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I'm Mandy Payne, and I have lived in Chesterfield nearly 20 years with my husband John. 

Before that I grew up in Rotherham, South Yorkshire and I think I'm still somewhat of a 'Yorkshire Lass'.

Although John and I have been together nearly 21 years, we only married 4 years ago.

Our wedding itself, including the ceremony was held in a lovely local restaurant with just 30 of our close family and friends and the ceremony was officiated by a registrar.

The day was absolutely wonderful... full of happiness, laughter and love and everything that we had dreamt about and had worked hard planning for.

The venue was licensed for Weddings and so there was a certain area that we had to stand in, which I found quite weird really if I'm honest; I presumed a licence meant the whole building. 

Anyway, the registrar arrived and 'interviewed' John and I separately, asking various questions and ticking off boxes on a sheet of paper. 

When the ceremony time approached all guests were asked to leave their drinks before entering the section of the venue we had designated an aisle. The registrar was a lovely man, don't get me wrong but I didn't know him from Adam - and he certainly knew nothing about each of us, or us as a couple.

The ceremony went smoothly and he left straight after to get to his next wedding.

 It was only when I read about celebrancy that I realised that there were more options regarding our ceremony.

Find out more about options available for your own ceremony 


Had we known what was actually available to us at the time I would have certainly opted for our ceremony to have been conducted by someone that we knew, and that had got to know us and our story.

The whole ceremony would have been created by us with the celebrant and we would certainly have had more than just 3 choices - and they were the 3 options for the words in the vows!

As you can probably guess, that was the start of my new career as a Family Celebrant. 

I loved the idea of helping couples, families and their loved ones create something that they are a part of from the beginning, tweaking it until it makes the most incredible memories to last a lifetime. 

I am a true 'people person' and I love nothing more than listening to people's stories ... 

My friends and loved ones refer to me as being empathetic (I seem to just know when things are right with people- or not!), I am definitely hard working, trustworthy, kind and considerate and 100% always go above and beyond expectations - even my own, and that's saying something!!

My career background

My working career started in the Emergency Services, firstly the Ambulance Service and later the Fire Service; both of which were in South Yorkshire.

25 year's of shift work eventually started to take its toll and so I decided to study for a new career.

I achieved a degree in Management, with a specialism in Social Care.

Until my early retirement 3 years ago I managed workers supporting families with significant needs in Derbyshire.

Although the work was stressful and often frustrating, it did provide me with experience of organising and delivering conferences and training events, Chairing meetings with representatives from professional bodies as well as the skills of court report writing and not forgetting communication skills.

Everything I have done in my life, I am certain was building the foundations for the one true career that I was meant for me - Celebrancy

Before this I 'worked'.... now I thoroughly enjoy every minute of what I do and my enthusiasm is equalled with satisfaction and pride at the end of every ceremony.

Cliche alert, but....  I honestly and truly feel like 'I'm home' in some way!

But, that's (more than) enough about me... I can't wait to meet you and to hear your story! 

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