If there’s one thing I love more than the woods then it’s a wholesome, organic and glorious wedding day set against the backdrop of the aforementioned sylvan goods. Rebecca and Robin said ‘I Do’ at the beautiful Trevenna Barns in Cornwall amongst dappled glades in Peter Pan style.
Yes actual Peter Pan and Wendy style. Well less of the saccharine Disney version and more of the ‘woodsy, ethereal and magical’ type of theming as Rebecca so eloquently puts it. Filled to the brim with luscious detail, feathers and well-thumbed books, flags and pinecones and one heck of a beautiful headpiece.
Oh and then there’s the portrait shoots in amidst fronds of fern, the flipping fantastic tail coat sported by one of Rebecca’s brothers and Rebecca’s dreamy bouquet.
I promise you’ll love it ALL.
Rebecca The Bride: We chose Trevenna Barns for our wedding. A secluded, private estate on the wild moors of Cornwall, the venue was ours exclusively for a whole weekend. This gave us license to put out games on the lawn, decorate every space and really relax into the wedding. Trevenna’s numerous luxurious converted barns meant we could invite close friends and family to stay with us for the night before and night of the wedding.
As we live in Cornwall but have family and friends across the country (and the world…we had guests come from New Zealand and Australia) it meant so much to have the people we love in the same place for the whole weekend. Trevenna staff are wedding aficionados – they were there to answer my questions and assist in planning at every stage. They also put up with my odd requests to transform the site into a magical Neverland!
My lovely hairdresser agreed to come and style my hair into a messy ‘do’. I had a custom made lace and pearl headpiece by Holly Young Millinery which we worked with to create an ethereal but classic look. Make up was by the very talented Suzi Winter – again we went for a natural look.
I had a very clear idea of what I didn’t want to wear, but found it difficult to find exactly what I did! I love Jenny Packham, but could not afford any of her designs. Searching Etsy for ideas, I came across a designer in California – Daughters of Simone. Channelling a laid back, bohemian vibe, their creations (often using requisitioned or vintage materials) had the classic lines of Packham and were unique in their simplicity. I chose a heavy crocheted lace dress with a train. Ordering a dress online was perhaps the most risky decision I made in the whole process…I had never tried it on! I need not have worried: the dress was fantastic. To get the perfect fit, I enlisted the help of award winning local dress designer Annalise Harvey.
My shoes were a pair of sparkly champagne heels from Jimmy Choo – nothing else was ‘bling’ so I thought I’d go all out and treat myself to these beauties! They came on our honeymoon and I loved wearing them in Vegas!
I had four bridesmaids. They all wore different dresses which they chose themselves – all we said was that they should sit above the knee and be in a creamy hue. The vibe of the wedding was relaxed so we didn’t want anything that matched too perfectly. Rob had two best men and two ushers. Rob wore jeans, a waistcoat and rolled shirt sleeves. The ushers – my brothers – wore vintage jackets. One of them was a tailcoat which belonged to my Grandad. Teamed with faded jeans and converse trainers, it was exactly the individual look we wanted to create.
The theme was Peter Pan: not Disney pink and tinker bell, but woodsy, ethereal and magical. We had acorns and thimbles sitting upon vintage editions of J M Barrie’s novel and pheasant feathers and larch fronds as table centre pieces.
Butterflies made from pages of Peter Pan were strewn around the venue. Hand-made mushrooms sprouted up in Trevenna’s lawn. To keep the feel natural, the colour palate was quite neutral and created with natural elements. Splashes of colour came from the vintage beer bottles used in the table décor and from the greeny blues of the vintage books.
The flowers were by the wonderful Blue Carrot. Using ferns, twigs and cream dahlias, Susanne heightened the feel of being in an enchanted forest in my bouquet and the table decorations. For buttonholes, she combined succulents with feathers.
Our wedding cake was made of cheese from the three counties which mean most to us: West Sussex – Rob’s home; Cumbria, mine and, of course, Cornwall where we live now. The food was all provided in Trevenna’s wedding package and was just yummy. Our wedding favours were little individually potted sempervivums which my Dad grew in the year leading up to the wedding. The name means ‘forever living’ – which we hoped summed up the love we felt on that special weekend. I also hand made my wedding invites using custom stamps I designed: a butterfly with our initials at its wings was the ‘logo’ of the wedding. Once we had this design, it was easy to harmonise invites, place cards, menus and signage. We also printed out lots of quotes from the novel to stick around the site.
My advice is to try and make the day as long as possible. We were so lucky to have been able to have everyone come on Friday night – this meant the magical event didn’t pass in a blur. We also had a Peter Pan themed photo booth on Friday night – run by our gorgeous photographer – and some of our favourite images came from the humour and impromptu nature of this fun little detail.
Finally, I thought it was really important to document every one else’s night, but wanted to do something a bit different to the ‘disposable camera on tables’ thing. I persuaded White Stuff to give me some two three dimensional cardboard trees used in a window display. Covered in pages from copies of Peter Pan, copious fairy lights and pictures of us, we strung butterflies each bearing the name of a guest between the trees. We asked guests to replace theirs with a picture taken on our Fujifilm Instax – a polaroid style camera. We now have a visual reminder of all the guests at the wedding: their fun, captured.