Professional tips from Boconnoc on planning a micro wedding

Article Published: Wednesday 20th January, 2021 - 6:40pm



Whether you've always wanted a more intimate celebration or have been forced to redesign your day because of Covid - fret not - for planning a micro wedding in the middle of a pandemic can be a strangely exciting process, as our expert industry professionals reveal.

Taking the beautiful country bolthole of Boconnoc as cue, the team answer a series of questions about the logistics of a smaller shindig. Located in a secluded spot in Cornwall, Boconnoc presents the most beguiling of backdrops for such a wedding. The beautiful main house is accompanied by a neighbouring church, civil ceremony room in the Stable Yard and exquisite accommodation for up to 40 guests, with intimate weddings catering for up to 30 of your nearest and dearest. Host a reception in the stylish Smoking Room, or sit on trestle tables by the fire pits under starry skies.

Then there's the extras, such as champagne and oysters, a tractor trailer ride to the top of the estate, or a gin or whisky tasting session: the perfect post-dinner treat.

Plus, with a smattering of outdoor spaces to enjoy at your leisure - including the Georgian Bathhouse and Dorothy Garden - all with staggering views of the surrounding valley and parkland, whatever your whims and season, you'll be spoiled in the lap of picturesque luxury.

Let this - and the following - be all the inspiration you need to get planning your very own dream micro wedding...


What are the advantages of having an intimate or micro wedding, with less guests?

Jenny 
If you have downsized, you may have saved a considerable amount of money. Generally, micro weddings mean you won’t have to compromise on certain elements of the day and can have everything exactly as you want it, with cost not influencing your decisions as much as it would with a large wedding.

This may allow you to splurge on certain areas to make them extra special. For example, you may be able to indulge in the food you really love for your menu, have cocktails at the drinks reception or have fireworks in the evening.

Smaller weddings also often allow for more personal touches. Perhaps you could have a personalised wedding favour on the place setting for each guest instead of them all having the same. We once planned a wedding where the couple handwrote an individual letter to each of their guests explaining why they meant so much to them. They were placed in an envelope on their place setting, it was a lovely touch and guests were in tears of joy reading them. Although a challenge, this is much more achievable with lower guest numbers and is such a lovely touch.

Often couples find they don’t get the time to talk to everyone when they have a large number of guests, and as such having fewer people at your wedding allows you to spend more time with each individual. Smaller weddings may mean all your guests can stay on site, maximising your time together.  A smaller wedding may even mean there is more flexibility on both the date and location as many venues will be booked up – it will give you the opportunity to be spontaneous and plan your wedding in a smaller timeframe.

Christine
 One of the biggest frustrations we had at our own wedding 24 years ago, was that we didn’t get a chance to chat to everyone, never mind catch up with them. In the same room, but never connected.

Smaller weddings are usually a touch less formal, with a touch more presence of all involved. Memories somehow seem in sharper focus as the union of two lives is the centre-point rather than the running order of the day.

There’s space to simply be your wholehearted selves. That honest place is a great starting point for a marriage.

Mark and David
 Spending time with close family and friends on special day is so very important. It will be more intimate, unique, and special… you will be able to speak to all of your guests.

Couples often say they feel overwhelmed as they can’t get around to speaking to every guest on their big day, or that they spend the entire day talking to relatives and not taking time for each other. In an intimate setting, you will know ALL of your guests! No long-lost relatives who are there because of a ‘sympathy invite!’

You can create a day that has more focus on how you want it, rather than what is best or easier to do in terms of accommodating large numbers.

You can save on the cost of your wedding, or decide to spend your budget on quality, rather than quantity, i.e, choose a food and/or wine upgrade, more detailed tableware and glassware, and so on.

We want to get married now, and party with the rest of our guests later. Do you have any suggestions on how we might be able to do this?

Jenny 
A sequel wedding is going to be the highlight of any guest’s year, after so much anticipation, everyone will be excited and ready to party, meaning that your wedding is already likely to be a huge hit! If you want the party later on to still have a wedding day element to it, you could organise a ‘second ceremony’ (after you had done the legal ceremony now).

This could be conducted by a celebrant who is professionally trained or a friend/family member. The beauty of this is you can have your ceremony anywhere. We had a couple do this at Boconnoc outside on the lawn under the big tree it was really special. Just as they said their vows a slight breeze came and blew the blossoms off the tree over the guests, it was like natural confetti. You also get to wear your dress/suit again, yippee!

At the party with all your guests, why not incorporate some things from the day you got married? Perhaps photos, or your dried bouquet. This will give your guests an insight into that special day too.

Christine
 For those who prefer to have an intimate wedding followed by a larger party at a future date, we offer a “Now & Then” cake. This option literally allows you to have your cake, and eat it.

We will bake one or more tiers of your wedding cake in a delicious moist fruitcake, to be safely kept until it can be incorporated into your future party cake! Thus sharing a little of the original day with those who gather with you to celebrate in the future.

Mark and David 
We all love a good dance, and maybe a singer/band. Or to just sit back and enjoy some evening food in front of the open fire. We can offer incredible feasts and different ways to have a party. Talk to us about having an anniversary party, or a get-together with friends and family at a later date to celebrate.

We can also incorporate some of the dishes you have for your wedding at your party/Feast Night. Perhaps re-creating items from your wedding meal as canapés, or going for foods that you really fancied for your wedding, but chose otherwise. Make it fun, exciting and give it lots of theatre!


With fewer guests, we want to make a weekend of it. Do you have any suggestions on how we may be able to plan the weekend?

Jenny
 Wedding weekends are great fun, making more of it than just the actual day allows you more time with your guests to catch up and it feels like a little retreat for them (especially nice if they have travelled from far).

You could organise things for you to do together while they are here, such as an organised bike ride, hike, surfing lessons or a spa day. Boconnoc has the stable yard which is perfect for a relaxed night prior meal with your guests; flood it with festoon lighting for a cosy elegant feel.

The day after you could organise a BBQ on the lawn and a sea dip to cure those sore heads and allow for stories shared from the night before, always such a treat. Opt for some vintage games on the lawn with all the family to end a wonderful weekend. 

Mark and David 
There are many lovely things to do over the weekend. Younger groups can surf while other family and friends can watch from the beach. Or, let your event team cook lunch for you after a morning of walking or biking.

Enjoy a walk the day before in the Cornish countryside with your friends and family. Explore and forage for wild foods which can then be prepared and included in your wedding breakfast. Dish Cornwall’s directors/chefs will accompany you and show you some incredible hidden gems that create wonderful flavours for your dishes if you wish.

Dish Cornwall can offer a catered weekend package including breakfasts, lunchtime foods and snacks, and dinners for the night before the wedding. Or, how about a brunch or picnic the day after before your guests depart the venue/house?

Do you have any decor tips for an intimate wedding at Boconnoc?

Jenny 
Intimate weddings are lovely to style, they often allow more time and money to consider finer details and infuse your personalities into the design. Consider one long table, or even a U-shape table, perfectly decorated with personalised features for each guest (a small amount of people allows this to be done).

Perhaps opt for agate name places instead of paper ones, or wedding favours personalised for each guest. We once had a bride who handmade the vases for the flowers to go in during her pottery class.

If it is a summer wedding, you could think about dining outside on low down tables with picnic rugs and big cushions. With smaller numbers, this allows flexibility for everything to quickly be moved inside should the weather not be favourable. 

If you want to make a large space feel more intimate, you can do this by clever table layouts, lighting and food stations dotted around the room.

Mark and David 
Keep it natural, take a walk with your florist and use the wild greens from the beautiful estate.

Contributors:

Wedding & Event Planner Jennifer Granlund
 jennywrens.com
Wedding Cake Supplier Christine Jensen from Peboryon 
peboryon.com
Caterers Mark, David & Sophie from Dish Cornwall
 dishcornwall.co.uk

boconnoc.com