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.