A FORMER wedding planner turned celebrant has reason to smile after being nominated for an industry award.

Joanne Lazarus, from Whitefield, retrained with The Academy of Modern Celebrancy in lockdown.

And now she has been put forward in the 'Rising Star' category of The Celebrant Industry Awards.

Joanne said: "I am over the moon to have the chance for a life changing career, and to be nominated as a rising star is totally unbelievable."

She plumped for a new calling after the wedding and events industries were hit hard by lockdown restrictions and now awaits the outcome of a public vote.

"I had always thought about being a celebrant, as I love happy events, " she added.

Awards founder Jennifer Claire Constant said: "The past year has shown how integral Celebrants are within the funeral and weddings industry, working and supporting families through life-changing events. I’m really proud of how our members have come together and have made a difference in times of such hardship in 2020-21."