Who we are

As independent celebrants, we work with you to create unique ceremonies which truly reflect you and the people you love.

Katherine and Sarah’s friendship began at the school gate and they quickly realised that they had lots in common; mutual friends, a background in TV and film, a love of English Literature and a similar sense of humour. So it was no surprise, when out on a stomp together round Nunhead Cemetery, they simultaneously announced their intention to train as independent celebrants. The decision to set up together was a no brainer, and so Root & Branch was born.

Sarah Wanendeya

An interest in people and stories is the common thread which has woven its way throughout my life, influencing my choices of an English degree, a career in film production and more recently as an actor and writer. The skills these life choices have given me, are invaluable for my work at Root & Branch – ensuring people’s stories are told in an authentic way is at the heart of our ceremonies. 

Outside of work, I love theatre, film, music, festivals, getting involved in community events and cooking for friends and family. 

Here’s how to get in touch with me:


Here’s how to get in touch with me:

Katherine Perry

After seventeen years in independent television, working on documentaries and factual programmes, I set up Story Matters in 2013, a not for profit community interest company dedicated to helping individuals, community groups and businesses to tell, share and celebrate their stories. This led me to collaborate particularly with cultural community groups, working closely with them to create events and platforms where their culture and heritage could be given a fresh voice and their stories shared with a wider audience.

This work has helped me to understand the importance of why and how people celebrate their stories at key moments throughout their life.

My role as an independent celebrant is primarily to listen to, respect and reflect these stories and to work with you to create a celebration or ceremony that feels completely right for you.

I am a trained oral history collector, I have experience of public speaking and am a RSA fellow. In my spare time I love to walk, read, spend time with family and friends and I have a tendency to binge watch the latest gripping tv drama series.

What we do

Whether you are organising a funeral service, planning your wedding, or celebrating the arrival of a child, we are here to help.

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