Journal

Another Kind of Thanks

the good funeral awards

I am lucky enough to be thanked after many of the ceremonies I conduct by the families and friends involved, although of course it is not why I set out to do this work (that is a story for another blog post). There is a growing pile of cards and letters at home, as I am sure there is for any celebrant.

The other day, I was surprised to find out that I have been recognised in a new way – I have been longlisted as Celebrant of the Year by the Good Funeral Awards. They are run by the people who publish the Good Funerals Guide, and the awards are part of the Ideal Death Show in Winchester, being held at the beginning of September.

Nominations are anonymous, and I have no idea who was kind enough to put my name forward, so somewhere out there is someone whom I in turn should be thanking…

Caroline & Jane’s Wedding

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“Croianna was an excellent Celebrant at our wedding. She took the time to get to know us, listened to everything we asked for and was with us every step of the way. On the day, she was articulate, funny, caring, humble and got our day off to an incredible start. I’d be very happy to recommend Croianna’s services. Thanks so much!”

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Photo credit: Steve Fryer

B.O.A.T Adrian Buntings Memorial

Parents, David and Isobelle, his sister Sue and his nieces, Olivia and Rosie and many friends at Adrian Buntings family memorial.

BOAT launches – a personal celebration

It is great to see the inaugural season underway at Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT) – the city’s first permanent purpose built home for open air performance.
I have already been lucky enough to have enjoyed both the opening gala performance, and a stirring performance of Twelfth Night on a lovely sunny evening – but my connection to this project started with my work as a celebrant.

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of leading a memorial ceremony for a leading figure in Brighton’s arts scene. Adrian Bunting seemed to know everyone, and everyone in turn knew and loved him. So it seemed appropriate to hold the memorial in the Spiegeltent in the middle of the Brighton Festival. On top of the huge fulfilment of being able to help so many people remember Adrian, this event allowed me to get to know some great people.

Among these were, of course, Adrian’s immediate family. Adrian had always dreamed of establishing a proper home for open-air theatre in Brighton, so he not only gave his life savings to help make it happen, he also gained promises from some of his closest friends that they would bring the project to life after he was gone. Much hard work, almost all of it for free or at cost, followed, and the dream became reality.

Adrian loved to take centre stage, and so the BOAT team invited his family to come to the theatre ahead of its public launch for a private ceremony to dedicate the venue to him, culminating in scattering his ashes on the stage before they were covered in their final surfacing. I was delighted to be asked by the family to once again help with this occasion.

This was not only another very moving occasion, but a reminder to me of how powerfully losing someone can spur us on to do something which we might not otherwise have done. We cannot help it when grief is sometimes so powerful that we just have to live through it; but sometimes, especially as time goes on, we can channel the emotional energy into something positive and powerful – something great.
As Adrian himself put it – ‘life is all about having dreams and following them’.

Adrian left an amazing legacy of a new outdoor theatre here in Brighton called the Brighton Open Air Theatre  or B.O.A.T

Find out more here Brighton Open Air Theatre

Festival Themed Barn Wedding

Rachel and Marcus were married in June at the beautiful Bartholomew Barn in Kirdford, West Sussex.
They wanted a festival theme to their wedding to represent their love of music and fun.

“We decided to have a Humanist ceremony, so had popped to the registry office a couple of days before to do the legal bit. This meant that on the day we could have a totally unique ceremony, which included a handfasting. This was definitely one of the best decisions we made – every single detail was ours, with the help of our celebrant Croianna who designed the ceremony specifically for us.”

Photos: Tino and Pip

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The Wedding of Deborah and John

Croianna Bradshaw Celebrant weddings

“You made that day very personal to us, and I am sure you do this for all ceremonies that you are asked to do.”

Best wishes
Deborah and John Young

These Photos were taken under a tree at Rochester castle in the pouring rain.
The Five of us, plus the photographer, were the whole congregation and it was very special plus a lovely purple colour theme.
C.B.

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Jono and Lucy’s Wedding

Jono and Lucy’s Wedding at The House Meadow.
Jono, the Groom, with Humanist Celebrant, Croianna Bradshaw, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the lovely Bride Lucy under the Oak Tree by the lake.

Photos by Anna Marie Stepney