Got Wed - Real Weddings in Cornwall and Devon

Elopement stories from Cornwall

Small weddings of dreams



Three couples share the stories of their elopements in Cornwall

Wed meets three couples who said “I do” to a teeny wedding in the wilds of the Cornish landscape – and why they wouldn’t change it

“Our wedding really symbolised what Jon and I are about as a couple.”
Emily and Jon married amidst the woodland and waterfalls of St Nectan’s Glen 

What was it about an intimate wedding that appealed to you?
“Having been forced to cancel our overseas wedding a few times due to the pandemic, we decided to postpone the big celebration until 2023 and focus on what's important: starting the next chapter of our lives together. We opted for an elopement style wedding with seven guests. It was very romantic and we were so happy that we were finally able to take this next step together. A small wedding allowed us to focus on what’s important and to be more creative with the planning.” 

What was it about getting married at St Nectan's Glen that appealed to you?
“St Nectan’s Glen is revered as a sacred place, where numerous ribbons, crystals, photographs, inscriptions, prayers and other devotions adorn the foliage and rock walls near the waterfall. It is a place of mystical and spiritual natural beauty, and the energy is incredible! We are both deeply spiritual people and being in nature was important to us – our wedding coincidentally fell on the summer solstice weekend so it was all divinely timed for our sacred union.

We stayed on-site in an amazing cottage. The St Nectan’s Glen team decorated the arbour where we married with natural finds from the woodland, made us a vegan cake for our arrival and decorated the cottage with wild flowers from the glen. They also served us an incredible vegan breakfast the morning after the wedding overlooking the trees – it all felt like something out of a fairy tale.” 


Tell us how the day panned out.
“We went into the waters the morning of the wedding as we felt that it would be a great way to initiate ourselves. I had offerings of roses to symbolise love and devotion which I offered to the glen to say thanks and to bring positivity for our marriage together. We had a little stone made with our wedding details which I hid in the rocks, and we will go back and try to find again in years to come. 

After the ceremony in the arbour, we enjoyed canapés with champagne and cake. In the evening we went to the amazing Michelin-starred restaurant Outlaw’s. As we only had a few guests we had the budget for a super nice meal – we are massive foodies so this was important. It was wonderful spending the day with just a few people – there was no stress, the whole experience was just very enjoyable.”

What did you for the details?
“I wore a dress by Needle and Thread, a crown by Amore Headwear, earrings by Vivienne Westwood and a bespoke leather jacket. Jon wore a tailored Moss Bros. suit with Gucci shoes and a Gucci belt. I carried an oversized bouquet from Flowers by Lucy – we just aligned in terms of vision. She also provided the roses for the offering, bows for my brother’s dogs and the dried flower buttonholes. The vegan cake from Flavourtown Bakery was spectacular – perfectly in line with our celestial theme.” 

Does one particular moment stand out to you?
“Walking into the arbour and seeing Jon cry made me feel super emotional. We loved having photos taken in the waterfalls with our wonderful photographer Grace.”

What advice would you give to other couples considering an elopement or intimate wedding?
“Enjoy it! You do not need to think about anyone else you can be as ‘out there’ and creative as you like. I loved our wedding because it really symbolised what Jon and I are about as a couple. The whole experience was chilled and enjoyable, and just naturally fell into place.”  

Photography Grace Elizabeth grace-elizabeth.co.uk
Venue St Nectan’s Glen st-nectansglen.co.uk

“An intimate wedding allowed us to be spontaneous and truly enjoy every moment of the day!”
Alaa and Sam held a wildly beautiful handfasting on the edge of Tintagel


What was it about an intimate wedding that appealed to you?
“We wanted to have a simple wedding with just a handful of special guests to witness the ceremony. We didn’t want the restrictions of a traditional wedding and the stress of planning a large event. We also wanted our wedding to be outside in nature. An intimate wedding allowed us to be spontaneous and truly enjoy every moment of the day!” 

What was it about getting married in Cornwall that appealed to you?
“Our family are from Cornwall and we also loved the idea of enjoying the landscape and beautiful beaches, especially in the summer.” 

Tell us how the day panned out? 
“Our wedding day was perfect! Having a small number of guests meant the planning went smoothly. We had a ceremony outside a yurt in a field filled with wild flowers. We then went to Trebarwith Strand beach for photos followed by lunch at the Mill House Inn with our guests.” 

What did you do for the details?
“We wanted to source everything as locally as possible. Our cake, flowers and food came from local businesses in Cornwall.” 

Does one particular moment stand out to you?
“It’s difficult to specify a particular moment because the whole day was special! However, one moment that does stand out was when our celebrant read a poem during the handfasting. The words were very touching, and the cord was handmade by Sam’s mum.”


What advice would you give to other couples considering an elopement or intimate wedding?
“Invest in a talented photographer! Keep it small and simple and if you are having the wedding outside, have a plan B in case the weather takes a turn for the worse – we were lucky!” 

Photography Hannah Wilde hannah-wilde.com


“Eloping with our dog and closest friends was the best decision we ever could have made. The stars aligned for us that day and every day since”
Morgan and Andy ventured to Frieda and the Moon for a magical elopement in the Cornish countryside

What was it about an intimate wedding that appealed to you?
“We wanted something that was purely us, and an intimate elopement wedding with only a few friends sounded just perfect! We even brought our dog Rogue along with us all the way from West Yorkshire.”

What was it about getting married in Cornwall that appealed to you?
“The landscape is just stunning – you’d have absolutely no idea you were in England! It was our version of a destination wedding without the stress of travelling abroad with everything we needed. It was also far enough away to justify a smaller guest list.”

Tell us how the day panned out.
“It was a slow, quiet morning. We were far too relaxed for what was meant to be happening that afternoon! The ceremony was held outside The Studio at Frieda and the Moon under a flowery archway. We were right there in the elements, and it was perfect. We were told it would go by in a flash, and it did. Luckily for us, this wasn't the end of our day.

We waited until twilight when the sun was at the horizon and made our way into the woods with Rogue and our friends. We met our celebrant, Rebecca Morris, in what is called The Hornbeam Circle, a little stone-tiered shrine of sorts, surrounded by candles, lights and trinkets. We exchanged our personal vows and tied the knot, literally, with a handfasting ceremony. It was at that point when we truly felt married and complete.” 

What did you do for the details?
“We kept our outfit choices a secret so we both had no idea what the other would be wearing. Morgan wore a celestial Willowby by Watters dress and I wore a suit with a matching pair of Converse. Morgan even slipped into some leopard print Vans for an adventure photoshoot. Comfort was everything for us.

Despite our vague ideas of what we liked, Babs at Frieda and the Moon happily went away and provided us with buttonholes and bouquets which were perfect! We ordered our ‘cake’ from 42nd East Bakehouse in Leeds which was actually a giant cookie pie. We were able to customise it to our sweet treat preferences which was amazing.”

Does one particular moment stand out to you?
“We were chatting to Verity about how funny it is when dogs ruin perfect wedding photos by doing their business and not an hour after that conversation Rogue proceeded to do just that in the aisle of our legal ceremony. It was hilarious! It was just as our registrar was giving special thanks to Rogue for coming along too – perfect timing and a memory we can all look back on and laugh at.

Another was a moment of realisation. Our stone-faced best friend Jordan doesn't cry or show his emotions very much. As we were approaching The Hornbeam Circle and the lights brightened, Jordan said, “This is actually quite romantic”. I can't explain that feeling, but Morgan and I caught glances as we held back our tears. Not long into the ceremony, we got to say our vows and I could see Jordan sniffling away over Morgan’s shoulder. Everyone was connected that day – it was beautiful.”

What advice would you give to other couples considering an elopement or intimate wedding?
“If you want to escape the assumed tradition and create your own without expectation or pressure from friends and family – eloping is the way to go! You get to choose exactly what you do, who you invite (if anybody) and how much to spend. Eloping together with our dog Rogue and four of our closest friends was by far the best decision we ever could have made. The stars aligned for us that day and every day since.” 

Photography Verity Westcott veritywestcottphotography.com
Venue Frieda and the Moon friedaandthemoon.co.uk

words Rebecca Matthews