AN awards-nominated celebrant has something to cheer for in her own right.

Hazel Walsh has spent nearly 12 months perfecting the art of creating just the right wedding ceremony, or the best send-off for loved ones.

And that attention to detail, and a dash of her own bright and bubbly personality, has seen her put forward for Celebrant of the Year honours in the regional finals of the Wedding Industry Awards 2020.

The 33-year-old, who grew up in Bradshaw and now lives in Lower Darwen, decided to take the plunge after losing her job as a council fitness manager.

"I've always loved writing - it's what I've got my degree in - and I always wanted to do it for a living", she said.

She underwent full training to become a celebrant, which for the uninitiated is someone licensed to conduct civil ceremonies, whatever the setting.

"You go through the art of public speaking and all of the proper procedures you need to complete," added Hazel.

"In the beginning I got some advice on how I should conduct myself and it wasn't working for me.

"I'm the one with the pink and purple hair and the rainbow styles. So I just went with that and started talking to people about what they wanted for ceremonies. And now I get a number of recommendations from word of mouth, from people who've seen what I can do."

Currently she is planning a ceremony in the middle of remote woodland - and previously she has surprised a groom with 250 of his family and friends for a renewal of his vows.

Even her funerals have an extra dimension - one saw 'mourners' drinking shots of Jagermeister off the dearly departed's coffin. Later his ashes was shot into the stratosphere strapped to a rocket.

"Lots of people are moving away from hotels and halls and just want to do something different," added Hazel, who will find out if she has won her award tomorrow night at Ashfield House in Wigan.