For some brides it's all about making an entrance; and with us you can choose just about any which way. We’ve had amazing arrivals by classic VW camper, by bike, (motor not push, although that would be sweet), we’ve got a bride who’s planning hers on horseback, or you may just want a gentle stroll through our green lanes & a special moment on the arm of your Dad, Mum, or whoever you choose.
Just before this extraordinary moment in your lives the rules of UK marriage require you both to have quite brief, but separate interviews with the two Registrars who will come out from our nearest office (Bodmin) to perform your ceremony. It's nothing to worry about; just a few questions to double check that you are who you say you are, and are legally free to marry your partner. You’ll have been in touch with them for probably quite a while beforehand anyway – venues aren’t allowed by law to arrange things with the Registrars – that’s done separately between you & them.
These interviews are usually carried out for one partner in the wedding pavilion itself (usually the groom) and elsewhere for the bride – either in your tipi if you’ve spent the night before with us (or one of your guests’ tipis if you’ve stayed elsewhere) or perhaps the main marquee if you’re having one.
They also require privacy for these little interviews so friends & family have to remain outside wherever you’re speaking to them. Another little point is that no one is allowed to eat or drink anywhere near the wedding pavilion immediately before the wedding, and the couple in question cannot be seen to have even a small glass of something for a bit of Dutch courage by the Registrars.
We had to dash forwards once to stop a groom getting what we thought was champagne from one of the catering staff standing at the ready with glasses and canapés for immediately after the ceremony – it was fine as it was only water, but it's a little known rule and they are quite firm about it. So any nips – take them in your tipi!
Once these preliminaries are over, the Registrars will be ready to conduct your ceremony.
Music often plays a significant part at this stage in the proceedings, as opposed to the probably quite different music you may want later on.
We’ve had everything from simple ipods, to guitarist friends either side of the pavilion entrance. We’ve had violin and flute and a full size piano and accompanying singer. A real favourite was the beautiful voice of one guest who sang unaccompanied at the entry of the bride and then when they both walked out – it moved some of us to tears.
We’ve now teamed up with a fabulous duo, the Classical Songbirds, whose purity of voice will let you drift into the pavilion on a stream of melody.
When it comes to the bridal party – the world’s your oyster. Some people want bridesmaids and flowergirls, pages strewing petals beneath their feet – others just want to walk up our little wooden steps on the arm of their nearest and dearest family member. Some couples have two best men, others a best woman. You can have male ushers, female ushers, and we’ve got a wedding planned with the couple’s dog as ringbearer. And yes, whilst on the subject of our faithful friends, we do break all our normal rules and allow dogs or horses to attend weddings if they’re playing a key role (ie not all the guests can bring their pooches for the weekend.)
Choosing who your attendants are going to be is tricky & only you can decide - a bit like the guest list really. 2 year old flower girls sound and look lovely, but we had one recently who seriously objected to the petals thrown in front of the bride and wouldn’t allow the procession any further until every single petal had been picked off the grass and put back neatly in her wicker basket. Her mother (chief bridesmaid and the bride’s sister) was beside herself as she picked up each piece at the speed of light, with the groom, Registrars and whole assembly waiting.