A huge percentage of weddings in Cornwall each year are couples who live out of the county. And who can blame them? Stunning scenery, amazing venues, beautiful beaches and wonderful wedding vendors… Cornwall has a lot to offer.
Of course, planning a wedding in a location far from your home isn’t necessarily the easy option. Today’s guest blogger is Ailsa from Bristol based Strawberry Souffle Weddings. Ailsa is not only an out of county bride, but also quite handily a wedding planner too. She shares her insights and top tips for planning your wedding in Cornwall while living ‘up the line’…
I love Cornwall – my family have been holidaying on the Lizard peninsula for over twenty years – so it was no suprise that, on getting engaged, I immediately picked the county as the setting for my wedding next year. The only problem being my fiancé and I don’t actually live in Cornwall; we’re four hours drive away in Bristol! This means everything I plan for my wedding will be planned at arms length, which creates its own set of unique and interesting challenges. I’ve put together a few tips for fellow ‘out of county’ brides to help others planning a Cornish wedding from outside Cornwall!
1. Keep an eye on the budget!
This almost goes without saying, and would be the number one tip regardless of whether you’re marrying five feet or five-hundred miles from your front door. As an out of county bride, however, it’s even more important to watch where the pennies are going, because disagreements with suppliers can’t be resolved by just ‘popping in’ to see them. You’re also less likely to have chosen suppliers you’ve talked to at wedding fairs, which means you’ll be relying on prices and other information they give on their websites, so shop around thoroughly to get the best deal. Make sure you’re completely clear on what you’re getting before you sign anything, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. For example, a wedding photographer might offer a half-day package, but does this include the bridal preperations? Finally, remember that there will be additonal costs associated with getting married further from home – you’ll need somewhere to stay overnight, and will have to fill up your car to get there. Make sure you factor these costs into your budget.
2. Communication is key
The key to successfully planning anything is communication, and this is even more important if you are organising things from a different part of the country. If you are visiting Cornwall to look at a venue, ask suppliers such as photographers or florists to meet you at the venue on the same day, saving you from making the journey again. Nearer to the wedding date, send each supplier a schedule for the big day, so they know what’s happening and when they have to arrive. Don’t be afraid to keep in close contact with suppliers by phoning them, emailing, or on skype. It’s your wedding and these people should be happy to work with you to get results. You should also make sure you send your guests information about the day well enough in advance, to avoid confusion and end up having someone travelling far only to be late. Feel free to accept help from others, but they’ll need to know the wedding is taking place some distance away. Your Grandma might want to make the cake, but it’s no good if that cake then sits in a hot car for several hours as she travels to Cornwall!
3. Think of your guests
If you’ve chosen to get married in Cornwall because you have family or friends there, then your guest logistics won’t be very complicated, as people won’t be travelling very far. If, like me, you’ve chosen Cornwall because “it’s pretty”, then you’ll need to consider where you’re guests will be travelling from and how this will affect them. We’re having a very small wedding but, even so, the closest guests are my aunt and uncle from Plymouth. Guests from very far afield, like my brother from London, will need somewhere to stay the night before the wedding at least. There are a few options you could consider to deal with guest accommodation. Firstly, you can provide your guests with a list of available accommodation in the area. This can go with your save the dates or invites, but remember to send them far enough in advance as things will get booked up quickly, especially in the summer. You can also look at venues which offer guest rooms as part of their wedding package, although these might only be available during the ‘off season’, and might not have room for all your guests. Don’t be disheartened, however, if some of your guests can’t make the journey. You could think about having a smaller wedding for family and close friends, with a larger party nearer home for everyone else.
4. And finally….Enjoy Yourself!
You’ve chosen to get married in undoubtedly the most beautiful corner of the UK, and there are some brilliant wedding suppliers in Cornwall waiting to work with you. It might seem a bit daunting to plan a wedding when you don’t live anywhere near the location, but it’ll be worth it in the end – just think of those wonderful photos!
All images by me!