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Spotlight interview with wedding celebrant Greg Townsend | Planning your Costa del Sol wedding

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Looking for a bespoke wedding ceremony on the Costa del Sol? Today, we’re excited to chat with Nerja-based wedding celebrant Greg Townsend, who has embarked on the beautiful role of creating tailor-made ceremonies for couples getting married in this stunning spot in southern Spain.

Let’s dive into our spotlight interview to learn more about Greg and his services.

Spotlight Interview with Wedding Celebrant Greg Townsend
Nerja-based wedding celebrant Greg Townsend

Can you tell us about yourself, where you’re from, and how you ended up on the Costa del Sol?

I’m Greg Townsend, and I grew up in a small village in north Derbyshire. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows each other, and life moves at a slower pace. It was my home, but as it turns out, not my only one.

Back in 1994, my family and I went on holiday to Nerja for the first time. That trip was the beginning of a big change for us. Over the years, I’ve watched Nerja change a lot. It’s grown and evolved, but it still has that special something that drew us in the first time we visited.

Every trip we made to Nerja brought us closer to the town. It wasn’t long before we started thinking about making it our permanent home. And in 2006, that’s exactly what we did. It wasn’t just a move; it felt like we were finally where we were meant to be.

The decision to move was pretty straightforward for us. Nerja had everything we were looking for – a beautiful setting, a welcoming community, and a way of life that just felt right. It was like the town was calling us to become a part of it, and we were more than happy to answer that call.

Moving here has been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s shown me that home isn’t just about where you’re from; it’s also about where you choose to be, where you find a sense of belonging. For me and my family, Nerja is that place. It’s where we’ve made new memories and started a new chapter in our lives.

Looking back on it all, I see how this journey has shaped us. Moving from England to Spain wasn’t just about changing locations. It was about embracing a new lifestyle and finding our place in a new community. It’s been an adventure, one that I’m grateful for every day.

Spotlight Interview with Wedding Celebrant Greg Townsend
Spotlight Interview with Wedding Celebrant Greg Townsend.

Did you always want to be a wedding celebrant?

I became a celebrant by pure accident. My mum owned a bar in Frigiliana, and I was working there for a while to help out during and after Covid. But then, both my parents decided to retire last year, and suddenly, I had the chance to take over the bar. Honestly, though, running a bar? It didn’t really feel like it was what I was meant to do with my life.

Now, the thing is, I’m also the drummer in two well-established wedding bands. I love the vibe, the energy, and just being part of someone’s special day. So, I started thinking, what could I do that’s related to weddings but isn’t going to clash with the drumming? I wanted something that felt more “me.”

That’s when I stumbled upon celebrants. It wasn’t something I had planned or even thought about before. But the more I looked into it, the more I realised it was a perfect fit for my personality. I’m already in the wedding scene, I love being part of these joyous occasions, and I get to use my skills in a way that adds to people’s happiness.

Becoming a celebrant just clicked with me. It’s like I found this path that I didn’t even know I was looking for, and it fits perfectly alongside my gigs with the bands. It’s not just a job; it feels like something I was meant to do, and I’m really enjoying the journey it’s taking me on.

How would you describe your style as a wedding celebrant?

When it comes to my style as a wedding celebrant, I lean modern all the way. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against tradition—it’s beautiful in its own right. But having been part of so many weddings, I’ve seen this trend where couples are stepping away from the conventional path, and honestly, it’s pretty inspiring. There’s this whole shift towards out-of-the-box weddings, and it’s really influencing the new wave of how weddings are done.

For me, it’s super important to make the ceremonies I conduct as personalised as possible. It’s not just about swapping out names in some standard script. That’s not my style. I feel like it’s my duty to pack as much of your personality and your story into the ceremony. Every couple is unique, and their wedding should reflect that. It’s about creating moments that feel genuine and true to who they are.

Breaking away from the norm and really diving into what makes each couple special—that’s what I’m all about. It’s more than just a job to me; it’s about giving couples a start to their married life that feels just right for them.

Wedding Celebrant Greg Townsend enjoying his passion as a percussionist.

What factors should couples consider when choosing a celebrant for their wedding?

When couples are on the hunt for a celebrant, my biggest piece of advice is pretty simple: go with someone you like right off the bat. It’s a bit like picking out your suit or dress for the big day—if it fits, wear it! You’ve got to have that instant connection.

You want someone who’s going to tell your love story the way it deserves to be told. Someone who gets you, who vibes with your energy. It’s all about finding that person who you think, “Yeah, they get us. They can take our story and really do it justice.” That’s key. It’s not just about finding any celebrant; it’s about finding the right celebrant for you and your partner.

Do you help couples with their wedding vows?

Absolutely, besides crafting the ceremony script, I can also dive in and help couples with their vows. I understand some people struggle writing down their feelings, making them flow, or sometimes just the act of putting pen to paper can be really tough. It’s not always easy to express what’s in your heart in a way that feels right.

What I do is sit down with you, either in person if it’s possible or via Zoom. I really listen to how you feel about your partner, and then I tailor-write your wedding vows. My goal is to make them sound like they came straight from your heart, using your own language and style. I think it’s super important that the vows feel genuine and true to who you are as a couple.

And even if you’re getting married and have already booked another celebrant, that’s totally fine! I can still help you with your vows. It’s something I love doing, and I’m here to make sure your words to each other are as special and personal as the rest of your day.

Greg also performs as a drummer for both Geckoblaster and Midnight Mechanics.

What makes having a wedding on the Costa del Sol special, in your opinion?

In my opinion, the Costa Del Sol is just the perfect spot for a wedding, for so many reasons. You’ve got the incredible scenery, the sunshine, the amazing smells of the sea and the flowers, and, of course, the cost. A lot of folks coming from Northern Europe for a destination wedding find the price really appealing.

It’s not rare at all for people to manage to cover their whole wedding day here—including the celebrant, food, drinks, venue, and entertainment—for the same price as they’d pay just for the venue back home. It’s a huge draw. The value you get for your money here on the Costa Del Sol, combined with the beauty and the atmosphere, it’s just unbeatable.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I’ve got this not-so-secret talent. I’m the drummer for both Geckoblaster and Midnight Mechanics. I’ve been playing drums for a solid 25 years now, and I live for the thrill of packing a dancefloor! It’s like this energy exchange between the music and the crowd, and it never gets old. Drumming is my thing, and the same as my ceremonies, seeing people loving what I’m doing is what it’s all about for me.

Greg Townsend, originally from a small village in north Derbyshire.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

The absolute top of my bucket list is to amp up the world-travel game. I’ve visited some pretty amazing spots already, but it just fuels my craving for more. Asia is high up on the list—I’ve barely scratched the surface there. Also, I know it’s cliché, but driving a Mustang down Route 66? That’s the dream. There’s just something about the open road and that classic American vibe that I’m itching to experience. Travelling the world more is the big goal, and there’s so much more to explore and check off the list.

So right now, I live in Frigiliana with my girlfriend, Loz, and our trusty sidekick, Bella, the dog. I’m in a sweet spot and couldn’t be happier. Life’s treating us well, and there’s this buzz of excitement for what’s coming down the road. Looking ahead, the future’s looking pretty bright, and I’m just soaking it all in. Living here, surrounded by good company and a four-legged friend, it’s hard not to be happy with life.

Greg with girlfriend, Loz and their friend’s dog, Daisy.

A big thank you to Greg for today’s lovely, fascinating feature. We look forward to sharing unforgettable wedding moments with you this season and beyond.