I first met Penny (a kickass wedding celebrant) about 4 years ago at a tiny little wedding fair up in North Yorkshire. Little did I know that I was talking to a prominent member of so many wedding groups and forums! She truly is the consummate professional, with years of experience having previously worked as a registrar. There's no one else I regard in higher esteem so to have a chance to sit down and chat weddings... well I bit her hand off!
So... Without further ado... Here she is!
Hi, I’m Penny, or Penelope if you like. I am an independent celebrant offering bespoke ceremonies for every life event. So think like a minister/vicar without a collar or a Registrar without the red tape. So if you’ve always fancied saying I do beneath a massive oak tree or exchanging your rings in a hot air balloon then that is what a celebrant can do. With no restriction on content, no rules about location or timings and the flexibility to have your ceremony exactly as you would like it. So if you want tradition, keep it if you don’t lose it! I have officiated ceremonies of all shapes and sizes from a gathering of 400 on a stage at a festival to just two people on a mountain top in deepest rural Wales, anything goes.
How long have you been in business? I have been working within the wedding industry for over 21years! For fourteen of those years, I have been lucky enough to have been officiating ceremonies. Both Legal ones and celebratory ones.
I know that probably makes me an antique by some counts, but It also means I have heaps of knowledge and experience to share. Penelope Jayne was created almost four years ago.
When did you start your business and what made you start? I was increasingly frustrated with how couples were being made to conform, to fit inside a box, to be like everyone else. I wanted couples to have choices, flexibility, and the opportunity to have their day their way. Plus I needed to make a massive switch-up in my life too. Working 9-5 in a massively corporate environment was stifling. I craved freedom and needed to release my creative side. I knew I could not just give up on what I loved to do the most. So becoming an Independent Celebrant, working for myself was the perfect solution.
Where are you based?
I am based right in the heart of East Yorkshire. High up on the Wolds, where the views are endless and the coast breathtaking. Having travelled all over the world and lived in several different countries I settled here in a rural village in Yorkshire, to bring up my family.
How far will you travel for a wedding?
There are no limits! I have been incredibly lucky to have been whisked away all over the world to perform ceremonies.
How would you describe your style Ohh now that’s a fun question….. I guess you would say I am a pretty good all-rounder. I love when a couple choose what matters to them. I can offer a ceremony that really tells each couple’s journey. I guess my aim is always about fun. The couple having fun, their guests having fun and creating a memory to last everyone a lifetime.
What makes you different from your competitors?
I come with a wealth of insider knowledge. I have thousands of ceremonies under my belt and I know what it takes to create a special ceremony. I do not do stuffy, boring heard it all before ceremonies. There is no red tape, no ridiculous rules and certainly no templated scripts.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The people. Definitely the people. Both the clients and my fellow industry suppliers. Weddings bring out the best in people, (usually) and being part of anyone’s epic life moment makes for the most rewarding and fulfilling job I have ever had. Getting to know my couples, share their story and experience the magic of their day is incredible.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
In business, managing to start from nothing but a dream of what could be. Taking a massive leap of faith and walking away from a huge corporate role into a world where the only basis I had to work from was my love of couples have their day their way. And now here I am with a diary ram packed with the most wonderful bookings, features in some of the world’s top magazines, collaborations with exclusive venues and designers and a trainers role with the wonderful Academy of Modern Celebrancy.
Personally, I have raised four awesome children, who have survived being brought up by a creative parent, amongst a plethora of wedding-related jargon and still survived.
What sort of couple do you think you attract? The ones who know that they want to do something totally unique to them. Those that already know that same old, here we go again ceremony is not for them.
Maybe they have chosen a location that really means something to them. Or want to say I do outside the normal 9-5. The ones who want their guests to witness something totally inspiring and something everyone will remember.
What would be your ideal wedding to work on?
I think every wedding supplier has that bucket list of dream weddings. Don’t they? I know I do!
I have some pretty epic venues I would love to have a ceremony in, along with some jaw-dropping locations too.
My ideal wedding is one where I know that the couple standing before me are totally enjoying every second of their big moment, and all because I have taken the time to learn and create something bespoke for them.
What advice would you give couples when choosing their wedding celebrant?
Never just book a celebrant without a little research. You are going to be working closely with your celebrant from booking right through until the big day itself. After all, they will be sharing your day with you, literally stood there! Chat with them, get to know them. Do they offer the type of ceremony you really want? Would you feel comfortable sharing your story with this person?
Can you give me some information on your pricing structure?
My pricing is easy and uncomplicated. One fee. The only additions are travel outside a 50-mile radius from home.