Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venue- Skipbridge

Yorkshire’s alternative wedding venue- Skipbridge

When we’re not writing, styling and conducting wedding, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies, we’re out on the road seeking new and interesting off the beaten track, alternative wedding venues and outdoor locations to hold our ceremonies.

Our stomping ground is Yorkshire and it’s surrounding counties so if you’re newly engaged and looking for somewhere truly unique to have your personal ceremony, we might just have come across the one that make you feel “this is us”! Whether you are looking for a blank canvas to create a festival style event, a magical woodland, an english country garden, lavender fields, a rustic barn, a country house,  private estates or a new site to have a Papkata or tepee we can help so.

Given that Lonely Planet recently placed Yorkshire third in the top ten of ‘must visit’ places in the world in 2014 I thought over the next few weeks I’d share with you some of Yorkshire’s hidden gems that I’ve discovered along my travels this year.

Next up is  Skipbridge a wonderful country outdoor location and new for 2014; it’s relaxed, quirky and it’s easy to see why it’s quickly getting booked up. A delightful green field venue suitable for a marquee,  Papkata , TotallyTipiBoutipi or Yorkshire Yurt situated on on a small holding that houses creatures great and small.

Photograph by Peter Boyd

Photograph by Peter Boyd

You can find more insider info on our new “new venue section” on our website but here’s our at a glance summary to give you a feel for what it’s about:

It’s for you if:

  • you want a more relaxed chilled affair
  • you’re looking for something a bit quirky and fun
  • quite a lot of your wedding guests are children
  • you want the flexibility of a blank canvas outdoor location but with reliable support available if you need it
  • you want on site electric and proper showers and loos and a portable bar!
  • if you want the option of on site B&B accommodation or camping
  • you love the outdoors, animals and lovely people


What kind weddings & ceremonies can you have there?

Informal, personal outdoor ones! Our ceremonies are written, styled and conducted for and about you. You have the freedom and flexibility to say what you want to say and promise to each other, choose the music, poems, lyrics or traditions that are meaningful to you or give them a new take. We are nationally qualified Independent Celebrants which means you can include religious, spiritual content or keep it totally secular, it’s entirely up to you.

But most importantly we tell your own story and  create a ceremony that’s unique and personal to you, whatever your style or choice of location.

Why have we chosen to work with Skipbridge Country Weddings?

  • the friendly relaxed atmosphere
  • the flexibility and freedom it offers
  • their dedication to making your day a personal experience
  • the quirky features

If you’re interested in wedding ceremony at Skipbridge Country Weddings then give Jan a call on 07745 385 981 or drop Jan an email ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk and don’t forget to leave a contact number too!

Living North Weddings -Location, location, location


If you’re looking for “a bright idea” for your wedding then check out today’s Living North Weddings magazine page 11 no 3.

We’re full of bright ideas for your personal wedding ceremony but we can also help you find a place to have it that’s also unique and personal.  As Kirsty and Phil say, it is all about location, location, location. When we’re not writing, styling or conducting our ceremonies we’re searching out some of Yorkshire’s newest hidden gems.

So please do get in touch if you need a little insider info on suitable locations in Yorkshire and the surrounding areas that fit with your  own personal style. ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk.

Keep your eye on the blog and on our “new venue section” on our website, over the next few weeks we’ll be telling you about some of our favourites. If you want to find our more about the venue featured below take a look at our first featured alternative wedding location.



31st May- love songs for weddings- last but not least, celebrating a universal love


Well, we hope you have enjoyed our month of love songs for weddings through out May as a celebration of Summer and wedding fever. Each day we picked a gem of a love song to take you on a musical journey above and beyond the traditional ‘Bridal March’. Whilst there are some fabulous classic love songs for weddings to choose from, it may be that you are looking for something a bit different and want to give a contemporary twist to your ceremony, so this was for you.

Our final song is a pretty little love song.

It has ‘bottled’ that feeling you get when you’ve met someone and fallen head over heals in love. Your head is in the clouds, your heart skips a beat, everything is new and exciting and every day is sunny and warm. It feels like the first day of your life.

When you take your vows and make promises to each other on your wedding day, no matter how long you have been together, it too feels like the first day of your life.

So we think this is worthy of being one of our featured love songs for weddings that you could walk down the aisle to. It’s is a pretty song celebrating that people all over the word fall in love, a love that is universal and tells a different story each time.

So, here you go- ‘First day of my life’ by Bright Eyes

YouTube Preview Image

We’d love to hear your own love stories. No two love stories are the same so we make sure that is reflected in your ceremony by making it personal and unique.

Oh, and if any of you lovely brides out there do chose one of our featured songs for your wedding we’d love to hear about it.

Happy Summer. Happy wedding fever!


30th May wedding songs- great wedding ceremony ideas can start with a song


If you’re looking for wedding ceremony ideas then welcome to our last couple of days of  May wedding songs to walk down the aisle to! Today we’re featuring an alternative song style- dark piano ballards with a love theme at the core of the lyrics- for which Nick Cave is so well known. In his song “Into My Arms” he tells a story that is ‘melancholic’ but yet uplifting, cloaked in spiritual and religious language & imagery. If you haven’t heard it before,  you may be forgiven for thinking that’s it doesn’t sound the best choice of song to walk down the aisle to, but hear it out, it does have  a beautiful quality about it! And there is a ‘happy’ ending as love does conquer all in the end!

YouTube Preview Image

There are so many  great songs to choose from spanning many decades and genres which makes finding THE song to walk down the aisle to even harder! Some great wedding ceremony ideas can start with a song so rather than leave this to the end of your wedding planning, when things start to get a bit hectic and more stressful, our advice would be to decide this at the beginning of the wedding planning process when designing the ceremony.

We like to work with our couples from the beginning, starting with a blank piece of paper. We consider each of the different elements of a ceremony, the location, the content and the overall look & feel that you want to convey together as a whole ‘concept’. That way we help you make a real personal statement that says”This is us”. If you would like us to help you come up with some wedding ceremony ideas to create a ceremony that is unique and personal then just drop us a line ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

Anyway, we hope you were inspired by today’s featured song. We have one more song tomorrow to conclude our month of May wedding songs to celebrate the start of Summer and wedding fever so have a look back at all our featured songs and don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us your favourites.

Happy Summer! Happy Days!

29th May- Wedding songs- children at weddings



Having children at weddings or issuing a ‘no kids policy’ can be a contentious subject for some couples. For ‘bonded broods’-those who already have a family-, having children at weddings is simply non negotiable for their own wedding ceremony; in fact it’s compulsory! These couples are looking for a more contemporary and personal way to get married that is not just ‘child friendly’ but child inclusive. Often children fulfil wedding roles in traditional ways with ring bearers, bridesmaids and page boys, but there are many more interactive and symbolic actions that they can be involved in. Having children at weddings can actually enhance the overall experience and make it a very personal occasion for you, your family and guests. Outdoor, beach, glamping, festival or woodland weddings really lend themselves to a more relaxed atmosphere and are perfect for kids.

In terms of wedding music, today’s song is a cute and catchy love song seen through the eyes of a child and is one that will have all the children singing along to as you walk down the aisle. It a wedding song that you can have a little bit of fun with- “All I want is you” by Barry Louis Polstar, a author and singer-songwriter who writes children’s music. Just great!


YouTube Preview Image


We’re coming to the end of our month of  May featured wedding songs, only  two more to go. So if you don’t do children at weddings pop back tomorrow for a different one or have a look at our other 28 songs.

We’ll be talking about ways you can include children at weddings in more detail in an up and coming blog so if you’re a ‘bonded brood’ keep an eye out or contact jan: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk

Happy Summer!

28th May Wedding songs & the celebrant- finding a higher love


As the celebrant at a wedding helping find the right music is just one part of what we do to help make a wedding ceremony personal. Everyone is different and that it half the fun! For today’s featured song I was fortunate to have grown up with it in the 1980s and it remains in my top ten, still giving me goose pimples when I hear it. There have been other versions but the original Frankie Goes to Hollywood is my personal favourite as it contains that raw emotion you feel when you are touched by love.

It’s beautiful, powerful and dramatic, the lyrics are mysterious and intriguing and can’t help but draw you into the song.  ‘The Power of Love’ has been described as “one of those magical points in music where the sacred and the secular entwine. Where once a gospel choir might have sung of how God wields an almighty power from on high- a power that is transformational, at times terrifying, but always purifying, redemptive- secular artists attribute these same qualities to romantic love”*

Holly Johnson once said “There  is a biblical aspect to its spirituality and passion; the fact that love  is the only thing that matters in the end.”

This is so true and demonstrates that love has no boundaries. “The Power of Love’ is a song that makes you feel something whatever that higher love may be. Have a listen.

YouTube Preview Image

We too don’t set boundaries. As the celebrant we are dedicated to making your ceremony be about your love, so if you want your wedding ceremony or civil partnership to be without restrictions on the venue or location, the ceremony words, the music or the style then we can help. Our ceremonies put you in control, we can be as hands ‘on’ or ‘off ‘ as you like to help you make it your own.

Another version of ‘The Power of Love” you may have heard more recently is by singer song writer Gabrielle Aplin  it’s a beautiful interpretation and maybe the one you choose to walk down the aisle to! But if not drop by tomorrow and we’ll have another one. or check out all out other processional songs featured in May.

YouTube Preview Image

Happy Summer!


*Laura Barton, The guardian


26th & 27th May wedding ceremony songs- a double bill from1980’s Scottish folk rockers


As it’s a bank holiday tomorrow (yeh!) we’ve got a double whammy of wedding ceremony songs for you. We’re taking you back to the 1980’s to hear  ‘The Waterboys’ with “Whole of the Moon” a wonderful song with lyrics that keep building up as it goes along, just like poetry, then blows you away.  Their music is a mix of celtic folk with rock and roll that often contains literary references and frequently about spirituality; whilst this song is not a ‘typical’ wedding ceremony song to walk down the aisle to it does have a certain ‘something’ magical about it and is full of hope. We just love the addition of trumpets, they give it a classical element and take it to a higher level. Have a listen to the lyrics:

YouTube Preview Image
I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
You were there in the turnstiles
With the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
You cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley
You saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
… but you swooned!
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder
And you know how it feels
To get too high
Too far too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon!
Unicorns and cannonballs
Palaces and piers
Trumpets towers and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags rags ferryboats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars
You climbed on the ladder
With the wind in your sails
You came like comet
Blazing your trail
Too high too far too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
Our second song is also by  The Waterboys,  ‘How long will I love you’ but this time a cover by Kristina Train, beautifully sung and once again, beautiful lyrics.
YouTube Preview Image

How long will I love you
As long as there are stars above you
And longer if I can

How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
AS long as the sea is bound to
wash upon the sand

How long will I want you
As long as you want me to
And longer by far

How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you are

How long will I give to you
As long as I live through you
However long you say

How long will I love you
As long as stars are above you
And longer if I may

We’re into our final week of May and featured wedding ceremony songs to walk down the aisle to so don’t forget to pop back to hear our final selections. If you missed yesterday’s treat check it our here.

If lyrics, words and music are an important part of your life bring them out in your wedding ceremony, it’s doesn’t always have to be ‘spoken’ it can become part of your aisle or decoration. Whatever your style, whether it’s an indoor or outdoor wedding it can really make it personal to you. We don’t just write and conduct ceremonies, if you want us to help you come up with ideas for personalising and styling your ceremony just drop us a line: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk


Happy summer!




25th May Processional wedding songs- a chemical attraction


It’s bank holiday weekend, the sun is shining, happy days! So for all you lovebirds looking for processional wedding songs that captures the emotion of physical and chemical attraction – “Falling Slowly”  by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova is it!  Such beautiful voices.

YouTube Preview Image

“Falling Slowly” is an Academy award winning soundtrack to 2006 oscar winning Independent Irish film ‘Once’ where the characters express their emotion through the medium of song.

The day you get married is a special moment in time when you feel that same physical and chemical attraction you had when you first met. We listen to your own stories of how you met, the places, the people and the experiences that brought you closer together and try to capture this special time in a personal wedding ceremony. We can help you find that special location or if you have been dreaming of having your ceremony in a place that’s meaningful to you then we’ll help make it a reality. All our ceremonies are totally bespoke, there are no rules or etiquette that you have to follow we just help you make it your own and put into words the things you want to say to each other.

We hope you liked today’s song but if it doesn’t make you feel ‘this is us’ then you can always have a look at our other featured processional wedding songs in May or pop back tomorrow.

Happy Summer!




24th May Garden Weddings- Justin Bieber goes 1940’s Vintage swing


Today’s wedding song is just perfect for garden weddings. New York based Post Modern Juke Box recently took the music scene by storm when their first youtube video went viral. They take a modern pop song and ‘mash it’ to create a new quirky, 1940’s jazzy rendition that, in my humble opinion, is better than the original and takes the concept of a cover version to a whole new level! So today, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj go vintage with ‘Beauty and a Beat’ – if you love the outdoors, garden weddings, 1940’s, vintage and Swing then you’ll love these guys, we do!

YouTube Preview Image

We were at Howarth’s 1940’s weekend weekend last Sunday, it had such a great atmosphere; residents, businesses and visitors, children, car enthusiasts – even dogs participated in the 1940’s community spirit. It’s a great period for inspiration for your own wedding whether you want to create a true vintage themed wedding ceremony or a have post modern twist on vintage yourself!

If you’d like your ceremony to have more ‘personality’ and vintage style in an outdoor location or  like garden weddings then we can help. We write, conduct and style your ceremony so that it reflects your personalities and what’s important to you. Drop Jan an email to discuss your thoughts.





Don’t worry if this is not your style come back tomorrow we’ll have a different wedding song to inspire you, and if you missed yesterday’s featured song then here’s a reminder!

Oh and by-the-way if you like mashing things up a bit, why not embrace a bit of  ‘name meshing’when you get married?!

Happy Summer. Happy Bank Holiday weekend! Chinchin! Pimms anyone?





23rd May Wedding songs- a celebration of love


Wedding songs are about a celebration of love. Today’s wedding song is about just that, celebrating a love so great that it shines brightly.  ‘Diamonds’ by Rihanna is a dreamy laid back kind of song that make you feel the double edged emotions of  the beauty and the pain of loving someone so deeply. It’s new-ish song, only released in September last year, but worthy of being on our feature list. So kick off your heels at #wineoclock and enjoy.

YouTube Preview Image

The video uses symbolic references that represent the four elements, earth, air, water and fire. Together they are  key to making the spirit of life. Water to sustain life, earth to grow, air to breathe life  and  fire to destroy and create again.

Just as Rihanna has chosen to include symbolic references in her celebration of love video concept, with our Celebration Wedding Ceremonies you have the choice to include symbolic gestures in your wedding ceremony in addition to the exchange of rings.  These can take many forms, from water ceremonies, sand ceremonies, candle lighting, dove/butterfly release, warming of the rings or handfasting. There are no hard and fast rules, what’s important is that it means something to you both.

Crossed hands lilac and silver We hope you liked today’s wedding song to walk down the aisle to but if it’s not ‘you’ then pop back tomorrow we’ll have another celebration of love for you! Oh, and don’t forget that there are 22 other songs featured on our blog so far this month, so you have lots of inspiration. We’d love to hear which are your favourites and any of your own.

If you would like us to help you create a unique personal ceremony and wedding experience drop Jan a line: ceremonies@janshillito.co.uk