Wedding Reception Styling in Cornwall and Devon

Dream proposals in Cornwall

Dream proposals in Cornwall

A Decent Proposal

Cornwall emerges as one of the UK's most popular places to propose

As Cornwall emerges as one of the UK’s most popular places to propose, wedding planner Rebecca Green of Rebel + Anchor shares her stories of planning heart-melting proposals

We’re all aware that Cornwall is one of the most romantic places in the UK. In fact, the county was recently found to be the most popular place for a staycation honeymoon in a survey by Sugar & Loaf ( But the alluring blend of sandy beaches and rugged cliffscapes has also seen it emerging as an incredibly popular place to pop the question. According to research by Est1897 (, Cornwall is the second ‘most Instagrammable’ place to propose in the UK.

“The last two years have been tough for everyone but if there’s one thing that’s become clear is that loved ones need to be held close and seen often. The ones we love are important to us and connection is the key to happy living,” asserts Rebecca Green of Rebel + Anchor ( “I totally attribute this to the rise of the proposal phenomenon here in Cornwall. With travel being more difficult of late, Cornwall has become the new Maldives – perhaps with a little less sun and a bit more mizzle!”

Rebecca was first approached to plan a proposal just after the first lockdown in 2020. “Tom asked me to help him find the perfect location and set-up for him to pop the question to his girlfriend Tamsin,” she says. “He had been planning to do it abroad but with lockdown cancelling their plans he had a rethink and Cornwall, being a place they both loved and special to Tamsin, seemed a good alternative.”

Not knowing the area well, he decided he needed help to create the romantic sunset moment he envisioned. “This ignited my passion for creating bespoke micro experiences that had become so important during the pandemic,” says Rebecca. “I found myself immersed in finding the perfect location – I decided on Watergate Bay and booked talented guitarist James Dixon to play their favourite song.”

She set up a romantic table for two with lanterns, candlelight, flowers and champagne and enlisted photographer Verity Westcott who jumped at the chance to capture the moment. “I loved the surprise element that anything could happen. The romance, the uniqueness, the love,” says Verity.

“We were all nervous, but we knew we had to create the perfect setting and let Tom do the rest with Verity capturing it,” reflects Rebecca. “Tamsin said yes and we all shed a little tear.”

Rebecca had assumed this would be a one-off booking – but she was wrong. “We’ve planned nearly 20 proposals in the last two years,” she says. “We’ve built a portfolio of amazing places, wonderful musicians and a handful of photographers who love the challenge – after all, it’s a nerve-racking thing to capture.”

It's a challenge that photographer Brian Robinson relishes. “It’s a privilege to witness and share such a monumental moment between the couple,” he says. “There’s a mix of sheer excitement and nerves as the moment approaches, knowing that I only have seconds to capture the surprise.”

Photographer Paul Keppel isn’t surprised to see so many couples choosing Cornwall as their proposal destination. “Cornwall is about as wow as you can get if you want the perfect UK setting for your secret proposal photography,” he says. “Beach proposals are the most popular choice with lots of couples opting for the north coast due to the stunning beaches and best locations for capturing a sunset.”

He's become an expert in getting couples to the right location while avoiding suspicion. “I liaise with the person who’s proposing before the shoot, sending screenshots of the location and agreeing where the best spot will be. Then on the day I arrive early and scout out the locations,” says Paul. “I draw stick people proposing on the images, so they will know the angle and side to stand on.”

Paul Keppel Photography Proposals Cornwall

Paul Keppel Photography

Attention to detail is key in creating the perfect moment, as well as offering support to the proposer every step of the way. “We do site visits, find the perfect location, get the relevant permissions, write risk assessments, advise on the weather and tide times and create the perfect set-up,” explains Rebecca. “We always add a personal touch that means something to them as a couple, whether that’s a nod to how they met, a favourite chocolate bar, a message in a bottle or a photobook.”

Of course, the Cornish weather means a flexible approach is key. “On one occasion we hired a bell tent to provide rain cover on the beach,” recalls Rebecca. “Once we’d found the best location, we had to fight against the worsening elements to get it up and set up the dessert station inside. It was then down to the poor proposer to get his partner there by pretending there was a bar at the end of the beach! The answer was yes, and they had a magical time despite the weather.”

Sometimes it’s the moments that can’t be planned that make a proposal. Brian cites a favourite memory of a sunset proposal at Watergate Bay last autumn. “The couple had their dog with them and at the very moment he popped the question another dog appeared,” he recalls. “It looked like the dogs were having their own proposal!”

Rebecca and her creative team have plenty of advice for those hoping to create a memorable proposal experience of their own. “Be brave, don’t rush it, take your time and enjoy the moment,” says Verity.

“Think about proposing at a place that’s special to you as a couple,” advises Brian. “Booking an experienced photographer will take a lot of the stress off your shoulders as they can offer advice and give you options to capture the best photographs.”

Bryan Jones, who recently proposed to his girlfriend Sarah on Watergate Bay, suggests enlisting the experts. “Get some help, especially if you’re not the most romantic!” he urges. “Sarah did not have a clue that I was about to propose. As we were approaching the bell tent set-up, she was wondering why it was on the beach! She popped her head into the tent for a look and, when she turned around, I was on one knee!”

Rebecca agrees. “Be open and flexible and remember that the main thing is the moment itself and the person you’re asking,” she says. “We can create a perfect setting and it can be captured by talented photographers but ultimately it’s all about committing to the rest of your lives together – and that’s the key to the most decent of proposals.”

Main image Verity Westcott Photography

words Rebecca Matthews



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