Kinds words from Emma and Chris

“We would like to say a massive thank you to you Penny for being our wedding celebrant.  You were great start to finish by writing and personalising the ceremony to exactly what we wanted and took care of everything so it lifted the stress from us.  The ceremony was beautiful and it’s all thanks to you.  You gave us ideas and suggestions that we otherwise wouldn’t have thought about and it was those little touches that made the day all the more memorable.  Thank you again!”

Emma and Chris

Celebrants & Registrars – What’s the difference?

There seems to be some myths and misconceptions surrounding what celebrants are, what a celebrant does and how a celebrant works; so here goes with a simple guide!

A celebrant service encompasses what is important to the couples involved and can include customs and rituals but eliminates the restrictions that can often be imposed by others.

The elements that Celebrants can include within a ceremony are endless, creative and very personal to those involved.

Not all celebrants are “humanist”.  Humanists do not believe in any kind of God or supernatural force that will solve their problems, they believe that human beings must take sole responsibility for solving the world’s environmental problems. Only humans are capable of finding the solutions that can lead to a sustainable existence. Therefore, humanist celebrants do not make reference within their scripts to anything they do not believe in.

I am a member of The UK Society of Celebrants that is a professional body that trains, coaches and supports its members who are based all over the UK and beyond.  There are thousands of UKSoC celebrants who are very supportive of each other.

The ethos behind my business is that any ceremony should be about the couple and not the person delivering the ceremony; therefore, basically anything goes. If a couple want references to there religion or beliefs; if they want a theme or particular style; then that is included.

There are other organisations and individuals providing celebrant services too, some have not trained with an organisation and work independently.

Not all celebrants provide funeral services; I chose to become a Family Celebrant so am qualified to craft ceremonies for Weddings, Renewal of Vows, Commitment and Naming ceremonies.

Most Celebrants will be self-employed and as such their reputation has to be exemplary otherwise they don’t get work, and like all self-employed people if you don’t work you don’t get paid!  This is why any reputable celebrant will provide a very personal and professional service.

I only commit to one wedding per day, so that I can ensure my couples feel happy in the knowledge if things over run or there are last minute adjustments to their schedule; I can accommodate that to ensure their ceremony is just as they wish.

As I have mentioned I am a member of a professional organisation therefore, I have the back up of other professional celebrants and we are all trained to work with a particular method and to a high standard.  In the unlikely situation a UKSoC Celebrant is unable to perform a ceremony another UKSoC Celebrant could step in.  The scripts that we write are so detailed and even have timings and colour coded items that any of us could quite easily execute one another’s ceremony.

A celebrant provides a service anywhere that the couples choose, a venue does not have to be licensed; examples are a beach, woodland or a garden.  Basically the world is your oyster.

In Scotland, Ireland and Jersey Celebrants can also do the legal side of a Wedding Ceremony; but in England this still has to be done by either a minister or a registrar.  It is cheaper to have your ceremony at the registry office as registrars charge a greater fee to deliver their service in approved licensed venues; the cost can also increase depending on which day you opt for.

It appears that there are some negative comments and scare mongering from registrars in response to the ever-increasing popularity of couples opting for a Celebrant Service in the UK.

Here is a quick overview of the Registrars service.

Registrars are employed by the local authority and deliver ceremonies, but these are restricted to being held in either a registry office or a venue that is licensed and approved by them.

Registrars often have several commitments of more than one ceremony per day and are very stringent on timings, as they may need to be at another venue at a scheduled time.  Once you have booked a registrar at a particular time, that is your slot.  If you need to change it you will be charged.

Registrars who sometimes haven’t actually met both of the individuals before the Wedding Day read a standard script and deliver a service as oppose to a Celebrant who has got to know the couple and creates a ceremony specifically for them; nothing standard!

Registrars are paid a wage whether they are excellent or not!

Now that you know a few more facts you can perhaps make more of an informed choice of how you wish to proceed with Your Wedding Ceremony.













Making Proposals Possible – Valentines Day

Now that we are over the festive season, a prime time for couples to get engaged, we are fast approaching the most romantic date for proposals “Valentines Day” 14th February.

For some people the thought of getting engaged and married is something they have dreamt of for years.  The start of this journey is an exciting time and whoever is instigating the proposal wants to get it just right.   We have all read about the many weird and wonderful proposals that have taken place, but the one thing that plays a vital part in any proposal or engagement plans is the ring.

The Ring

Choosing a ring is an exciting time and sharing in that moment can be a very special experience. Selecting something that is “just right” can be a daunting prospect whilst others feel that it is quite straightforward.

So how do you choose that “perfect ring”?  There are so many pieces imported from the Far East and sold by large multiple retailers, and that is fine if that’s your thing but there is always the prospect you’re buying something someone else has.

Wouldn’t it be great to just go to a shop, get some advice and feel that you can trust the seller?

At Hitched Wedding Ceremonies we just love, the unique, the unusual and the fact everything should be about you as a couple.  We don’t do “standard” or “average” as you are not that, and nothing associated with you should be.

When looking for any product or service you need to do some research and find people that you connect with, feel comfortable with, you trust and feel understands your needs.

You might not have thought about or discovered small independent jewellers, but they can be tremendous for advice, guidance and helping you through the process of selecting the perfect ring.  As a physical symbol to start your life together, it’s worth bearing in mind this is an investment and something that you will hopefully treasure for the rest of your life, so a pretty important purchase.

Independent businesses are often family run and they live or die by their reputation. The independent has an abundance of ticks in all the right boxes and if you find a good one they will often carry a fantastic standing for quality on all fronts, they will be able to offer choice, a great experience, unparalleled knowledge and value too.

In many cases you will be dealing directly with the owner or decision makers within the business not salespeople who operate through a complex management structure.  The difference with the independent experience is that the purchase becomes a personal one to them and more importantly to you.   You commonly have a great amount of involvement from tailoring the process to the finished item. What better way to ensure you have something as unique and special as your relationship is?

The Jewellers Guild, based in Morpeth and Cramlington offers you some pretty exceptional and awesome experiences that really mean you will genuinely get a piece like no other. They have countless access to both Diamonds and coloured stones meaning you can sit down with one of their expert design consultants and hand pick a stone that suits your precise requirements and budget.  If you’d like to use an existing piece of jewellery that may have sentimental value or an heirloom passed down through the generations they can accommodate that too. They love to involve clients in the design process and have tailored their service to ensure your can be as hands on as much as you like.

With a 100 years of collective experience between them they are keen to share knowledge but even more importantly than that, they are passionate about getting to know the people they are working with. Whether it be a straightforward ring resizing, a redesign of a treasured heirloom or a completely new design their vast experience, skills and in- house workshop mean that you will be very well looked after.   You’ll even get a great cup of coffee and treat whilst you’re there!

For more information contact Matt Peters, Director The Jewellers Guild

Morpeth 01670 518000

So you want a Wedding?

When you decide you’re going to plan a wedding, there are no strict rules but here are a few guidelines that could help.

Always remember it should be an enjoyable experience and not stressful.

One of the first things you should consider is “Budget” set a sensible budget and try to stick to it.  If you both have an open and honest discussion and decide what you can afford, what savings you already have and what you think you could potentially have before the big event.  This should avoid any pressure on your finances, as you know what you have available to spend.

You then need to start thinking about how you’d like your wedding to look and feel.  There are stacks of sites and ideas all over the Internet that provide inspiration.  A lot of people now create Pinterest boards.

It’s a great idea to think of a theme and a style that you want so that you can narrow down what you’re looking at.  This may also dictate the type of venue you choose to consider.

Remember that if you choose to have a Celebrant Ceremony, a venue does not have to be licensed (the legal’s can be done beforehand).  This gives even greater freedom to have a truly bespoke wedding ceremony.

There are a great number of licensed venues and all with their own style, feel and look.  It is worth thinking about location, number of guests and of course your budget. Hopefully you will both have agreed on a theme and can have the same opinion about the type of venue you want.  If not, you may have to learn the art of compromise!

Some other important factors to consider when deciding on a venue are available dates, accommodation for you and your guests and catering options, do you want the venue to provide catering or do you want to organise your own?  What choices will the venue permit?

Not wishing to sound negative, but it is always worth purchasing Wedding Insurance before you start spending any money.   By doing this it can reduce stress should anything not go according to plan.

Have a glance at

A very necessary step during the planning process is to look at the legal elements of obtaining a wedding licence.  You will require particular documents and you can gain more information here

Obviously the two of you are the most important people of the whole planning process but you’ll need to think about who else will be part of the “Bridal Party”.  It

is usual to have all or a combination of a maid of honour, bridesmaids, best man, ushers, flower girls and page boys.

Remembering that Budget is vital as the more people you have the more costs you will incur as each will require outfits, bouquets, buttonholes and thank you gifts.

Next you need to think about a guest list.  Often people have daytime guests and invite extra guests for an evening celebration.   The numbers you choose may have been dictated by your choice of venue as they often have a limit of minimum and maximum numbers.   Remember here also the catering costs and sticking to your budget.

Once you have decided on the most important elements you need to start selecting suppliers such as photographers, florists, cake makers, stationers, event dressers, DJ, caterers (if required) and perhaps more quirky suppliers like photo booths, drinks vans and magicians and entertainers.  Often a venue will have worked with suppliers and will have a suggested list.  It’s always worth asking friends for recommendations too.

Probably one of the most exiting and essential elements of the whole planning process is choosing outfits, especially the brides.   It’s a good idea to start looking at wedding dresses sooner rather than later, as there is so much choice and if you are going for a designer dress or any alterations are required, you need to make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time.  It’s probably best to choose the wedding dress and grooms outfit before the bridesmaids dresses, best man and ushers’ suits so that you can ensure they compliment your wedding gown and style of your big day.

As you work through your wedding planning list at this stage it is worth considering how you want your actual day to run.  A lot of venues will have a Wedding Co-ordinator or you may have employed the help of a Wedding Planner, alternatively you may be organising everything yourself.  Whatever you are doing write a schedule for the big day, this will help you imagine how it will flow and is a good tool for everyone involved to understand who is doing what, when.  It will also throw up anything you might have forgotten about.

Once you have “The Order of the Day” you may want to match this to your wedding invitations.  And make sure everyone involved including venue, suppliers, bridal party etc has a copy, so there are no unforeseen surprises.

As you start to send out invitations, you may find guests will ask for a wedding gift list, so have a think about what it is you’d both appreciate and ensure that everyone who asks has access to you list.

Sending invitations is usually 3 to 6 months in advance of the actual day, but a lot of people send a pre invitation in the form of a “Save the Day” card.  If you are going to do that, remember to check on your budget and consider the extra costs of doing this.  Remember on the invitations to set a deadline for RSVP.

Once the RSVP’s are returned you can make a start on table plans, there may be a few late responses so you may need to chase some people.

Plan your Hen and Stag Do’s!  Amidst all this wedding planning don’t forget to celebrate; your bridesmaids and best man might have ideas or have even made arrangements, but whatever you do – have fun.

Thinking beyond your Wedding Day you might want to consider a honeymoon?  If the budget has been spent then why not think about a minimoon?  A night or two away straight after your Wedding can give you a lovely escape to relax and enjoy being newlyweds.   You can then spend time planning and saving for a bigger trip that will be your official Honeymoon and something to look forward to after all the excitement.

The final touches.  You’ve worked though all the big stuff but now you need to think about perhaps the most important aspect, the Wedding Ceremony itself.   This is your story, the music, the readings, the poems and the vows.  This is where choosing a Celebrant is a great idea.  We personalise your ceremony by spending time getting to know you and writing a specific script, adding special elements (if that’s what you’d like) providing ideas and staying in touch so that on your big day its all about you, and that’s essentially how it should be.

The Value of a Wedding

It’s really exciting to hear in the chancellors latest budget that there is going to be a shake up of the wedding industry as the laws surrounding weddings are quite archaic, specifically the rules surrounding venues which date back to the mid 19th century.

With the average cost of a Wedding in England being £30,335 according to the Bridesbook *National Wedding Survey 2018 it is a phenomenal amount for the majority of people for one day.

Understandably everyone has a budget and everybody has there own take on how he or she wants their wedding to be implemented and how it should look and feel.

Interestingly it seems that the actual ceremony itself isn’t always considered the most important aspect?  Controversial perhaps? Having attended several wedding fairs and seeing the plethora of services, add-ons, ideas and facilitates it is a bit of a minefield for couples.

Wanting to create a very individual wedding day is exciting with all the planning and support that is out there, however, getting back to the core of the day is the ceremony itself.  The words that are spoken, the vows that are promised and the additional elements that can be encompassed and involving special friends and family are really what it is all about.  It’s what you and your guests will remember forever.

The words and script written by a celebrant are not just plucked out of the air, or a standard marriage book.  A celebrant usually meets with the couple and gets to know their story, is proficient in finding out what is important to them and spends time creating something very unique.  The old adage, you get what you pay for comes into play here.  Consider this, would you walk into a restaurant and look at the menu, select the best dish on offer and then start trying to negotiate on price?

It seems that people’s perspective in certain situations changes depending on where they are.  In a church collection tray if you see £10 amongst the pound coins, it looks a lot yet when you go to the hair salon, especially for women paying £10 would seem very reasonable.

So at what cost should a professional set their price?  If a celebrant has spent money on training, has on going costs associated with being self employed and takes hours in time to work through the process of writing and delivering a personalised script what is the expectation of their worth?

I am sure there is a place for everyone and couples will decide how important their ceremony is in the big scheme of things but if a budget is set, should the ceremony cost not be at the top of the list?

What a service this could be!

The great thing about choosing to have a “Celebrant Wedding Ceremony” is the fact that once the legal’s are done (and that can cost less than £50) you can have your celebration anywhere you like.  A venue does not have to be licensed.

There are so many brilliant and exciting aspects to organising an event and you can make it just the way you want it.  Clearly budget will dictate quite a number of elements, however, there are people who have managed to produce something quite wonderful on a limited funds; sometimes you just have to be a bit creative.

All Aboard

I’m sure you’ll have seen some really quirky transport offered for couples and guests alike.  From horses to tractors and vintage cars/campervans, there is a multitude of ways to get to and from your wedding venue.  One popular mode of transport that makes quite an impact on the road and is also practical and great fun is the double Decker bus; a great way to involve everyone, and create a terrific atmosphere before, during, and after the celebrations.

Whether it’s a Wedding, Renewal of Vows, Commitment or Naming Ceremony you could actually do this “on the Bus” with me as your Celebrant!

If you are local to the North East, have heard of the group Lindisfarne (who hasn’t) or one of the founder members Ray Laidlaw (drummer) who is also a film producer. You’ll probably have heard or seen the Tyne Idol Tour bus of which Ray is a partner.

It’s a pretty impressive traditional Double Decker brightly sign written with Tyne Idols logo, inside is just as impressive with nostalgic photographs and memorabilia.  The tours are great fun with on-board chat and music hosted by the legendary Ray Laidlaw.   It never fails to attract attention whilst out on the road with complete strangers waving at those on board.  It really is quite special.

Julie Clay is “Mrs Organiser” and ensures everything runs just right from ticket sales for individuals and group bookings to allocating seats and hunting down iconic venues to visit en route.   Julie is also well known in the region for running her own business “The Vintage Tea Party” which hires out attractive vintage crockery and bunting for a variety of functions and is incredibly popular with Weddings.

The bus can be hired for private functions and has on occasions been used to transport wedding guests to venues, but it has never yet had a ceremony on board.

The idea of offering this truly unique option of having your Wedding/Renewal of Vows or Civil Ceremony came about at a recent meeting. Its pretty incredible when you get together a bunch of enthusiastic, like minded people who just love the idea of doing things differently.

So, if you’re up for something completely unique want to be part of a truly Geordie experience and have some fabulous people working with you.  Look no further than The Tyne Idols Bus


For more details please contact Julie or Penny :

Tyne Idols –

Vintage Tea Party  –

Hitched Wedding Ceremonies –







An attraction worth seeing

One of the biggest decisions when planning your Wedding is where to actually hold the ceremony.  With the changing face of the UK and the multicultural society in which we now live less and less people are opting for traditional religious settings and are instead seeking alternatives.

There are a huge range of venues and settings, all with unique offerings in terms of packages and enticements.  Clearly budget and capacity have to play an important component when deciding where the celebrations should be held.

Having visited many of the venues in the North East it is fantastic to see such attention to detail in respect of how owners have embraced the modern day requirements of couples tying the knot.

One venue that I recently visited is Spanish City, Whitley Bay. An iconic jewel in the crown of North Tyneside has opened its doors once more after an extensive £10 million refurbishment.  The oddly named Spanish City in Whitley Bay with a long history in the town known for its landmark dome opened in 1910 and became the largest dome in the UK after St Paul’s Cathedral.  Even the world famous Dire Straits, the group formed by local musicians mention “Spanish City” in their song “Tunnel of Love”.

When approaching the Spanish City, a Grade II listed building you can’t fail to be impressed with its sparkling white façade contrasted against the ever-changing colours of the North Sea.   Anyone who is from the North East or visited back in Whitley Bay’s heyday has to get a sense of glee at the mere sight of such an impressive building nestled on the stunning Northumbrian coastline.  It has long been associated with “fun” and “nostalgic grandeur”.

Today with its smart new look yet retaining period features and variety of eateries, the inside of Spanish City definitely has the “wow” factor.  When entering the building and making your way through the various areas it somehow gives you a sense of being in a very special place that has been designed to meet the needs of modern society.

The function suite where you can hold your Wedding Ceremony has the most spectacular sea views across the shoreline and towards St Mary’s lighthouse through floor to ceiling windows.  Not only do you get exclusive use of the function suite facilities with only one wedding per day allowed, but also there are some delicious options for food and drinks.

The ceremony room can be dressed in a style to suit your taste and there are some magnificent photographic opportunities, even in elevated positions from the rooftop.

Faye Purver is the Wedding and Events Co-ordinator and would be delighted to discuss your requirements. She can be contacted on 0191 691 7087 or E-mail

What to say at my Wedding?

When you start to plan a wedding there are so many things to think about its often a great help to have the services of a wedding planner.  Many registered venues do employ someone to help you with arrangements and there are also private wedding planners that can often recommend supplies for a range of services.

One of the most important aspects within the whole design of your wedding is the actual ceremony and even more important “the vows”.  The words you say to each other will be something you and your guests will always remember.

It can be one of the hardest parts and worrying for a couple to get it just right.  You may ask yourself, how long should the vows be?  Should you include some traditional element or make it completely personal, even down to something only the two of you understand?

Working with a qualified celebrant

This is where working with a qualified celebrant, who has trained specifically to write ceremony scripts can help enormously.  It’s even more important to work with a celebrant who has the freedom and flexibility to incorporate almost anything, whether that includes cultural, religious or spiritual references or not.  You have to feel comfortable and confident in your chosen celebrant.

Something to bear in mind and is of the upmost importance is remembering that is YOUR day and the ceremony is about the TWO of YOU and should not be heavily influenced by others.  It’s good to have suggestions but ultimately when working with your chosen celebrant, you have to be happy and comfortable with the words used.

The significance of your vows has to be relevant, personal and meaningful and don’t forget to say “I Love You”!

Celebrants take time to get to know you and are skilled interviewers that encourage you to talk about yourselves; you’re relationship, situation and your wishes.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

To prepare and to gather some inspirational ideas it is a good plan to get in the right frame of mind (and not stress) and create an ambiance that is calm and quiet.  It might also be worthwhile looking back at some photos and discussing times spent together, what you enjoy doing, common interests and why you love each other.  If you want some traditional vows a celebrant can help with this too.

Once you have the important aspects highlighted a celebrant can draw up a draft copy and you can consider any modifications you may need to make.

It’s vital to prepare and practice well in advance and there is some truth in the saying “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.   You will undoubtedly have some wedding day jitters if you are not used to saying such significant and personal words to each other or indeed in front of other people.  However, if you get this most important aspect of your day right, you can simply enjoy the rest of the celebrations.

Celebrate with a Celebrant

There is nothing nicer than attending a Wedding and being surrounded by joyful people looking smart in all their finery.

In my 20’s I seemed to be fortunate enough to be a guest at a few such occasions. In fact I was a bride in 1986 with a traditional church wedding.

A good number of those “1980’s” newlyweds have been blessed with children and even grandchildren.  However, life has different plans for some of us.

Sometimes couples for whatever reason are not always destined to stay together but often have the good fortune to meet another partner further down the path of life.

Love is love, an intense feeling of deep affection whatever age someone is. Being able to be part of helping couples “tie the knot” for the first or another time is something very special indeed.

In today’s society we live in a splendid rich fabric of different faiths, cultures, beliefs and attitudes and I consider that being a celebrant fits perfectly with the diverse unions that are happening more freely now.

A celebrant service encompasses what is important to the couples involved and can include customs and rituals but eliminates the restrictions that can often be imposed by others.  A Wedding Celebration is such a special event and should be precisely what the couple desire; creating a unique, individual, memorable and special day.

If you would like to discuss a celebrant wedding which perfectly reflects your aspirations, I would be delighted to arrange a meeting to discuss and explore the opportunity of working with you.