Wedding and Funeral Celebrant in Westminster
Hello and thanks for visiting my profile.
I’m Darren Williams, often referred to as DW, and I grew up in a small market town called Marlborough, but London has been my home for 25 years. I now live in Westminster.
I’m a new celebrant and am just starting out. I’ve spent my career in the retail and hospitality world and held several senior roles – including Retail Director at Hotel Chocolat and a former Director at Unilever in the refreshments division. I have also been a public speaker for many years and work the industry circuit, as well as holding Ambassadorial roles at Stonewall and Target Ovarian Cancer.
A few years back I set up my own successful consultancy, and I work with start-ups, expanding and distressed businesses. I’ve been thinking about becoming a celebrant for some time now, and with the outbreak of covid-19 I had a little more time on my hands to study, so that’s what I did.
I think the role of a celebrant is very special indeed. In the case of funerals, I have the privilege of spending time with people when they have just lost a person they loved. I know first-hand how stressful the first days after a death are, and often there is a great deal of shock and denial. I have a natural empathy, and at a pace of the bereaved choosing we’ll talk together in a way where I can ask the right questions and find the answers.
A ceremony I perform will be deeply personalised, agreed in full with the client, and ensuring the words that I have brought to life are an excellent reflection of the person I have ‘come to know’ via family and friends. I love writing, but I want to ensure that those who are closest to the deceased love it too – and that it feels right. I have no interest in ‘stencil ceremonies’ in which I get to perform them over and over again and just change a few details.
As I talk to those who have lost someone, I intend to create a safe space and ensure they feel able to tell me all that’s important. I don’t want them to feel restricted to just answering my questions, they can volunteer memories as they ‘pop up’. I want to hear about holidays, books, music, poetry, hobbies, quirks, habits, funny stories. All this helps so much.
I of course want to hear all this for the happier side of life too. Weddings, civil ceremonies, naming ceremonies, I can’t wait to work alongside happy couples or families in preparation for their big and unique special day. The emphasis for me is again on bespoke.
I look forward to creating bespoke, unforgettable and beautiful ceremonies. I love a challenge, so no idea is off the table for me! I will listen to ideas, and then offer some more options for the ceremony that I think may be enjoyed. All couples and families are full of unique ideas that can be turned into warm and entertaining ceremonies and events!