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  • Writer's pictureLeni Robson

2023 - A year in the life of a Derbyshire Celebrant

Well now the Christmas decorations are coming down and the last mince pie has been eaten, the dishes from New Years Eve have been washed up, and the last invoice has been taken, as we start the New Year (I'm sorry New Years Day is not the first day of the year as we are mainly sleeping so it doesn't count) it's time for a look back over the busiest year for Ceremonies by Leni Robson since records began.

So let's start as we mean to go on with a blog (I know! Me - blogging) I tried to do something clever on Instagram but we know how good my social mediaing is so....

147 ceremonies led, a mix of weddings, naming ceremonies and of course funerals over 6 different counties (Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire). Funerals remain the reason I run this business, my heart is in supporting families, but I've been lucky enough to lead some truly joyous occasions as well. From small but perfectly formed like Mark and Alex 's air b and b wedding in Matlock to fabulous weddings like Claire and Andy in the West Mill in Derby (both with Doodah Photography - just when you think things aren't perfect enough she pops up) and lots in between. I got to blend cultures and learn with Keji and Daniella with their festival wedding that played homage to Daniella's Jewish culture and Keji's musical background and every couple brought something that led me to grow as a celebrant.

A groom and bride are smiling and laughing with Leni the celebrant. The bride is wearing a white dress with lace sleeves and a veil, the groom is wearing a black suit with a button hole. Leni is dressed in a navy and white jumpsuit and holding a purple folder
Photo credit @Doodah Photography

I met Millie and Heather (and of course their gorgeous hound Evie). Evie even signed the certificate. I liked them so much I've kept them as Millie came on board Coffin Club Derby as our social media volunteer. Coffin Club UK won two awards (yay!) and are branching out into training, and hopefully next year you'll see Coffin Club Derby branching out into different areas as well, still totally focused on supporting you to make the choices you want to.

I've covered over 30 venues from gardens, to pubs, to bucket list venues like the aforementioned West Mill and Trentham Gardens.  

And let's not forget the fab suppliers, along with bucket list venues I got to work with Dave Fuller Photography (did some fan girling took a selfie) at Rufford Mill which is also where my other half first met my mother - and he's still stuck around.....

I did the most amazing elopment photoshoot with some of the best suppliers, up a hill in the Peaks. More please. Organised by Gemma Sandell, it was a cold windy day but the sun rewarded us for our efforts.....

Photography: @gemmasandellevents

Stationery: @roseandwylde


In between, I've directed a play for Derby Shakespeare Theatre Company , been to the theatre and seen phenomenal (and not so phenomenal) performances and ideas that fuel the creative juices.

I even put myself out there at wedding fairs at the Museum of Making which I loved, just spending the day with lovely people, lovely couples and lovely suppliers.

And in between all this, I've held space, walked journeys, and supported families as they grieve working with simply the best funeral directors in the country (in my opinion.) Working together we have broken new ground. I'm proud to be part of it.

I don't know what is to come in 2024. More Duder I'm sure. (Two weddings with her this year so far.....). I've already had 5 enquiries between Christmas and New Year for ceremonies this year so if you are considering it - get booked! More learning, more cold swims, more ice dunks in the morning (I have weird hobbies), more blogs (OK let's not push it). More hugs, more celebrations, more love. What more could a celebrant want.....

Want to know more about how a celebrant could enhance your ceremony, click the button to get in touch!

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