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.
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.
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!