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Here is something about Mary ...The Whole Celebrant: Square Peg - Square Hole

Mary Harboe - Civil Celebrant UKSC(M)
A celebrant needs to have a rare combination of skills. She needs to be good at relationship-building, listening and interviewing, writing and also public speaking and presentation. After a lifetime career as a journalist and radio broadcaster, how fortunate that all these attributes are my strengths! It could be said that I am a square peg fitting smoothly into the celebrant whole. 

For me, becoming a celebrant with the UK Society of Celebrants has been a rewarding and life-changing experience. I feel honoured to be involved in the creation of bespoke ceremonies and being a part of the subsequent memories which will last forever. Whatever the occasion, my mission is to deliver exactly what my clients want - helping to make their big day really special.

As a journalist, published author* and award-winning broadcaster** - for fourteen years I presented a daily magazine programme in Southern Spain - I am used to to working under pressure and also from some unusual locations. I am also able to cope seamlessly with the unexpected - all experiences that are extremely helpful for a celebrant.

During my time on radio and also - for a short while - on local television, I have always attempted to achieve the perfect interview: one that shows the guest in their best light, getting across the salient points while entertaining the listener, reader or viewer. I am now able to bring this skill to my work as a funeral celebrant by sympathetically gathering information about the life of the deceased in order to write and deliver a well informed profile eulogy that will not only be a worthy tribute, but will also hold the attention of the mourners.

At a bespoke family ceremony - a wedding, vow renewal or naming ceremony -  I am also fully aware how important it is to ask the right questions. Whatever the occasion, I will make sure that - as well as being accurate - my words will strike the right chord and form the very heart of each ceremony.

As a radio presenter, it was a tremendous pleasure to meet and talk to world famous authors, celebrities and specialist guests. I once asked Gloria Hunniford if she was ever nervous or felt intimidated by a high profile interviewee. 
“Only if I feel under-prepared”, she replied. 

This is exactly the same answer I would have given; and is the philosophy I also bring to being a celebrant. My clients can rest assured that  I will have carried out extensive preparation - including liaising with the venue and event organiser (whether a wedding planner or Funeral Director) - before officiating at their ceremony.

Finally, on a personal note, after more than twenty-five years in Spain I have decided - for family reasons - to return to my Norfolk roots. 

Although I am now based in Aylsham, near Norwich, I still retain my strong links and many connections in Southern Spain. With so many beautiful locations to choose from and its sunny weather, this is an ever-popular destination for wedding celebrations.

Please contact me wherever you will be holding your ceremony - at home or abroad. I will be happy to create and deliver your own, special tailor-made, ceremony whatever the occasion.


* “Gucci Wars” ghost-written for Jenny Gucci (wife of the late Paolo Gucci of the Gucci fashion dynasty) published 2008.


“*The Tsunami One Year On”  - a radio series written and presented by me, charting the reconstruction process in Sri Lanka - won the Communicator of the Year Award in 2006.