How to get married in Cornwall

A guide to getting married in Cornwall……let’s start planning your Cornish Wedding!

You have childhood memories by the sea. You’re totally in love with the idea of travelling to the coast for the biggest day of your life. You are torn between the breathtaking coastlines, quaint hidden fishing harbours, spectacular beaches and the Cornish traditions of a Cornish Pasty, Fish and Chips or a Cornish Cream Tea!

Cornwall is a wonderful location set within some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. The place where you can get married to the sound of the waves breaking, sand between your toes and fresh sea air, beautiful countryside beneath clear blue skies. From coast to moor a wedding in Cornwall will certainly be a memory you will cherish for a lifetime.

Your vision is to create a wedding that is unique, a wedding that is distinctive, a wedding that exceeds all your expectations and is talked about and remembered by your guests for years. Sound about right? But your initial thoughts of organising a wedding in Cornwall may appear slightly daunting but from experience, if you live out of the county, getting married in Cornwall is not nearly as difficult as you may think!

As a wedding planner and have organised my own wedding in Cornwall, whilst living in Australia, I can absolutely recommend getting married in this beautiful place I call home. For your travelling guests, your wedding will already be unique and very different from other weddings they have been to.

I realise the decision to get married away from your home is not one you can make lightly and there are a number of factors to consider before taking the plunge!

  1. How will we plan it from a distance?
  2. How do we choose our venue?
  3. Will our guests attend?

These are only a few of the questions you may have. In order to help you answer these questions and more, I have some useful tips that I hope will give you the confidence to plan the most memorable of celebrations.

How to plan a wedding in Cornwall?

There are many advantages and disadvantages, so it’s good to take some time and read each point to discover which relate to you best. In my opinion, there are three ways a wedding can be organised in Cornwall if you are living out of the county:

  1. Plan & organise your own wedding in Cornwall.
  2. Choose an all exclusive wedding venue with an in house team.
  3. Use a wedding planner who specialises in organising weddings in Cornwall.

When planning any wedding I always advise my couples to sit down and spend some time together writing down everything that is important to them and how they visualise their day. You obviously don’t need any persuasion to get married in Cornwall, but there must be a reason why you chose it? It may be that you want a relaxed seaside bbq, a country barn on the moor, or lavish stately affair.

1. Choose Your Date Wisely

Cornwall is a popular holiday destination and some months of the year can be super busy! Think carefully what time of the year you want to get married. Once you have a date in mind it’s a good idea to research some of the below for your chosen location.

The Weather

  • Determine what the weather conditions for your preferred date.
  • A summer wedding can sometimes leave you paying more during peak season.

Local Wedding and Holiday Season

  • Busy and quiet times of the year and how this may affect suppliers and availability.
  • When are the Cornish holidays and celebrations?

Local Festivals and attractions.

This may add to the allure of your destination and be an added bonus for your guests but will it affect accommodation and supplier availability?  

2. Choosing The Perfect Location

Cornwall is bursting with 5-star accommodations with cuisine cooked from the local produce with views. Whichever venue you choose will be stunning as each venue has its unique … offering something different. But how do you choose a wedding location and venue in Cornwall that’s right for you?

Many couples tying the knot in Cornwall make the most of having all their guests in the one location and often become more than just one day. Many carry their wedding celebrations over a number of days. Sound’s good to me! As a result, extra time and effort are needed to plan these additional celebrations however this does give you the added bonus of spending more time with loved ones with your wedding not being over in the blink of an eye. Stunning locations can be found for the perfect backdrop for your wedding, breathtaking natural surroundings along with beautiful historic buildings.

Are you wanting your guests to have a cultural experience within a stately home with the opportunity to explore and visit the highlights?

What style of wedding are you looking for?

How big do you want your wedding to be?

3. How to choose your suppliers?

Choosing your suppliers is really important. This is where a wedding planner can come in useful as they have a vast network of recommended suppliers and what they can offer.

Suppliers in Cornwall are some of the most passionate you will ever meet. Working together to create beautiful weddings and events is something we take to heart. There are no large corporations with no personality, just small independent professional’s who truly care.

If you are getting married in Cornwall using a wedding planner could be the best decision you’ll make! Many couples often think using a wedding planner will be too expensive, however from my own experience using a professional planner will help save you money and be your source to the local deals and recommended suppliers.

Wedding planners aims are to create a unique wedding that will reflect your individual styles. We specialise in bespoke weddings for couples planning to get married in Cornwall giving us an advantage of knowing a particular area very well. A wedding planner will take the time to personally get to know you, understand the type of wedding you would like, make recommendations and organise your wedding according to your wishes. You can have as much or as little involvement as you would like in the planning of your day.

We offer additional services such as organising extra activities and celebrations around your wedding and can organise activities such as sightseeing trips of the local area, fun activities and pre and post-wedding family lunches.

4. Inviting Guests

How do I invite my guests?

It’s really important to provide your wedding guests with as much information as possible about your wedding when they are travelling to Cornwall.

For many that have not yet visited Cornwall, they may be thinking what’s so special? Sending the right invite is crucial as obviously, you want as many guests to travel the distance, or maybe not? (Having a wedding in Cornwall is some couples plan that people won’t attend).

What you want to ensure is that from the moment your guests receive your wedding invite it is hassle free and their experience of Cornwall begins! Don’t forget for them to travel to a further destination means a lot more work for them and cost. Try and give them as much information so they can make arrangements easy and effortless as possible. On the plus side get them captured and excited of the big day! You can provide this information in a written pack or even on a wedding website making it clear for them to digest.

What to include in your wedding invites.

  • Date of your wedding.
  • Time and location of your ceremony with addresses including postcodes.
  • Time and location of your reception with address and postcodes.
  • Send the links to these venues so they can have a good loo and contact them directly if they any queries.
  • Accommodation arrangements if these have been included. (Time of check in and check out, where they arrive etc)
  • Transport arrangements. Inform your guests how to get between the two locations and times if any organised transport has been arranged. Is there a pickup or drop off point?
  • Information explaining what will be happening during the celebrations. You are more than likely spreading the celebrations over a couple of days, so let them know what you have planned on each day. Will, there be a meal the night before and will they need to pay?
  • Menus and dietary requirements.
  • Other activities. Some of your guests may be making a mini break or holiday out of your wedding; so let them know what is available in the area. Walks, day trips etc.
  • Weather conditions. Welly boots or flips flop?
  • Travelling Information – Best way to travel to your destination. If they are taking a flight what’s the closest airport. Public transport. List of taxi numbers or car hire. Cornwall has some extremely rural areas and a lot of the time your guests will not be used to driving down our country roads!
  • Accommodation – If you are not organising accommodation, give them some options. If you’re using a wedding planner they will suss out the best places to use, but if your doing it yourself, take a visit and make sure you are happy with it before asking your guests to pay.

5. Covering expenses.

Should you cover any of your guest’s expenses? It is not generally expected these days to cover expenses for your guests however if the budgets allow and you are feeling generous there are ways to offer a contribution without breaking the bank!

Top tip! Find a venue with accommodation included in the price.

  •    Group bookings for a slight discount.
  •    Local transport to transport your guests

Extra special tips for making your guests feel welcome at a Cornish Wedding!

  • Hand them a welcome letter or pop into the hotels or room they are staying in. Address them direct, as this will make them feel really special knowing you have taken the time to write it.
  • A welcome letter is a good way to ensure your guests are fully aware of the days ahead and what you have lined up for them. It provides them with everything they need to know about each event (e.g. where, when, how) so they don’t have to worry about missing anything and can just relax knowing that everything was taken care of.
  • Explain why you chose to get married in Cornwall, set the scene so they are aware of how special it is to you to have them with you to celebrate. Your guests will comment on what a nice touch it was and really set the tone for a fantastic weekend.

Planning a wedding in Cornwall may take you months of hard work, time and effort but I can assure you the final outcome will be totally worth it!

Caroline Griffiths x

Photography by http://laurabufferyphotography.co.uk/