About: Helen Williams


Posts by Helen Williams:

  • Get Wed in Tenby, 19 Mar 2019 in Culture&Event
  • Tenby – Triathlon Town!, 03 Sep 2018 in Event&Sport

  • Get Wed in Tenby

    When you imagine a wedding in Tenby, you probably visualise any number of gorgeous settings. In this article I’m going to give you a few ideas about ways to “get wed in Tenby”, which may be a little different to those you’re used to.


    I’m a celebrant. My name is Helen Williams, my company is Treasured Ceremonies. As one of Wales’s leading celebrants and living just a hop and a skip from this beautiful town, I’d love to see even more weddings in Tenby than are already here.

    Before I go any further, it’s important you know the difference between a celebrant wedding and a marriage ceremony. In a nutshell, you need a registrar (or registered minister of religion) to perform a legal marriage ceremony, but as a celebrant I can create a unique wedding ceremony for you, separate from the legal signing. Most couples choosing one of my ceremonies attend the register office separately, maybe the day or a few days before their “Big Day”. Think of it as registering the legal aspect of your marriage separately to the ceremonial side, just as we do in other major life events such as registering a birth on a different day to a christening or baby-naming. Please jump over to my wedding page to read more if this is a new concept to you.

    A celebrant led wedding, then, can be held in a registered establishment, or absolutely anywhere you want it to be, any time or day you want to hold it.

    In this article, I’m going to end with the obvious, but keep reading since we’ll be starting off well outside the box (or should we say Qube?) here……

    So, where do we start?

    Al fresco wedding anyone?

    Weddings don’t have to be big, lavish and eye-wateringly expensive. Whilst I’m not writing about the cost of the wedding here, it’s worth having a look at what you can do away from the norm.


    Festival Wedding


    We tend to think of tipis or marquees within established settings, or on private land for outdoor weddings. However, if you’re a small group why not hire out an area at Florence Springs Glamping Village? You and your friends would have entertainment on the spot, and friends with children would love you forever for giving them the opportunity to bring the children with them and see them smiling rather than bored! There are an enormous number of camping and caravanning sites in the area. If this is your thing, have a scroll through them to find your ideal place.

    Bare Foot Beach Wedding!


    Why not? After all, Tenby has no less than four beaches to choose from!

    Picture the wide-open spaces of South Beach. You may want to use the cosier Castle Beach, or if you’re a “boaty” person, maybe arrive in style onto Harbour or North Beach! Book your wedding party in one of the hotels or even in a restaurant. So, if the weather’s against you it’s no problem, the room will be ready for your meal and we can conduct the ceremony there. On the beach, you create your own little wedding space using the simplest of props. Ask your guests to bring chairs if they want them, or simple blankets if they don’t. No need for Jimmy Choo’s, no formality, just love, and the sound of the sea.

    Bespoke Private Residence Wedding

    The beach weddings I’ve officiated have been reasonably low in guest numbers. However, if you want a really intimate, “bijoux” affair, how about renting one of the stunning self-catering houses in the area? Waterwynch House http://www.waterwynch.com/ is a great example. It has eleven bedrooms, a private beach and woodland, a truly luxurious retreat. Sleeping up to 28 guests means your wedding can really stretch across a whole week.

    One of my gorgeous couples rented a house a little smaller than this and had various friends staying through the week, with their “core” friends and family there for the weekend of the actual ceremony. It was a great ceremony, held in a Summerhouse lit with candles in mid-winter. The friends all paid a reasonable rate to stay in such luxury, thus helping with the cost of the week (they’d have paid to be at a hotel in any case). This couple (with family help!) did their own catering, but an outside caterer could easily be employed. Hence my dreadful pun earlier in this blog, “Qube” is a restaurant in Tudor Square which has been building a great reputation as a caterer as well. There are, of course any number of fantastic providers of dinner-party style in a private home to street-food for al-fresco, please see below for links.

    Be the Lords and/or Ladies of your own Castle for the day!CASTLES

    Pembrokeshire has over 60 castles, so you’re bound to find one you like! Tenby itself has the ruins of its walls high up on Castle Hill. And yes, we could perform a ceremony there!

    There are, of course, Castles in the locality which specialise in weddings. The nearest to Tenby is Manorbier castle where I’ve created three beautiful ceremonies, one of which, pictured below, has been blogged about internationally! Within this castle, you say your vows in an ancient chapel within the castle walls, perfect!



    If you’re looking for something more traditional than I’ve mentioned above, there’s a range of hotels you can go to. Most are registered for weddings these days but remember they don’t have to be if you use a celebrant.

    For a very personal affair, try Elm Grove in St Florence. Alan and Jane Rees-Baynes will be working with me at Treasured Ceremonies to offer intimate, relaxed celebrant led celebrations for you and your closest family & friends. Ceremonies can take place outside in the grounds of the house or in the main reception rooms.

    Have a look on this website to get a feel for other hotels Tenby has to offer. If you’re having a beach or Tenby Castle wedding, you’ll find a good number of hotels in the area to use for your party and/or as back up for bad weather. (Less-than-perfect-weather happens now and again here in Wales).


    To show I’m genuinely acting in everyone’s best interest, I’d better mention that there are a wealth of churches and chapels for you to marry in. In Tenby town you’ll find St Mary’s Church; they say it’s the biggest parish church in Wales, or was that the oldest? Certainly, at one time Gerald of Wales was rector there.

    There are many other pretty churches and chapels in the area; if you’re a church goer, I’m sure you’ll have your favourites.


    Tenby really is a fabulous place to say those vows to the one you love. Don’t forget, if you want your ceremony to be truly written around you, with memorable, emotional style and content which will leave your guests in awe, have it performed by a fully accredited celebrant such as myself. Call me, dare to be different!


    Tenby – Triathlon Town!

    Small Beginnings

    Tenby has come a long way since Tenby 10k was run from the Leisure Centre, and was the town’s headlining Sporting event. Back then, the race organisers, TROTS Running Club, would be happy with a couple of hundred competitors. Since the race moved into Tudor Square, numbers are limited to 600, and entries are closed month before the race begins.TENBY 10K

    The start of Tenby 10k in Tudor Square

    Despite my bias towards Tenby 10k as a fabulous event (I’m the gobby one/MC on the day most years!), I have to admit it’s completely overshadowed by the “Big One”, Ironman Wales (which is about to be held, on September 9th). I bet if you’re a local you’re thinking “I know someone who’s done that”, as indeed, do I. But, stop for a minute; do you realise how unusual that is?


    Ironman – Everybody’s Doing It!

    Competing in Ironman is a very big deal, but the people of Pembrokeshire and West Wales have taken it to their hearts and now boast the highest number of local competitors in the world! Many a local medic has been terrified to learn of a less-than-fit patient determined to complete the course of (in case you didn’t know!) a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. As you walk around Tenby, the person who serves you coffee is likely to be an Iron Woman or Man.


    Crowds are up early for Ironman Wales


    Prolong the Agony?

    An equally popular spin-off from Ironman Wales is the gruelling Long Course Weekend, where the distances are the same but competitors complete one section a day, so plenty of opportunity to stiffen up in between events!

    And, of course, there’s the Junior Long Course, which runs alongside Long Course weekend for 14 – 17 year olds. And, to get them started young, Long Course holds Taff Kids as the opening event for the weekend!


    Taff Kids, one pic wasn’t enough!


    So, how else can I make myself hurt?

    Tenby 10k isn’t the only event which has benefitted from the local enthusiasm for running, swimming and cycling. Carten100 sells itself as “A simple challenge, Cardiff to Tenby, 100 miles, on a bike, in a day. Not a race, not a sportive, just a bike ride”. The 2.5 mile Caldey Swim is held (weather permitting!) each August and the Tenfoot swim follows 5k from Tenby to Saundersfoot along the coast. For those wanting to keep dry, they have a trek on land as well.

    CARTEN 100

    Carten100. It’s not a race!


    Sport for All

    As a final note, let’s get real and mention that event for the people – “Park Run” – again, supervised by TROTS members, this is part of the British phenomenon which is conquering the world! Tenby’s Park Run is actually held at Colby Woodland Garden. Have a go, you never know where it may lead you!


    Sharing the Love

    Final note, as you may have guessed, your Author (me, Helen Williams), is a member of TROTS Running Club, hence the bias towards them as event organisers. No disrespect is intended towards organisers of any of the other events; you’re all awesome, professional outfits or otherwise!


    Colby Park Run