Burnley wedding dress designer becomes a Celebrant

After decades making wedding dresses and being the go-to person to deliver readings at family funerals, Angelina Brady-Batty decided to retrain as a Celebrant.
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A fashion design graduate of Salford University, Angelina, from Burnley, trained as a wedding gown designer and has spent more than 30 years creating beautiful dresses for brides and bridesmaids.

She said: “Weddings have always been in my life and I know how to make sure the bride has the best possible day she can have. As a celebrant, I do more than just arrange the ceremony, I welcome all guests, make sure everything is right for the couple and can even fix the dress if needed.”

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One of her most recent wedding ceremonies, at Accrington’s Haworth Art Gallery, combined traditional handfasting, ring warming and a quaich ceremony.

Angelina Brady-BattyAngelina Brady-Batty
Angelina Brady-Batty

The couple had already been legally married at a register office with two witnesses.

She said: “I met up with the couple and chatted about their life together and from what they told me; I wrote the story of their love for the wedding ceremony.

“On the day, we had a ring warming, that is when everyone holds the rings and says a silent blessing for the couple. I started off by giving a verbal blessing so that everyone could see what sort of wishes to make.

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“We worked together to agree the declarations they were going to make to each other and we then had a traditional handfasting ceremony, where the couple’s hands are bound together and blessed.

“A quaich is a ‘cup of friendship’ and the ceremony goes back centuries when kings would share the cup with one drinking from it, then the second and back to the original person to finish the drink. This symbolises trust.

“As a celebrant I am happy to include Hymns and Bible readings or to arrange a non-religious celebration, whatever they want.

“I have done many jobs over the years, but being a celebrant is definitely the best one. It gives me such a buzz because I love to meet people and get to know them and help them when they need it.”

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That is essential when a family has had a bereavement, and Angelina will be called upon by the funeral director to go and discuss what sort of ceremony the family want.

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She said: “For the last 25 years I have been the family funeral reader. Six years ago, I went to funeral that was led by a celebrant and their delivery was monotonous, that is why I decided to go and be trained.

“I had completed my online training and was due to go on the final part – a residential – but then Covid hit, so it was cancelled.

“However, as soon as I was able to, I finished my training and now I have conducted many funerals for families all over East Lancashire.

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“I feel it is an honour that I am the go-to person that can help a family through a very difficult time in their life.

“At the end of a funeral, I always ensure that, after the committal, I will finish with a poem or a few words of comfort, those attending are thanked and the family get to say any final words. They do not just leave in silence.”