L & R had originally planned a much larger affair for their wedding celebration at Boconnoc, but had to slightly alter arrangements due to the restrictions. We hear from them below about their experience and how the change in plan actually made their day even better than they could’ve anticipated.
Tell us about why you chose Boconnoc as your wedding venue, what first attracted you to it?
Boconnoc was the first venue we viewed online and instantly fell in love with the character and charm of the entire estate. We knew we wanted a traditional but relaxed vibe and Boconnoc offered us that with use of the house and cottages and the ease of having everything from ceremony to reception in one place. Because of Covid we had to book Boconnoc without seeing it in person first but we had a quiet confidence in our choice having viewed countless photos from other weddings and the support from Boconnoc’s wedding team. When we were finally able to view the grounds in person we were wowed. I would have chosen Boconnoc purely based on the two mile driveway which is stunning and sets the tone for the final reveal of the house through the huge rhododendron flanking the main house gates. Once we went inside all of our confidence was confirmed – every single room was beautifully decorated and we could visualise our whole day (whole weekend, in fact) from the walk through.
Why do you think Boconnoc is a great intimate wedding venue?
Initially we were planning to have 100 people attend the day of our wedding, and a further 60 to the evening. However, because of Covid we had to reduce our numbers down to 30. In the end, this was the best scenario because we had the chance to really feel at home at Boconnoc with our nearest and dearest friends and family. The house and grounds are so versatile in the fact they can accommodate the larger groups but also welcome smaller parties and it not feel overwhelming or empty. Boconnoc has found that sweet spot! It actually felt as if Boconnoc was our home and we had just invited our closest friends to come for a weekend’s stay with a wedding thrown in.
The team were incredible all weekend, from providing tea and homemade biscuits whilst we set up for the big day to preparing and serving a delicious breakfast both mornings and then of course, being on hand throughout our wedding day to ensure it all went smoothly. Nothing was too much trouble for the team. Every email and phone call made in the run up was answered with positivity and support (and trust me I sent countless emails – sorry Clare and Mia!). You can tell the whole team really care about you and your guests and want to provide the best experience possible.
What are the benefits to having a smaller wedding?
Now looking back at our day with 30 people I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was amazing to be able to spend quality time with each of our guests instead of having a quick hello you often see at larger weddings. Because Boconnoc offers wedding weekends, the majority of our wedding party stayed on site in the main house and were able to get to know each other before the main event meaning on the day everyone was already acquainted and didn’t need to fumble through any small talk.
Having smaller numbers meant we were able to focus more on the details of the wedding and communicate all the plans really easily to our guests. For example, the morning of our wedding Ross and his groomsmen (plus a few of the other brave chaps attending) walked down to the lake for a pre-ceremony swim. Whilst he would have done this if we had the initial 100+ guests, it would have been a lot harder to arrange!
What would you say to anyone deliberating over guest numbers and wondering whether to keep things small or go big?
It’s super hard to choose a guest list regardless of the numbers, so I would say be selective and pick people who are going to add value to your day, not detract. The age old advice of only inviting people you want at your wedding has stood the test of time for a reason – it truly makes a difference. If your list naturally means your wedding is smaller, stick with it! You don’t have to have 100 people just because you’ve seen that style of wedding in every magazine or Instagram post for the past 10+ years – smaller weddings are in.
What suppliers did you use and what made them so great?
Our suppliers were incredible, we couldn’t have picked better! Whilst I’d love to take credit for discovering all our suppliers we actually have Boconnoc to thank for the vast majority as we sourced them from their supplier list.
Food was always an important aspect of our day, but with 30 people we wanted it to be a big highlight. Fees Food supplied the most amazing menu for us – not only for the wedding breakfast but for the Friday night dinner we threw for guests staying at the house. It’s not common that guests at weddings say they are full from all the food but we had so many people say this to us as well as complimenting how delicious everything was. I still have people now talk about the deep fried mac and cheese sticks we had as one of our canapés.
Nick Walker was our chosen photographer, not only because we loved his reportage style but also because he’d done so many weddings at Boconnoc before and we wanted someone who knew the location so they could make the most of it. Again, so many of our guests talked so highly of Nick and how easy he was to talk to and how quiet his camera was! Having received our images from Nick (over 1700!) we would recommend him in a heartbeat.
Noah Werth was probably one of the best new discoveries we made not on the original suppliers list. Noah was booked as our videographer as we wanted to capture the day and share it with the 70 people we couldn’t invite. His films are like movie trailers! He captured Boconnoc and the moments of our wedding so incredibly – I cry every time I watch the film.
For décor I hired some pieces from Miss Carlysle and Co including charger plates and candle holders.
Flowers came from St Mellion Flowers.
Our wedding signage was hand painted by my dad who owns Vintage Sign Writing.
My dress was Pronovias and came from The Wedding Company.
The cake was made by Harrie at Boo To A Goose.
How did covid restrictions change your plans and did those changes bring about any unexpected positives?
The Covid restrictions did change our plans quite significantly. We were initially planning to have 100 people with more in the evening for a big disco but we had to un-invite over 80 people and reduce our numbers to 30. It was awful to have to do it and at the time we were concerned with how this would affect our day in terms of the atmosphere and enjoyment of our guests. But we needn’t have worried! If anything, the reduced numbers were such a blessing as we were able to spend quality time with all of our guests over the weekend and also spend time together as a couple taking in the momentous occasion of becoming husband and wife.
Do you have any advice for couples who are embarking on their wedding planning journey?
Talking to the brides here, I think the best advice is to try not to sweat the small stuff because on the day you have to relinquish control over to everyone else and focus on you. It’s so easy to become distracted by all the details of a wedding you forget why it is you’re having it in the first place. Throughout our planning, Ross and I kept reminding ourselves that at the end of it all we want is to be married and it didn’t matter if things didn’t quite go as meticulously planned as my Pinterest board would have us believe. It matters more that you enjoy your day together than the opinions of your guests, so put them out of your mind if you can. Your guests don’t know how everything is meant to look or run and if you’ve picked the right people to attend they will help make sure the day is a huge success. Also, trust all of your suppliers! They are the pros and have probably encountered every demand, hiccup and random idea before so trust their advice and abilities in the lead up to and on the day.
If you could change anything about your wedding day, what would it be?
Is it cliché to say nothing? Honestly, even with Covid and the changes we had to make I wouldn’t change a thing. Boconnoc was spectacular from start to finish and now holds a special place in our lives – we’re so glad they offer self-catering holidays because we hope to come back throughout our married life and remember our incredible weekend.
Huge thank you to L & R for sharing their experience with us. If you would like to find out more about our Intimate Weddings please do get in touch, or download the brochure from our website.