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I'm a Neurodivergent Celebrant - How my ADHD affects my business?





I've always felt a bit like an outcast, always on the outside of my peer groups, my friendship groups, and even amongst my colleagues. Almost as if I was different from everyone else, but I didn't quite know how, or especially why.


I've always seemed to struggle so much more with things that other folks seem to do effortlessly, even basic adult tasks like doing chores, or being able to function in an office job.


The response to this from friends and family was often " JUST GET ON WITH IT", everyone finds adult life difficult right? But I still wondered... was I just lazy like they said? Or was it something more.


Thankfully my latest hyper focus of scrolling through TikTok for hours on end had an answer for me. ADHD.


I started to see more and more videos from people sharing their experiences of life with ADHD and I related to everything they said....... "that's me" I'd shout at the screen and slowly the picture started to become clearer, I wasn't necessarily lazy and unfocused, maybe my brain operated different to the "normal" neuro vanilla folks in my life.


In September 2023, just after I turned 37 years old I was officially diagnosed with moderate to severe ADHD - and I'd been showing signs of this since my childhood.


I was relieved, but also in shock. Relieved to finally have an answer to why I am the way I am... but also in shock, and angry.... how had it taken 37 years of life for anyone to notice that I had a disability... that my brain wasn't the same as everyone else's.


it is estimated that around 1 in 7 people (more than 15% of people in the UK) are neurodivergent, meaning that their brain functions, learns and processes information differently.


I grieved for how different my life could have been if only someone had spotted something sooner, if I'd had help and support through my education, and my previous jobs. If I'd known about MYSELF and how my brain works.


I quickly realised that so many of my friends on social media and my wedding industry peers were also neurodivergent or awaiting a diagnosis of their own and I even realised that my mum almost certainly has ADHD too, and that's likely why she thought my behaviour was just normal, because it's the same as hers!


The more I researched ADHD the more self aware I became, suddenly seeing all the things I do in every day life because of the way my brain works. In fact, it felt like my entire personality was just ADHD, where even was Hazel without the ADHD? What characteristics are actually me???


It's been a process of self discovery - helped massively by my counsellor and now an ADHD coach and I even learned I was entitled to help in my business through a government scheme called Access to Work. This enabled me to get a sit to stand office desk and other equipment to make my life easier. It's given me software and support and it's even given me a Virtual assistant to help with admin tasks.





Being a Neurodivergent Celebrant isn't actually rare at all... in fact quite alot of my celebrant friends and colleagues are also Neurospicy, perhaps because it's a career that allows so much creative freedom. It calls to us!


But how does my ADHD affect my business, and are any of them things you should know about as a potential or existing couple working with me on your ceremony?


Here's a few things you might find it useful to know


I have an admin assistant now


This year I started working an admin assistant who helps me complete tasks that my ADHD brain can struggle with. This is mostly simple stuff like staying organised, diary management, and chasing invoices or information.


There may be the odd time when you receive an email from me, but it's actually sent by Jen, my lovely VA. This would only be an email that's requesting an invoice, or asking you to book a call or fill in a form, something simple. If it's anything regarding your ceremony or anything detailed, then it's from me. Likewise, all script writing, editing, ceremony logistics etc is ALL ME.


I recently discovered I had forgotten to send an invoice for a wedding that I officiated 6 months ago....and the invoice was due 9 months ago... whoooopppps! That's the kind of thing Jen is on hand to help me with.


Having Jen has massively helped me already, here's a few things I struggle with


  • Replying to emails

  • Organising emails and keeping track of info

  • Remembering meetings

  • Remembering where I saved things or if I have done something

  • Completing tasks or even getting started with tasks






I make silly mistakes


Attention to detail is not an ADHD'ers strength, especially when it comes to things like written documents.


I recently sent a couple a script in which I called the groom MY BOYFRIENDS name instead of his.... SORRRYYYYY!!


This is the kinda small and silly mistake I can make, because even when reading a script back multiple times my brain tends to skim read the text and see what I want to see, not what is actually on the paper. This means that typo's or grammar isn't always 100% accurate.


Since I'm the one reading from the script on the day of the wedding anyway it doesn't actually matter if I spell your bridesmaids name with two M's instead of one. No one's going to see the script except me!


When it comes to things that matter...like your ceremony certificate or your vows I always send a proof copy of them for you to approve before I print and bring to the wedding. This is to ensure that everything is accurate and checked by multiple people, not just me.






I thrive in chaos


Just to contradict the fact that it's so easy to miss small mistakes, I actually THRIVE in the chaos of an actual wedding day and remember ALLLL THE DETTTTAAILSSSS.


It's often said that having ADHD is like having 100 internet browser tabs open at once, and on a normal day that can be overwhelming, but during a wedding day it's PERFECT!


During my role as Celebrant I am on hand 1 hour before the ceremony starts until you sit down for your wedding breakfast or speeches. During that time I am mostly running around like a headless chicken, organising fifty different things, liasing with venue staff, your other suppliers, organising and wrangling guests into their designated areas, and making sure you as the couple have your every need taken care of.


This is when my ADHD becomes a super power and doing fifty things at once feels like a walk in the park.






I struggle to start a task, but deadlines make it easier.


Task initiation is a big challenge for many folks with ADHD, this means we can spend hours staring at a blank screen or notepad, knowing exactly what needs to be done, but somehow just not being able to do it. It's one of the most frustrating elements of ADHD for me, and it's often one that receives most criticism from neurotypical folk who don't understand.


JUST DO IT!!!!


For some reason having a deadline makes completing a task much much easier, and for this reason I try to set myself deadlines for writing every couple script, leaving plenty of time for edits with the couple before the big day.


As you can imagine with 30 plus couples to marry per year, I am often working on many scripts at the same time, and all of them are at different stages of the writing and editing process.


This is why I ask for your Couple's quiz to be sent back by a certain date - so that I can create a schedule of which scripts I am writing and when, and I have the time to create something truly amazing for each and every wedding.





I am Hyper critical and very sensitive to rejection


Oh god do ADHD'ers struggle with rejection sensitivity.


This often means if someone makes a negative comment about my work, or points out a silly mistake I've made I will likely fixate on it FOR MONTHS - if not longer.


I had a falling out with another wedding supplier 4 years ago and it still haunts me! I made a mistake once on a script and even though I rectified it before a single guest even noticed my error I fixated and beat myself up about it endlessly.


Of course this isn't your problem, but when it comes to working with an ADHD'er it's helpful if you understand how they might react in certain situations and consider their feelings in how you approach situations.


For instance ghosting.... if you have an informal chat with a supplier you are considering booking for your wedding day and they've taken an hour out of their evening to talk to you, let them know when you've made the decision about who to book, even if it's not them.


Trust me all suppliers would prefer a quick "we loved chatting to you but have decided to go with another supplier" email than being ghosted.





I'm actually an introvert


If you see me at a wedding you would describe me as the life and soul of the party, confident, chatty and able to handle any situation with ease.


I can talk to anyone, about any subject and being surrounded by 200 strangers doesn't phase me at all.


But outside of work that kind of situation is MY WORST NIGHTMARE. I'm not even that social - I'd rather be at home with my dog and my partner or snuggled up with a book than going out with friends or family.


I am introvert - but with extroverted characteristics.


After a wedding I need to retreat and recover from all that socialising. So whilst I'm always honoured if you invite me to stay for the wedding breakfast or the party once my work is done, it's likely I'll decline your invite so I can get home and take a nap to recharge my batteries. It's not personal!


The majority of weddings happen at weekends, and some months are much busier than others, so in the summer time I can often have multiple weddings per weekend, or even 3 or 4 weddings in the space of a week.


Often the few hours I get to relax after a ceremony are crucial to me being able to give the same great energy at my next wedding.






My Working memory SUCKS


My short term memory is absolutely shocking - god help me if I ever get Alzheimers, because I already can't remember what I did yesterday.


If I don't write it down, I WILL FORGET - this means that during our meetings you'll often see my scribbling away or making notes about what you say. This is to ensure that I remember every detail. Sometimes I will even record meetings or conversations so I can play them back at a later date (I'll always ask you in advance if it's ok before I do this )


But my poor memory often means that I am really bad at recognising faces and putting those faces to a name. I've had couples approach me at wedding fairs who are booked in my diary for later that year and I've had no idea who they are.


This can be so embarrassing for me.


If you see me and I'm being a little vague, chances are I can't put my finger on your names and faces. Please reintroduce yourself and my brain will instantly click into gear!






Whilst having ADHD definitely adds a whole new level of challenges to running my own business it's also shaped me to be the creative, confident and out of the box thinker that I am, and it's probably given me many of the characteristics that made you like me and choose me as your celebrant.


It's also given me a greater understanding of how Neurodivergent folks feel when planning their wedding, and I've found that since my diagnosis I am attracting more neurospicy couples who want to work with someone who understands their needs.


If you're looking for an inclusive, friendly and neurodivergent friendly celebrant for your wedding day then drop me a message and let's chat. ( although not on the phone - argghhhhhhh )





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