality with a very big bump - in fact a skydiving mishap - which saw me break two bones in my leg and surgery had to be done so we returned to the UK. Could we have lived in Africa? Hell yes! If we had listened to our hearts - we would probably still be in Africa but we listened to our heads and came back to Kent where we set up home again.
Within a year of our return - we were pregnant and starting a whole new adventure - just as dangerous and difficult as our last foray into the unknown and every bit as rewarding (although a lot harder work!) I scrapbooked my kids entire childhood to create lasting memories - for them and me!
Since parenthood I have worked around my family needs - an 'outstanding' registered childminder for 9 years (whilst my own children were young) and then working in businesses for people that I now consider to be friends, where I have up-skilled on web-based programmes, word-smithing, online researching and I have always maintained and built on my passion for excellent customer service, rock-steady reliability and amazing organisation. I have used all these skills and experiences along with formal training to become a Wedding Celebrant and a Funeral Celebrant in Kent and that is why you are here and why we should talk. I think I can help you make amazing memories in the most photogenic locations!
WHERE DID IT ALL BEGIN?
I have been to some beautiful weddings - and in more recent years they have been far more personal because they are no longer limited to Registry Offices and churches - weddings can now be totally bespoke and inspirational and ceremonies can be anywhere.
Sadly I have been to too many funerals too - but I believe funerals are a time to celebrate a loved-one's life and achievements. I was inspired by celebrants who weren't constrained by clergy-led religious services or uninspiring registrars who followed set text and couldn't include a special hymn or poem because it was religious.
Services can now be all about the individuals involved - I love that!
This is where my celebrancy career began and I love my job! I would love to be involved in your special day.