Real wedding: Cornish classic

Real wedding: Cornish classic
Chris and Sophie opted for a UK destination wedding in a delightful north Cornish setting

Sophie and Chris chose a picture-perfect venue near Bude, North Cornwall for their classic wedding in the English countryside

Photography Lucy Tanner

You might imagine that designing your own wedding would be a walk in the park for a professional wedding planner, but Sophie – who is part of the team at luxury planner Quintessentially Weddings – faced exactly the same tough decisions as every bride. “Chris and I originally thought of Italy for the location because it’s our favourite place, but then we considered how many weddings I’d organised there. We also thought of the travel involved for family and friends – and especially for my grandparents.” Eventually, Sophie and Chris came back to the idea of a more traditional wedding. Sophie says: “We wanted something that felt natural and understated and decided on a classic English country wedding”.

Real wedding: Cornish classic
Having explored many options, Sophie and Chris came back to the idea of a classic country wedding

Even though Sophie knows an A-Z of amazing venues, she put that knowledge aside. “Once we’d decided on England, the next challenge was to find somewhere I’d never worked before – it had to feel new and special to us”. Sophie did call on friends who specialise in venue finding for their advice. The brief was to find somewhere in Cornwall (a part of the country both Chris and Sophie know and love). It had to be within easy walking distance of a country church and with two distinct event spaces – one for dining and the other for the party.

Real wedding: Cornish classic
The venue finders had struck gold with Launcells Barton, a picture perfect wedding venue near Bude within walking distance of a picturesque country church

The venue finders came up with gold. Launcells Barton is on the north Cornish coast, close to Bude. Formerly a dairy farm, it’s now an exclusive use-wedding venue with an elegant Georgian manor house, two barn reception spaces and glorious walled grounds.  The nearby parish church once received high praise from Sir John Betjeman as the ‘least spoilt’ in all Cornwall. Sophie says: “The church is steeped in history and a short walk through woodland from the house”.

Real wedding: Cornish classic
Sophie worked with both season and location, using mostly local Cornish suppliers – she says they were all exceptional

To work with the season and location, Sophie chose a soft palette of blush pinks and soft grey. She decided to go local for almost all suppliers and was glad she did. “Our West Country suppliers were some of the kindest people I’ve ever met, wonderful to work with and so open to our ideas.” The only exceptions to the local list were the cake from Pink Frosting Cake Company served as dessert, the photographer Lucy Tanner and evening entertainment – band Brando and DJ Philly. “I’d worked with all of them before and knew I wanted them at our wedding.”

“The service really was beautiful. This ancient church was completely filled with our friends and family”

Real wedding: Cornish classic
Launcells Barton is a beautiful property, with Georgian manor house and two stunning reception spaces

Sophie’s beautiful wedding gown was by London couturier Phillipa Lepley, and with elegant bridal shoes by Emmy London. The pink bridesmaids dresses by Th&Th matched the soft colour theme perfectly and Sophie sourced them after a trip to The Wedding Gallery in Marylebone. “I know the team behind The Wedding Gallery, they gave me pointers and I spotted the dresses during a visit.”

The bride’s beautiful wedding gown was by British couturier Phillipa Lepley, and with timeless wedding heels by Emmy London

Real wedding: Cornish classic
The simple blush and grey colour theme was a perfect match with the English country setting

Her main advice for other brides and grooms would be to avoid over-thinking. “I see clients obsess about details and still fell victim myself, as all brides do! In particular, I became obsessed by a candlestick design and a particular shade of grey linen, both of which I sourced myself and then had to deliver back to London after the wedding. Lovely though they were, I could have found something locally.”

Real wedding: Cornish classic
With one light-filled barn for the wedding breakfast and a second for dancing, there was plenty of space for guests to spread out and enjoy the party

Despite her planning expertise and the brilliant team at Launcells Barton, with hindsight, Sophie would have hired someone else just to co-ordinate things on the day. “We had quite a tight schedule and it really helps to have someone there who can oversee everything.” She also believes it’s important to share the load. “Family and friends really want to be involved so accept their help gratefully.”

Real wedding: Cornish classic
The tablesetting featured crisp grey linen and points of colour using blush blooms and elegant candlesticks

In a day of highs, Sophie says a favourite point came during the church service. “This ancient church usually has a very small congregation because of its location. It was completely filled with our friends and family, and Chris had 14 ushers who love a good hymn. With them leading, the impact of ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘I Vow To Thee My Country’ felt incredibly moving.”

“The service really was beautiful. This ancient church was completely filled with our friends and family”

Real wedding: Cornish classic
In a day of high points, a favourite moment came during the church service with friends and family gathered around them

With fabulous food and entertainment, the celebration lasted well into the night and wedding planning stresses melted away. Sophie says: “In my job I spend so much time ensuring every last detail is perfect, and yet when we came to cut our own wedding cake we had somehow mislaid the knife. If this had been a wedding I was working at, I’d have considered it a disaster. At our own wedding, it really wasn’t – a knife was found and the party carried on!”

Real wedding: Cornish classic
It was a party to remember, with DJ Philly on the decks to get people dancing – Sophie had worked with her before knew this was going to be a highlight of the wedding day

Sophie and Chris’s wedding sourcebook

Photographer: Lucy Tanner;

Venue: Launcells Barton;                    

Bridal gown: Phillipa Lepley;

Bride’s shoes: Emmy London;

Hair accessories and earrings: Gillian Million;

Hair: Hair by Hannah;

Make-up: Kelly Hopper at The Barn;                     

Bridesmaid gowns: TH&TH, sourced from The Wedding Gallery;

Florist: Brompton Buds;

Wedding food: Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner;           

Wedding cake:  Pink Frosting Cake Company;

Videographer: Pura Vida Cornwall;                 

Band: Brando;

DJ: DJ Philly;  


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