Rebecca Leigh Dyson reviewed HJ Ceremonies – 5 star
I’m a wedding coordinator for a venue that is licensed for legal marriages so I don’t have much experience of working with celebrants as most of my clients opt for the legal proceedings to be part of the day, but when Helen reached out to me after our wedding fair to offer to meet and tell me more about her services, I was intrigued and wanted to find out more. We met, and I had an almost instant click with her. Helen is so easy to talk to and I just found myself chatting away as though she was an old friend. I learnt more about the celebrant experience, and well basically I was sold. Celebrants offer the opportunity to create a memorable and personal experience in a venue of your choice, not restricting yourself to licensed venues but give you the freedom to do things exactly how you want. Most couples will opt to do the legal bit the day before, with the service lead by Helen to be the one with the most meaning, and your guests wouldn’t know any different.
I didn’t expect to need to use the service of a celebrant personally any time soon, but unfortunately I lost someone very close to me suddenly. I’ve never had to plan a funeral before but I threw the same love and passion into planning one in the same way I help my wedding couples plan their weddings. The ‘one size fits all’ approach that was provided by the funeral directors didn’t sit well with me and I knew I needed someone to help me and my family make the funeral service as special as the person we lost was to us. I messaged Helen and simply said ‘do you do funeral services?’. Helen was honest and told me openly she would like to do them but she hadn’t preformed one yet. I had no doubts I wanted to work with her, so a quick chat with my family and they were all in agreement. Helen came to my Grandad’s home, had a pot of tea with him and let him talk openly and freely about his wife whilst looking at photos and hearing memories that helped Helen to build a picture of how special the person we lost was. Her communication was prompt and the level of empathy she offered was the perfect balance, and she made sure our anxieties were put at bay.
I knew my grandma was a popular lady, I perhaps didn’t realise how popular she was, as over 320 people attended the funeral service. I knew I was throwing Helen into he deep end I purposely didn’t warn her that we were expecting a lot of people, as there is nothing worse than building something up in your head. Its just better to deal with it in the moment. Helen was perfect, a text to apologise for a slight wobble of emotion after the service wasn’t needed as it showed she was human and cared. Helen wrote a service that covered everything whilst also including readings and poems that reflected the emotions we had expressed perfectly. A friend of my Grandma has actually chose one of the poems to read at her daughters wedding as she thought how perfect it was. We’ve had endless comments from friends and family saying how beautiful the service was and how it was a perfect reflection of Grandma. I cannot thank Helen enough for her help and I without a doubt recommend her for any wedding, naming ceremony, funeral or any moment in your life that calls for a celebrant.
Amy & Mitch
The Paintworks, Bristol
We just wanted to say an enormous THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts. Our ceremony was everything we’d hoped and more. It means a lot that you came all the way down from Yorkshire! Everyone said how fabulous you were. The whole day was perfect and that was kicked off with your wonderful words.
With love, Amy & Mitch
Naming Ceremony for Isla
Sheffield, September 2018
The wonders and complexities of life have meant that this review has been unreasonably delayed, but finally I have made the much needed time to put into words just how wonderful the Naming Ceremony that Helen conducted for my daughter was. We had an idyllic day where the weather was unseasonably kind, meaning we could venture out into the garden with both family and friends to celebrate our five year old little girl Isla …… That’s right, this was not your typical baby naming ceremony and as such we had some ‘requests’ for Helen in order to make the day personal to our family. We wanted to make our 9 year old daughter a big part of our celebrations and for the whole day to be something Isla would remember for years to come ….. this was something that Helen seemed to create with ease through her endless creativity, approachable and friendly nature and her unfaltering support. Helen took the time to visit us in our home and meet with Isla to make sure she was completely relaxed before her ‘big day’, taking the time to listen to our anecdotes, memories and pass a tissue when I cried (and I did that a few times!). The result was a perfect ….. I was going to say ‘script’ but it was so much more than that. It was a story about the journey of our lives together as a family and how both our daughters have made that so wonderfully complete. It was a celebration of our wonderful, constantly hungry, whirlwind of a fabulous daughter! Our day was perfect and the memories we have will last a lifetime; we owe that to you. Thank you so much …. ❤️
Lisa & Paul
Alfreton Hall, Derbyshire, December 2018
Thank you so much for making our day so special. You made us feel relaxed and more at ease, you are such a lovely person and we couldn’t of found anyone who could of done it better than you. You made it.
Lisa Morley Shaw