Get in touch ...
I travel Nationally & Internationally
Wedding, Funerals, Naming Ceremonies, Anniversaries
Institute of Civil Funerals
English, greeting in Welsh!
Hi, I'm Helen
Hi, I’m a story-teller, a nature lover, a lover of good food and wine and good company. I aspire to being an ageing hippy but will have to settle for an ageing yet still athletic (!) mother whose wardrobe is more Jaeger Formal than Biba Boho (ask your Mum/granny about Jaeger and Biba!)
What else “about me” is there to say? I lived in West Wales for nineteen years but my children are as independent as they’ll ever be, so I’ve followed my heart (more precisely my partner!) to a new adventure. At the end of 2021 I moved to France to continue being a celebrant here. I do still have a foot in the door in Wales given that I have a wonderful couple of celebrants working with me there. So, France or Wales, we can help you have the ceremony you’re looking for.
What's my ceremony style?
Whichever the type of ceremony, it must have soul, it must mean something.
When I’m leading your wedding ceremony, every bone in my body wants you to be happy in the future. During the time I’m leading a funeral, all that matters is you and your family and the person to whom we’re saying goodbye. Anyone can write a script, anyone can read it out, but not everyone has got what it takes to write the right words then convert the words and actions into something meaningful.
So, although the song says, “It ain’t what you say it’s the way that you say it”, I reckon it’s a combination of what you say and how you say it that makes the perfect ceremony. It’s having the ability to convey the meaning, the soul of the ceremony to everybody who is sharing the moment with us.
Prices on request
Why choose Helen?
To quote Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” You, and your tribe of family and friends will remember how your ceremony “made you feel” long after the echoes of the words have died. My ceremonies have “soul”. Humour when it’s needed, gravitas at just the right moments. Symbolism if it’s required to chime perfectly with the occasion. I’ve got a good few years of “celebranting” under my belt now, so have collected some lovely testimonials. Take a look at those here or on my Treasured Ceremonies website, then call.
What do I offer?
My super-power/ having the experience and confidence to use my hard-earned skills in your ceremony. “What skills are these, Helen?” It’s using my wit, inventiveness, spontaneity, sincerity, imagination (and, ummm modesty?) to create and deliver your wedding ceremony. Whether you want a “simple” or a more elaborate event, it will reflect everything that’s important to you both. There’s no formula. Just smiles, laughter and maybe (usually!) some happy tears. Ideally, you’ll bring some of your own ideas to the ceremony table, but if the ideas are missing, don’t worry; we’ll work together to make the ceremony perfect. After a recent ceremony near Montpelier, the bride wrote “Hi Helen, thank you for such an amazing ceremony, everyone told us how much they loved it and couldn’t believe how quickly it went. You even had Titi in tears which definitely isn’t a regular occurrence 😂 it was so personal and perfect xx”
I create intimate elopement ceremonies for two people and lavish ones for over two hundred. The wedding ceremonies can be scripted to the last word or more organic with scope for improvisation and spontaneity. Having said that, I’ve yet to conduct a ceremony without some sort of spontaneity from me, the couple or all of us! Either way, you have full approval of the script before the day, with as many changes as may be necessary.
Many of my couples know what symbolism they’d like (if any) but I’ve plenty of suggestions to make if this is a new idea to you. I don’t tend to send out a symbolism “menu”, I’d rather discuss what may work for you. Similarly, many people choose readings from a favourite author, which is great, but I still send everyone a selection of readings to get some ideas in case it’s needed.
Prices on request
Why choose Helen for your wedding?
I’m told that my ceremonies are warm, from the heart and will capture you precisely. Whether you want a “simple” or a more elaborate event, you’ll want it to reflect everything that’s important to you both. This can be “your story”, your values, or a reflection of where we are. There’s no formula. That’s the point. After a 2023 ceremony the couple wrote a beautiful testimonial, including Helen put in a huge amount of effort to …. truly shape a beautifully heartfelt, relaxed and at times hilarious ceremony – which is exactly what we had asked for. Helen’s very witty, which put us at ease straight away in the lead up to the wedding. When we finally got to meet her in person on the day it felt like the ceremony was in the safe pair of hands of an old friend. We would highly recommend anyone getting married in France in booking Helen as their celebrant – she’s fantastic!
Baby Namings are ceremonies that we see few of here in West Wales, but I’ve adored those that I have done! Had they been “a thing” when I had my children, I’m sure we’d have had them.
If you want the naming ceremony to be gender non-specific, that’s no problem.
I truly feel it’s important that families mark the introduction of a youngster into the family in a formal way. I’ll put out a plea to you here – have a naming rather than a “shower”! In the absence of a christening, a naming is the perfect way of saying “welcome, you’re in our tribe”, and your baby will see photos of the event later in life and know it was just for them, not for an idea yet to be born!
I’ll meet with you online or face-to-face then create something completely personal to your child and your family. As ever, let’s find the right symbolism for you rather than through a list of “what’s available”.
There will be a presentation copy of the ceremony for you to keep and show your little one as they get older. Be aware, the promises made by you and your “god/odd/guide parents” will be in print for all to see forever!
Prices on request
Why choose Helen for your naming ceremony?
It’s about the ceremony and the flexibility! The ceremony must be “right” because this an important day and everyone needs to understand what it’s about. Flexibility? There will be children there, relax, enjoy the day and roll with whatever happens!
Naming ceremonies are so very personal I won’t write too much here. Just get in touch and we’ll have a chat about what you’re looking for.
Renewal of Vows
It doesn’t matter where the ceremony is, it’s what’s said that really counts, and thankfully over and again I’m told that my ceremonies are warm, from the heart and capture just what was wanted for the day.
Whether you want a simple ceremony or a more elaborate event with all sorts of symbolism, you’ll want it to reflect you and everything that’s important to you and your partner.
In my years of being a celebrant I have held naming, funeral and wedding ceremonies in all kinds of venues.
Let’s talk about the weddings! They’ve been held in stunning (licensed for legal weddings) hotels as well as on beaches and in gardens and woodlands. I can honestly say I’ve loved them all! I live on the border of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, and many people travel here for their “destination” wedding ceremony because it’s just so beautiful! If you’re coming to the area as a visitor, or maybe a “returner”, I like to reflect on the place we’re in as well as your story. Knowing and loving the area as well as I do is a great help!
My services aren’t exclusive to West Wales, however; I have friends and family dotted over the British Isles so am happy to travel. I even have access to a friend’s house in the South of France these days….
So much for the “where” – what about the “what”?
I have created intimate ceremonies with just a couple and myself present, as well as an outdoor handfasting for over two hundred. Most ceremonies are to signify/celebrate marital vows, but not necessarily. For example, there was a completely bespoke ceremony for two gorgeous people who wanted to celebrate their life with their daughter whom they’d adopted five years previously.
Naming ceremonies are pretty unusual where I live, but I know I love doing them! These can be performed pretty much anywhere and are a wonderful way to introduce your son or daughter to your wider family and friends whilst having special adults make a commitment towards their upbringing (N.B. this needn’t be too onerous a commitment!).
Funeral ceremonies can take many forms. From the humblest, simple burial following a ceremony in a Victorian cemetery’s chapel of rest to a celebration full of song for a friend in his house. My sole aim is to create the funeral which will help the family or friends say goodbye in the way that suits them.
Email me or call me. We can chat about your day.
Prices on request
Why choose Helen for your renewal of vows?
I nearly always work from a script, but love it when something happens organically and we all get that magical connection beyond what’s written on the page. As long as you’re not looking for stiff and formal, I can adapt my style to suit yours. If you’re in my area of West Wales I shall have the advantage of knowing something about where you’re marrying and can bring it into the ceremony. I’ll travel wherever you’d like me to, however!
The (gorgeous!) video I’ve embedded is of a wedding held in Pembrokeshire. This couple wanted a very simple, romantic wedding, so that’s what they got. Keep watching until after the very cute guitar playing scene to hear extracts from the wedding itself. The video was created by Tu Nguyen.
I’ve been a funeral celebrant in West Wales for 6 years. Within that time I’ve conducted traditional ceremonies in Crematoriums from Margam to Narberth as well as more unusual ceremonies elsewhere. These have included burials on private land and in natural burial grounds. We’ve even had an online Zoom life celebration since Covid with participants from around the world.
West Wales has not been an easy place to establish myself as a funeral celebrant, mainly because we’re such a traditional lot here, it takes a while to change the way we do things! However, more people are realising that a ceremony like mine gives them the farewell that’s right for them. I’m grateful that my business has been able to grow and flourish over time.
I’m a member of the Institute of Civil Funerals. This can give you the confidence that I will create the ceremony you’re looking for since the institute sets high standards among its membership!
I offer end of life ceremonies (funerals) in crematoria as well as burials in graveyards, natural burial grounds and private land.
I have also written a number of funerals ahead of the ceremony with the person whose funeral it will be to give them peace of mind that they’ve got everything covered for their loved ones.
I don’t mind whether we have any religious content, I’m a “civil” rather than a” humanist” celebrant. With or without religion, all of my ceremonies are skilfully created to deliver an intensely personal, meaningful and supportive emotional experience to the families involved.
I generally write the tribute (or eulogy) but if the family or friends are doing this, I still want to know all about the person who has died in order to create a suitable ceremony. I can suggest music and readings, both religious or non-religious. Together, we create the perfect farewell.
Prices on request
Why choose Helen for your funeral?
I’ve ended so many funerals with “Thank you for introducing me to …”. If you’re looking here for a funeral celebrant, you understand that the right celebrant can really call the one you’re grieving for to mind. Why does this matter? Because, as you join with your community and family, to say your last goodbye you want to paint a picture of the one who’s gone. I will paint the picture with you and for you, and together we will hold it up to the world, reflecting the one you’re grieving, and celebrating all you loved about them.
Reviews for Treasured Ceremonies
Total Reviews: 24
Average Rating: 5
The perfect ceremony
We had our wedding near Perpignan in the South of France. We found Helen from the website “get hitched in France”. We had been speaking with Helen for less than 5 minutes over a Zoom call and we already knew we wanted her to be our celebrant. Helen is such a personable, kind, and interesting person. After we had chosen Helen she spent many hours speaking to our closest friends and family so that she could write an amazingly detailed wedding speech about us that matched the day perfectly, and she delivered it impeccably, it was very relaxed (which is how we had asked her to deliver it), humorous and very emotional at the same time, it was a good job we had put tissues for people’s “tears of joy” on the seats as every single person needed them.
Helen’s sensitivity and willingness to make everything in the ceremony perfect made our special day that bit more special.
We couldn’t thank Helen enough for helping to make our day such an incredible moment.
We wouldn’t only recommend that you choose Helen as your celebrant, we would recommend that after reading this you call her straight away and don’t even bother speaking to any others.
Hanlie & Paul Stridgeon
5 stars is not enough to describe Helen and the service she provides.
Helen was our celebrant for our ceremony in the sound of France. I was always very adamant that we wanted a basic and traditional ceremony. Helen obliged based on our brief, but also still did get take the time to get to know us and learnt about our relationship. She produced the most beautiful script, while it still remained traditional, it really did provide the perfect summary of who we are. Helen was the talk of the wedding and to this day, we are still get compliments of her beautiful and clever words. Thank you so much for making our day more perfect then we dreamed!
We had our wedding in Provence in May 2022. Helen served as our celebrant/officiant and we couldn’t have been happier. Although brief, she was able to spend time with us before our wedding day to get to know us. Using this information, she curated a lovely ceremony. We, and our guests, specifically enjoyed the ring warming ceremony in which each of our guests was able to hold our rings and impart a blessing, prayer, wisdom to help kickstart our marriage with some positive energy! If you are in search of a professional, English speaking, officiant in the South of France, then look no further than Treasured Ceremonies. Cheers!