What Victoria Did…. Started Planning the Pretty

Hello lovelies! {waves} At the moment I am sat in my garden writing to you and enjoying a return of some sunshine and warmth!!! NWR, I must start with telling you how it’s been a HUGE couple of months in the world of me and Marathon Man….the garden I am writing in is newly acquired, along with a very sweet flat, and it’s all OURS! Ultra exciting, I am so proud that we now own our own little patch of London. I actually feel like a grown up now!

So it’s been a little quiet on the wedding front as the last few weeks have involved packing, unpacking, cleaning and painting – at least the odd white bits in my hair now aren’t all evil greys trying to appear! (Seriously, did anyone else start getting grey hairs from age 20??!!) So when I knew I had this article coming up I suddenly flew into a spin of “but I haven’t done anything!”…. I then realised that I haven’t needed to do anything at all lately, largely because we did a bulk of the planning early on and so now we can sit back and enjoy. Having enjoyed all the pretty here at RMW (or wedporn) for a few months before we got engaged, Simon and I had a fair few ideas as to how we wanted the day to go, so it was easy to throw ourselves straight into the planning. And ohhhhh how I’ve LOVED the planning!


I’d be interested to hear how you ladies attacked the planning process? I think it is generally more of a girlie domain to spend hours trawling online for inspiration and ideas, so how do you include your H2B in the world of wedding pretty you are creating in your head? It’s really important you’re on the same wavelength with ideas for style and what’s important in your budget – otherwise you get the puzzled head tilt “you want a window for a table plan?” and “painted chairs – shouldn’t we just have matching chair covers?” swiftly followed by “NO we can’t BUY all the chairs!!” (N.B I would totes buy a big enough shed, they wouldn’t ALL stay in the house, doh!)


The first time we met our vicar, Father Shane he said to me “young lady don’t do it all yourself, don’t get carried away, you MUST include Simon in making the day your own, it’s about both of you”. It’s an interesting dilemma, between wanting your other half to be involved and wanting to make decisions, but also not wanting to talk constantly about the wedding, so how do you do it? Simon jokes that my (brilliant) plan is to save up all the information I have found, together with three thousand questions, and wait until we are in for a really really long car journey together….don’t say anything until we are trapped on the motorway and then launch!! It works! Undivided attention and decisions made = happy girl.

Joking aside I’ve been very lucky that our decisions have all been fairly simple, my friends call me the internet ninja – if it’s out there, I’ll find it – and so I was able to go off and do my research and come back with a short list of options to choose between, but we’ve also been massively guided by gut feelings of what felt right and a little bit of fate – more on that in later posts…

The Venue

So after securing the church of our DREAMS, the next task was finding a venue. Trickier than it seems when you don’t live in the county you are getting married in. Initially I was against a marquee wedding, but the more I searched the more it seemed the only option – all the beautiful venues we looked at would only do sit down meals for 70-100 people max, and we were estimating a guest list of around 130. I wanted somewhere with character and a wow factor without breaking the bank. My brother Andrew and his wife had their reception in a beautiful barn in the countryside and I was desperate to find something similar that had that relaxed, nostalgic feel.

Having spent most childhood holidays in Cornwall I did have a good few places to try first, old country houses, the odd castle (SO cool but budget busting) and even the lovely National Trust offering to loan me a field near the church! Family holidays always involved a trip to Trelissick Gardens, so when we got engaged Mother’s instant reaction was “oohhhhhhh do you think you could get Trelissick…..??”

Yes, yes you can. They only do 5 weddings a year, the manor house is privately owned and we were invited to meet the owners. This was going to be it I thought… If technology hadn’t failed me this week I would be able to show you pictures of the long sweeping drive and the house that looks down to the River Fal. It really is incredible. However, we both felt that while it was picture perfect there were too many compromises to make. We were restricted on the numbers of guests you could have into the house for drinks, so you would then be reliant on good weather for drinks outside, not ideal. Then after the drinks there was a stable yard where a marquee could be erected. Great space and can totally see the practicalities of it, but for me, from the marquee in the yard there were then no views, no space – you wouldn’t have known you were slap bang in the middle of some beautiful English gardens. A number of restrictions on music and ending times meant we said a fond farewell and moved on.

Crasken Farm…..totally the other end of the spectrum. A beautiful rambling farm run by a wonderful wonderful family, we had a great time visiting the site. Two very cool barns where the sit down meal and reception could be hosted, a fabulous courtyard with an outdoor bar that also served paninis and pizza! They even do a ‘survivors breakfast’ the next morning, there are fields for camping and also several tipis. Such a very cool place, in fact we basically ended up thinking we’re not cool enough to pull this off! We loved the eco friendly and relaxed vibe of the place, but frankly couldn’t imagine our parents quite ‘getting’ the whole hay bales and gipsy commune feel of the place. I think we should totally go back for an anniversary party with our friends one year though!

So I was a bit stumped at this point, until I stumbled across a Great Gardens of Cornwall guide book – fabulous tool for the weary venue hunter! I then embarked on a mission to contact all these gardens, some private, some open to the public, to find out if they would host our reception. This is how I found Bonython Gardens – or “Benny G” as Bridesmaid numero duo calls it. Based on the Lizard peninsular, a couple of miles from our church, it is a traditional Cornish estate with an 18th century manor house and grounds including a Walled Garden, a Potager Garden, and parkland with three small lakes in a sheltered valley. Each lake has a different atmosphere and planting…. tranquility, from the trees and shrubs reflected in the water; vibrant colour, from the hot, South African summer garden and exotic, from the mysterious quarry lake with creeper clad cliffs, fernery and surrounding bamboos.
Magnificent in spring with traditional Cornish Rhododendrons, azaleas, woodland flowers and bulbs, colour develops through summer with soft harmonies of the herbaceous beds to explosions of hot colour in the South African areas with drifts of ornamental grasses, cannas, rubeckias and proteas.

A secret Garden

As soon as Simon and I walked around the little mirror lake in front of the main house, and into the walled garden we were holding hands very tightly. It was like a little secret garden, too good to be true. Through a gate we walked into another walled garden and then suddenly stepped through an archway to the most incredible view down to the first lake. A little thatched tea hut stood at the top of the slop – we looked at it, looked at each other and said “pimms!” Exploring the place was wonderful, even when a sudden violent rain shower caused us to leap into a hedge to hide!

The gardens have 4 cottages on the grounds, so the deal is that the fee for the gardens is very well priced, but this is on the basis that all the accommodation is booked for three nights. Our family and the bridal party would all need a place to stay anyway, so to all be able to get ready on site and then stumble home within 30 seconds at the end of the night sounded too good to be true! This means we have exclusive use of the gardens for the Bank Holiday weekend next May. There are no music restrictions, no corkage and…. (drum roll please) NO curfew! Woohoo! Although admittedly I may fall asleep on a sofa at some point, it will be lovely to know that nothing is shutting down, no one is getting kicked out and our nearest and dearest they can all go on reveling and listening to music for as long as they want, just like one of our house parties really!

The Marquee Mission

Our next mission was then to find a marquee for the gardens, which I was happier about since Bonython was such a magical find. We discovered a barn in the gardens which I got very excited about attaching a marquee to as felt it would be the best of both worlds.

I discovered a fabulous, innovative marquee company called LPM Bohemia, that has offices in Cornwall and well as Kent. They have traditional canvas pole tents, vintage military tents and various lining options.

Even more marvellous though, they have a wide selection Mongolian wooden yurts and domed structures that I fell utterly in love with, adoring the tactile mix of canvas and wood and being a versatile design that will be totally warm and waterproof in case of an attack of English “summer”.

Decisions, decisions… and that’s when we found the yurt that will give me that Twilight (sorry I love it) bandstand dance moment – The Grand Pavilion. There are no superlatives to match the wow factor this gives me, so I’ll just show you one teaser without wanting to give too much away!

So there you are lovelies, where we started our planning and started our wedding adventure. What did you plan first and how are you finding it? Any tips and pointers? I have found it really odd how many people seem “surprised” by how much planning we have done. It would never have occurred to me to get engaged and then not start organising our day, I’ve seen so many people get super stressed about weddings and not seem to enjoy the build up that that is my main priority.

If we’ve made our plans and we have the right love and support around us then we should enjoy every part of the day itself and of making it our own, that’s what it’s all about right?

I shall end with a gratuitous picture of Costa, ‘cos I can.

Till next time lovelies

Miss Vix xx

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

40 thoughts on “What Victoria Did…. Started Planning the Pretty

  1. Oh Vix the gardens look wonderful! And no curfew?!!!! awesome!!!
    I do love the yurts – they are just so pretty inside & out, all the linnings you can choose….I could look at them for days 😉
    Love that you both got soooo excited about your venue – that’s exactly what we were like when Dave & I found ours! 😀

    Venue was the first thing Dave & I did back when we first got engaged – people thought we were mad, but it turns out that we weren’t that mad after all! Our orignal venue fell through and we still had plenty of time to find our new (more perfect!) venue.

    Fab post, thanks for Costa pic – brightened up my day! 🙂 xx

  2. Hi Vix *waves back like a maniac*

    I have LOVED the planning process! Totally immersed myself in it and at times forget I am planning our wedding, more like an event for someone. And then something happens like the invitations arriving from the stationers and I have a little cry and get massively excited because I remember I am planning our wedding!!
    I have just been super organised with everything. Have a wedding file, numerous lists, have been in constant contact with all suppliers so they don’t forget what I want/need and have had dates in my head that I want things done by. This has meant the planning has gone smoothly (with only 8 weeks to go I am still very relaxed!) and I have been able to enjoy everything and immerse myself in all things wedding pretty…I personally think the planning is part of the wedding day itself and everyone has told me to enjoy this part because the day will go so quickly!

    Oh and thankfully I have a H2B who is happy for me to plan the perfect day without his supervision – amazing!! He has input and knows everything but lets me make the decisions because he knows when it comes down to the details, its totes a woman thing!

    Good luck with everything, although it sounds like you have everything under control! xxx

    PS having a new place is beyond exciting!! x

  3. Congrats on the new flat! I best Costa is enjoying the garden too 🙂

    Your venue is just beautiful and those yurts are stunning! We had so much trouble finding a marquee that we liked and a supplier in our area that could well…supply it. We’ve gone for a normal marquee in the end but I am so jealous of the yurt, there was nothing like that in our area or else we’d have to pay a small fortune in delivery and collection costs!

    I started planning straight away too, I became the most unsocial person on the planet and spent my nights with my head buried in wedding magazines or my laptop, Chris had had enough by month two!

    xxx

  4. Haha Vix I had to laugh at this. I store things up for long motorway journey chats too! We’ve got one coming up this Friday, and I’ve been secretly planning the ‘it’s time to think about getting another dog’ chat specially for the occasion!

  5. This is a great post. I also like to think I am a bit of an internet ninja and come to my fiance with a shortlist of options. I’m a bit disturbed about how much of my thoughts are wedding related with 9 months still to go I am trying to concentrate on calming the f down! But it’s all very exciting.

    I think the yurts are lovely and it looks like a great venue, when we picked our venue we nearly cancelled the appointment because we didn’t think it would be right for us. Then we did the whole hand grasping bit!!

    Looking forward to the rest of your updates. xox

  6. What a fab venue?! Love it!! Also LOVE Costa – sooo cute 🙂 I wish our dog could come to our wedding, I think the venue has too many antiques to be dog friendly haha.

    Getting married in 9 months and pretty much sorted everything, I turned into a planning machine as soon as I got engaged, much to my partners dismay. I generally email him pictures and ideas and if he really doesn’t like something he will say.

    The search for our venue was quite easy, me and my best pal google went to town and spent a few hours… days… trawling through possible venues in Cheshire. We then riddled out the ones that were too far away, and went on a country drive to see the other ones. No appointments at first just looking at first glance. It was fun!! We ended up crashing a few actual weddings when I needed the loo haha. Had a good nosey! If I wasn’t blown away by the exterior then we crossed it off the list. Leaving us with 3 possibles and made proper appointments… all official! The first was a bit tired looking, and although cheaper I couldn’t get past the fact that it needed a lick of paint and a new carpet. As soon as I walked into the second venue I knew it was the one, butterflies for the first time, but it was ridiculously over priced so we left feeling a bit sick. The final venue was looking good until they told us we had to fill all the hotel rooms (£200 each!) in order to have the music on past 11pm!! It was working out super silly having to pay for all the guests rooms on top of the venue fee… So after some eyelash batting and long talks (begging) we went back to venue 2 and whacked down a deposit… happy happy joy!!

    xxxxx

  7. @ Sam B, where abouts in Cheshire is your venue?! I looked at some but none that I liked could do the numbers so we have gone slightly further out to the Wirral and we are getting married at Thornton Manor! xx

  8. Only one comment. The Twilight bandstand with twinkling fairy light canopy. This is the one thing missing from my wedding. AMAZEBALLS!! Can’t wait to read further posts. The pics in this one are soooo gorge.
    Jxx

  9. Please ALWAYS end with a gratuitous shot of Costa. Hell, why not start with one too? And maybe a cheeky one in the middle somewhere? Ohhh, I have such puppy broodiness…

    I’ve never heard of your venue although I know Cornwall quite well (inc Trelissick) but it looks amazing. I’ll enjoy reading your updates. Cornwall in May is particularly amazing as all the wild flowers suddenly go beserk.

    Car motorway thing? Oh I totally do it too. I don’t quite go as far as cue cards but I do keep on repeating a rough agenda under my breath so I don’t forget anything!

  10. @Laura – I had a few recommended to me. One was Capella – I love their website but she suddenly stopped getting back to me so I gave up. Another is Hair by Rochelle who my makeup artist recommended. I have booked a girl called Jodi Hanson, having a trial in September so will let you know how it goes!

    @Jenny…i know, that bandstand moment makes my heart skip – totally having that song in there somewhere too!!

    @Peridot, I have been going to Cornwall at least once a year since birth and yet that was the first time i ever saw a little brown signpost to Bonython Gardens!! Fate! We visited again this May and it was a magical woodland walk through bluebells and snowdrops, so excited!

  11. Hi Vix
    We are also getting a Grand Pavillion tent. They are spectacular but seriously expensive and so I wonder, in hindsight, if you definitely think it was worth it, and did it make a big difference to you?
    We are REALLY keen but obviously one does need to consider the budget….

  12. @Sam B LOVE the venue wedding crashing! ha!

    Glad you’re all liking the post, I had no idea I would get so excited at finding the perfect place, such a lovely feeling!

    @Jessie – Thanks! You sound like my kinda girl, list making extraordinaire! I really am so determined that next year is not going to be a flap with too much to do 🙂

  13. @Rebecca, yes NO CURFEW. I am SOOOO excited by this. Everyone points out that after drinking since 12 I will prob be unconsicous by then but I don’t care, i think its seriously cool 🙂

  14. @Ashleigh – ninja’s all the way! haha! hand grasping is uber important. I also did that when I found the chairs @Elaine on these very pretty pages

  15. @Vix I know a couple who were massively unorganised and terrible decision makers, therefore their wedding planning was a complete nightmare….I wanted to make sure that wasn’t me!! Honestly, I have found the whole thing a complete breeze and cannot believe that in 8 weeks I will be getting married!

  16. @Philippa -oooooh! I totally want to have “lets get a puppy chat” but think I need to wait until we have finished unpacking/decorating – then clearly I can show that there is plenty of space for a little one to squish in the corner

  17. My Papa thought you could organise a wedding in 6 months…and wondered what I’d be doing for 18 months. Apparently he’s forgotten that in this day and age, women have jobs and dont just stay at home!!! So we started really early as well but now with just under a year to go we have sorted: date, venue, photographer, booked registrar and started on decorations. Still no dress though!

    @Miss Vix – CONGRATULATIONS on the new flat. Eeeek! A piece of London all of your very own. So excited for you. And so jealous of the no curfew rule!

    xxx

  18. Costa and my baby cocker spaniel Baxter need to get together and play! They would have a nutty time!

    On the wedding front, I did basically ALL the planning, narrowed down the options and presented Rog with 2 or 3 that I liked and let him have a say. Then I’d book the one I wanted 😉 hehe. Seriously though, we did discuss things but only after I’d narrowed the options and generally speaking he was happy to let me choose whatever I wanted so long as it didn’t blow the budget. Job done 🙂

    Like your idea of bringing it up on a long car journey though, I must try that!

    The Yurt looks AMAZING and I love all the pattered roof/wall canvas’s that they have … never seen that before and its very different.

  19. Vixen vixen I have heart flutters every time I see your venue!!! Truly scrumptious!

    Loved reading this & love the thought of you both discovering the hidden garden.

    Re the planning, I feel quite lucky in a way that while Lee has come up with some really cool ideas, he is leaving all the planning to me, and as you know I wouldn’t have it any other way!! (apart from my current panic)

    xxx

  20. @Shirley – the car journeys definitely work!! I love the patterns on the yurts, tough deciding what to have! The company owner is a lovely guy called Rupert who totally doesn’t seem to mind the THOUSAND emails I send him requesting pictures of various lining combinations in situ!

  21. @Karen, thanks Lady – ha not sure who would DARE stand in the way of your planning 😉 those ladies don’t know what they are up against, practice your best paddington stare!

  22. @Shirley – remember you mentioned last week about getting a co-ordinator on the day?? Am in a bit of a state at the moment and could do with your wisdom. Are you happy for me to get in touch and ask a bit of advice? Maybe message you on fb?xx

  23. Yesss, Victoria – your vnue is proof that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Ife you’d gone with any of the others, you wouldn’t have found this beaut 🙂 Pimms hut and no curfew!!!!!!
    LPM Bohemia are briliant. A couple of my brides used them a few years a ago – both had the lining with the flowers and butterflies. AMAZING!!
    xxx

  24. @Karen. Am planning to continue doing some eventwork in my school hols (am doing some for my old company at the mo). Let me know if I can be of any help – I’m not sure when your wedding is, but if it’s during my hols, I’m happy to help 🙂 xx

  25. @MrsA are you on twitter? I’m @Swaley or /Swaley on FB (but I’ll have to ‘un-secret’ my profile so you can find me! Be great to have a chat xxx

  26. @Karen. I am on Twitter, but use FB much more – I’m at Joanna L. Arnold, to save you ‘un-secreting’ yourself 🙂 xx

  27. Congrats on the new flat, amazeballs 🙂
    And the venue looks stunning!! And a yurt!? What fun 🙂
    We started planning quite early too, and it has been a breeze so far! With 15 months still to go we have: date, venue, band, rings, dress, photographer, humanist, and nearly have our caterer! Phew! We went with gut feeling too and this is how we ended up with lots done early. Most trips were just to check things out but everything we saw we loved so thought there was no point in waiting/wasting time! H2B is very involved and even wants to come to look at/choose flowers which is ace (despite the fact he is colour blind!!) xx

  28. Hello, how did you or anyone else find using lpm Bohemia? I’m seriously considering the grand pavilion, but as I don’t live local I don’t know anyone personally who has used them and really want to make sure I make the right decision! Thanks to anyone who can help!

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