If you or someone you know has recently got down on one knee, Proud Fox Ceremonies could play a major role on the big day — GLL chats to founder Martin Fox-Roberts.
Hey Martin! Tell us a bit about how Proud Fox Ceremonies came into being.
My main job is being a British Sign Language interpreter, but I’m also a qualified massage therapist and a drag queen (under the name Maria Hurtz). When Covid struck, all of that had to stop (except for some remote interpreting work). I wanted another skill to acquire just in case.
I thought about the three things that happen in life — births, deaths and marriages — and started to research around that. The work of celebrants flashed up on my screen and I suddenly got excited. I could do this! So I began training as a wedding celebrant and after completing the course, I immediately set up Proud Fox Ceremonies.
How do you go about planning a big day with a client?
When I first receive an enquiry, I like to meet the couple face-to-face, either in person or remotely, which we are all used to now. We chat about the ideas for their ceremony and to get a feel for each other. Once I receive a booking form and responses to a questionnaire I send out, I arrange our first consultation when we discuss their plans and I start putting together the ceremony and the couple’s ‘love story’! Then, as we get closer to the wedding day, we’ll have another consultation when I go over the ceremony script together.
It really is the couple’s choice about what they want to include and this can extend to unity or symbolic rituals. These can be the traditional handfasting, sand ceremony, glass-breaking or tree-planting, but it can also be something more modern and foxy, such as first shots together, a gin ceremony or something entirely new. I also love to get guests involved too!
What makes a good celebrant in your opinion?
Someone who you instantly get on with — you will know as soon as you speak to them. That’s why I always have a Zoom call with my couples. Also someone who really listens to you and offers you a choice. This is your special day, after all!
Can you share some of the weddings you worked on last year? Any out of the ordinary requests?
All the weddings this year have been incredible but one ceremony that particularly stands out for me was with a gorgeous same-sex couple at the stunning Hedsor Hall. One of them spoke British Sign Language as a first language, so I delivered the ceremony in Sign Supported English (spoken English with Sign Language simultaneously). They also opted for a #DragYouUpTheAisle ceremony, so had me as Maria Hurtz in full drag. We weren’t sure how the family was going to react, as some were just getting used to the idea that it was a same-sex wedding. It went down a storm! It truly brought everyone together with laughter and some tears, but ultimately with lots of magical memories for everyone.
And finally, any resolutions for 2024?
Oh gosh… I need to get fit! I’ve put on a bit of weight so standing in those heels is getting harder — cramp seems to set in before we’ve even got to the warming of the rings!