Helen & Pete’s Boconnoc Wedding

Written by Emma Hla
Helen & Pete married last summer at Boconnoc in Cornwall – a beautiful country house surrounded by stunning Cornish countryside. Helping them along the way was weekend wedding expert Helen from Pudding Bridge.

With a Marie Antoinette palette, surfboards, giraffes, a beautiful pup in a bowtie and florals galore in honour of Helen’s mum – this is one beautiful wedding.

Notes from the bride

Helen says…

It was really important to us to get married in Cornwall as it’s where we both currently live. Boconnoc is a secluded exclusive use weekend venue and it was the perfect choice for our Cornish wedding venue.

We wanted a Church on site, and it was important to have our family and friends close by for the whole weekend. We loved that it could sleep many of our guests. We were also allowed dogs in the cottage and church, it was very important that our dog Izzy was part of our day, he even had his own bow tie to match the groomsmen! The venue was close enough to the coast for Pete to have a surf on the morning of the wedding day.

Recently renovated, Boconnoc is the perfect balance between modern and traditional. The venue has so many different spaces which allowed us great variation and options for weekend including the ability to host a gourmet BBQ on Friday night in the court yard. All the staff are very helpful and flexible, and the huge bridal suite provided plenty of space for us to get ready on the morning of the wedding.

The blush and gold colour scheme was inspired by our engagement location – The Belvedere in the grounds of the petit Trianon at The Palace of Versailles. This was where Marie Antoinette would take tea. Pete is a keen surfer and wished to incorporate this into the day so we had surfboard button holes, which were handmade and painted by me. Pete also gave up one of his beloved surfboards so we could paint it pink and turn it into our table plan. I’m really passionate about giraffe conservation and have loved these animals ever since my first cuddly giraffe toy when I was born, so we knew that giraffes had to feature somewhere in the wedding. We agreed to name our tables after different species of giraffe and had little gold giraffe place card holders on the top table.

My mum had always called me “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast, Pete had also been in a band with his best man at school called “Alex and The Beast” – Pete being the beast. It was therefore important to incorporate subtle elements of this into the day too without being cheesy or tacky. I walked down the aisle to ‘Tale as old as Time’ played by string quartet and a bell jar with a rose and falling petals was placed on the “wish you were here” table.

Hannah, at Noble & Wright Atelier, was most wonderful and helped me find my dream dress. I always thought I was too curvy to pull off a fit and flare gown and after trying several on it confirmed that the shape did not suit me. However, Hannah put me in this stunning Pronovias gown and I felt fantastic! I felt like I didn’t need to lose any weight and it still looked great. It was so beautifully made that it gave me the shape that I had wanted. Every wedding dress that I had been drawn to online had been heavily beaded or with intricate lace details but in reality that style just didn’t suit me. Hannah pushed me out of my comfort zone and put me in this crisp clean plain bodice dress and it was obvious that this was the dress for me. The dramatic train was just beyond stunning and I could just imagine being stood at the alter with the dress flowing behind me which made me very giddy! Hannah teamed the dress perfectly with a Swarovski crystal belt, also by Pronovias, for that added bit of glamour.

The flowers were undoubtedly one of the most important parts of the entire wedding. My mother, Julie, passed away suddenly just 6 months after we announced our engagement. She was a floral designer herself and would have been in charge of the floral décor on the wedding day had she been here. Julie lived and breathed flowers and so it was obvious that flowers were going to play a central role in the wedding day. We wanted to be able to feel my mum’s presence on the day and we knew that the best way to do that was to fill the venue with flowers. When I first met Phillip Corps he probably had the hardest job out of all of the suppliers as the flowers were so crucial to the day on such a personal and emotional level. But I knew he was the man for the job.

Originally we were drawn to the beauty of pale pinks and whites with lots of foliage to really off-set this colour palette. However, as it got closer to the day and with knowing how much emphasis we wanted to place upon the flowers, we decided to add a splash of deep jewelled pink to really make the flowers stand out. Phillip managed to source the most stunning deep jewel pink peonies from a London flower market and they made such a difference.

My bouquet was incredibly heavy and had a photo charm of my mother with a bluebell charm as my something blue. We had two very large pedestal arrangements in the church either side of the altar which framed our wedding photos beautifully and really made us feel as though my mother was with us whilst exchanging our vows. These were also transported to the reception venue and therefore doubled up as décor for the evening celebrations.

At the wedding breakfast, the centrepieces were large tree arrangements draped in hydrangeas, roses and peonies in the same colour scheme. These were placed on the stunning champagne sequin tablecloths provided by Pudding Bridge which really provided the wow factor! There really were flowers everywhere you turned! This was just what we had asked for and it was very overwhelming to see it all come together so wonderfully. The amount of flowers meant that very little was needed in terms of other décor.

Oh the cake… This was genuinely one of the aspects of the wedding I was most excited about. It was four tiers, each a different flavour. The size was 5”, 7”, 9” and 11” tiers. The icing consisted of geometric squared pale pink ruffles on the bottom tier, 24 carat gold leaf on the third tier, hand painted open pink peonies framed in a 24 carat gold leaf frame on the 2ndtier. On the top tier were hand moulded and hand painted open peonies.

From one couple to another…

My biggest piece of advice would be – take 5 minutes before you have to leave the house/hotel. Even if everyone’s rushing you out of the door just take a couple of minutes to look in the mirror, make sure you’re happy, have a little reflection etc. I remember not even having time to look in the mirror, no time to put my lipstick on or touch up my hair, nothing. And at the time I didn’t care but now I look back at the photos like “damn it – my hair got flattened on one side when they put my veil in and I didn’t even notice because I never even looked in the mirror before I left!” So just take a couple of minutes for yourself and breathe!

After all of the formalities had finished and whilst the band were still playing, our photographer and videographer took us off for half an hour to shoot some footage within the grounds of the venue. This was the first time all day that we had been alone together and it was lovely to have some time just the two of us, to catch up and reflect on the day.

GET WEDDING INSURANCE! We cannot emphasize this enough, something glossed over is that our original wedding venue went into liquidation and we would have lost a substantial amount of money without it. We got ours from John Lewis and they were very helpful throughout.

If you or your partner has recently lost a family member or loved one than perhaps this may help… We really wanted to honour my late mother and pay tribute to her without getting overly upset on our wedding day. We wrote a page in the Order of Service about Julie, how much we wished that she could have been there with us and how we were honouring her throughout the day (the flowers, a large hat placed on the first pew of the church as she had always said that she wanted to have the biggest hat in the church, and a “wish you were here” table with photographs of our late relatives). This way we were able to pay our respects whilst feeling as though we were able to celebrate in the joy of our special day.


Venue Boconnoc

Photography Josh Gooding

Wedding Planner Helen Hopkins, Pudding Bridge

Film Cupcake Videos

Bridal Dress Pronovias ‘Mildred’, Noble & Wright Atelier

Hair & Make Up Ella Butler Makeup Artist

Hair Goldberg Hair Design

Groom’s Attire Moss Bros.

Florist Phillip Corps

Cake Edible Essence

Catering Posh Nosh

String Quartet The Wedding String Quartet

Band Bill Ding & The Skyscrapers

DJ James Martin, James Martin Entertainment

Stationery Amanda Michelle

Linen Pudding Bridge

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