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Bride and groom at a spring rustic, intimate wedding at The Cow Shed Cornwall. Ideal for a romantic elopement for 2 or 2 plus a few, small group weddings or intimate celebrations of up to 100 treasured guests.

Tips to Plan an Amazing Intimate Wedding

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Tips to Plan an Amazing Intimate Wedding

 

An intimate wedding can be deeply personal and special, allowing you to spend the most important day of your life with just those who matter to you the most. Whether you plan it on small budget or indulge in a more lavish day with your carefully chosen guests, a smaller wedding with your closest family and friends or an elopement wedding for two or two plus a few can be exquisite and highly memorable when you plan it well. Here are some tips from the team at Best for Bride to help you plan an amazing intimate wedding.

Flowers, swing and confetti at a spring rustic, intimate wedding at The Cow Shed Cornwall

Tip 1 - Make The Most of Your Budget

Smaller weddings don’t necessarily have to be simple affairs. With a limited guest list, you can put your financial resources to better use. Do something unique. Make the most of your wedding budget by splurging on your priorities. This could be a fantastic meal, great wedding favours, or excellent entertainment for your guests.

Tip 2 - Choose a Meaningful Venue

When you have a smaller guest list, you have many more venue options. Either choose a location that is meaningful to you or find a venue that is specifically suited for the wedding you have in mind. You can choose your favorite restaurant, a grand hotel, or a beautiful venue with exquisite scenery to make your wedding extra-special. It could also be your backyard, a romantic destination overseas, or a local park.

Tip 3 - Determine Your Priorities

If you have opted for an intimate wedding due to budgetary constraints, start your wedding planning by choosing your priorities. Decide on your must-have’s. Devote the biggest chunk of the wedding budget to these essentials. Limit the rest. When you splurge on your priorities and cut back on what isn’t essential, you can still have the type of wedding you’re dreaming of without spending more than you can afford.

Rustic Spring Wedding at the Cow Shed

Tip 4 - Adapt the Ceremony and Traditions to Suit your Wedding Style

Small, intimate weddings have a different feel to larger weddings, so some of the aspects of the typical wedding function may not be appropriate for this type of wedding. A wedding processional, for example, may seem out of place if the venue doesn’t have an actual aisle or most of the guests aren’t seated. Be prepared to plan your wedding differently to adapt to these conditions. Similarly, typical wedding parties have one bridesmaid per fifty guests. However, this rule needn’t apply to you. Have as many or as few bridesmaids and groomsmen as you choose to have. The good news is, a small, unique wedding gives you many other options that aren’t available to other brides. You can focus on mingling with your guests and enjoying time with them, instead of standing in the receiving line and smiling a quick goodbye.

Tip 5 - Involve the Guests

You will have plenty of time to meet and greet each and every one of your guests when there are fewer people on the list. Even a wedding with up to 80 or 100 treasured guests can still feel like an intimate affair, with ample opportunity to connect with each person. Your guests will appreciate it even more when you devote special attention to them. Plan the wedding day in such a way that they can all be involved in the wedding celebration. For example, you can do this by involving them in the ceremony or seating all the guests around one big table for the reception.

 

Also, if you would rather have a small wedding but a part of you is torn by wanting to include more family and friends, you can still have the intimate wedding you want and find other ways to celebrate with more guests. For example, you could invite a small guest list to your ceremony and main reception, and invite more people to the evening celebrations where you serve a light buffet or snacks.

Spring Rustic Wedding - Vintage china and floral centerpieces at a rustic wedding at The Cow Shed Cornwall

Tip 6 - Focus on the Guest Experience

When your guests realise that they are among the select few you have invited to participate in your wedding, they’re bound to feel honoured. Give them a wonderful day and your wedding will be one of their best memories. Lay out elaborate plans so every guest enjoys the event. For example, you could arrange for special transportation, classic-style entertainment, an elaborate meal, exceptional wines or unique wedding favors to give everyone an unforgettable experience. You can also plan events leading up to the wedding in pomp and style, so it builds excitement for the actual wedding day. Remember – with careful planning it is possible to create an amazing intimate wedding experience on either a small or extravagant budget. Smaller budgets just tend to require greater creativity and more focused priorities.

Tip 7 - Spare No Detail

When it is a small wedding, people are bound to pay more attention to the décor and details. Keep in mind that it will be more difficult to hide deficiencies and flaws when the crowd is smaller and more attentive, so don’t compromise on the details. If you aren’t hiring a wedding consultant or won’t have a wedding planner from your venue to help you, take extra care with the organisation. Go all out in planning the décor and details so everything will be ‘just so’ on your special day.

Tip 8 - Be Prepared for Some Disappointment from Those Who Weren't Invited

There are bound to be at least few people who will feel let down because you didn’t invite them to the wedding. However, do not feel guilty about your decision. If any of them question you, be honest and tell them you are having a small wedding. It is your special day and you don’t need to justify yourself. Nevertheless, if you are dealing with someone who seems particularly sensitive about the issue, explaining the practicalities behind your decision may help to take the emotion out it. For example, you could stress that you love them and would love to have them there, but you’ve had to make some very difficult decisions for practical reasons (like a small budget) and you hope they understand. Remember that you deserve to have the wedding you always wanted, even if it doesn’t make everyone happy. Focus on what is most important to both of you and stop worrying about what anyone else may think.

 

Also remember, is possible to have an intimate wedding and find other ways to include more family and friends on your special day – if you wish to do so (see Tip 5). You could also consider having a party a month or two after the wedding for a larger group of friends and family. None of this is compulsory of course but they are options if you genuinely want to include more people without compromising on the intimate wedding you really want.

Spring rustic wedding bride and groom at The Cow Shed, Cornwall. Ideal for elopement weddings, small weddings and intimate gatherings of up to 100 guests.

Tip 9 - Remember that Your Marriage is More Important than Your Wedding Day

Keep this factor in mind and you will no longer find it so difficult to handle any grievances about your decision. It will save you from having second thoughts about the different and intimate wedding you have planned. Remember that your wedding day doesn’t determine the success of your marriage. At the same time, it is an important day that marks the beginning of your special relationship. So keep the focus on your union and the way you want it to be. This will make for better memories and a better start to your marriage. If a small, personal wedding better suits your style, personality and circumstances, don’t have a big bash just because you think it is expected of you.

Author’s Bio: Best for Bride is Canada’s wedding dress specialist with four stores in the country. They feature an impressive collection of designer wedding dresses and also have outfit collections for the rest of the bridal party. With a range of wedding day services apart from everything the bride needs for her special day, Best for Bride is a one-stop bridal destination for the modern bride.

Want to Know More about Intimate Weddings at the Cow Shed?

Spring Bride and Groom at The Cow Shed at Cornwall. Perfect for romantic elopement, small wedding or gathering or up to 100 guests.

At Cow Shed Weddings we specialise in intimate rustic weddings in the picturesque and tranquil Cornish countryside, only minutes from the sea. Whether you’re planning a romantic elopement wedding, a small wedding with 20 to 30 of your closest family and friends, or an intimate rustic wedding with up to 80 treasured guests, we can help you create a deeply personal wedding that celebrates your unique love story.

 

If you’d like to know more, please do get in touch or request our Elopement or Rustic Wedding Brochure. We’d love to hear about your wonderful wedding plans and share a little more about us to help you decide if the Cow Shed truly is the ideal venue for your dream wedding.

wedding-seasons-pros-and-cons

Wedding Seasons: The Pros and Cons

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Wedding Seasons: The Pros and Cons

Did you get a marriage proposal on Valentines Day? Congratulations!

Now one of the most important decisions you need to make is when you’re actually going to tie the knot. So before you start sending out save-the-dates, take a look at our guide to the pros and cons of each wedding season of the year.

Winter

PROS

  1. Living in the UK, we’re sometimes lacking in the snow department but, when it does, freshly fallen snow can add an extra touch of magic to your day, amplifying colour schemes and casting an ethereal glow.
  2. With a winter wedding, there are so many options when it comes to catering; think rich desserts, hot chocolate bars, spicy winter cocktails and endless amounts of comfort food.
  3. Roaring fires, candlelight and twinkly fairy lights can make the perfect setting for calm, cozy and romantic winter wedding.
  4. Winter is typically a slower time of year for wedding suppliers and vendors, allowing you to save extra money in your wedding budget.

 

CONS

  1. Christmas and New Year weddings can be absolutely stunning, but it’s worth considering that your guests may be travelling elsewhere for the festivities.
  2. With all the usual celebrations, and increased mail, it’s important to give your guests sufficient notice before they start making plans and commitments to other parties and events.
  3. Here in the UK, we’re partial to the odd storm, often involving a variety of weather conditions, all of which can play havoc with road and travel links for both your guests and suppliers.
  4. Despite having tons of fabric and many layers, it can still be cold wearing a wedding dress all day! Think about adding a jacket, stole or cape to your outfit and make sure your bridesmaids stay warm by providing tights and wraps for theirs too.

SPRING

PROS

  1. Spring’s natural beauty can be so romantic, with trees full of blossom, soft floral and pastel colours everywhere and the fresh bursts of nature’s greenery that are in abundance at this time of year.
  2. With Christmas behind us and the summer holidays still a little way off, spring is a safer time for a wedding in terms of ‘yes’ replies, meaning you can send your invites out a little later if you need to.
  3. Your choice of bridal gown is less restricted in spring, allowing you to wear sleeves without overheating or choose a sleeveless dress and not be too chilly.
  4. Lighting is everything in photography, especially on one of the biggest days of your life! In spring, there is usually more cloud coverage which is ideal for flawless photos.

CONS

  1. Summer weather means high temperatures (if we’re lucky!) which can wreak havoc with you and your bridesmaids’ hair and make-up, not to mention making it uncomfortable for your guests.
  2. The summer months are normally when families have booked to go on holiday, so think about who you’d like to be part of your big day and make sure you send out your save-the-dates early.
  3. Top vendors and suppliers are often booked up for months beforehand, so if you’re planning a summer wedding, make sure you have enough lead time or consider a longer engagement to plan the wedding of your dreams.
  4. Strong summer sunshine means harsh lighting for your photos, and not all photos can be corrected, so think about where and when you pose for photos during the day.

SUMMER

Pros

  1. Catering and menus for summer weddings can be lots of fun, with loads of different options utilising local cheeses, ripe produce and fresh meat and fish.
  2. In summer months, daylight can last as late as 9pm, allowing for more flexibility in your ceremony scheduling to avoid the hottest parts of the day and still get great photos.
  3. Summertime also brings longer, warmer evenings, meaning the party can carry on for longer. Think fires and candles under the stars in the evening, with soft twinkling lights for an added romantic glow.
  4. Flowers are everywhere in summer, with a flower for every colour scheme that will be in perfect bloom at this time of year. Your bouquet, arrangements and centrepieces will be as perfect as you’ve been dreaming they’ll be.

Cons

  1. Summer weather means high temperatures (if we’re lucky!) which can wreak havoc with you and your bridesmaids’ hair and make-up, not to mention making it uncomfortable for your guests.
  2. The summer months are normally when families have booked to go on holiday, so think about who you’d like to be part of your big day and make sure you send out your save-the-dates early.
  3. Top vendors and suppliers are often booked up for months beforehand, so if you’re planning a summer wedding, make sure you have enough lead time or consider a longer engagement to plan the wedding of your dreams.
  4. Strong summer sunshine means harsh lighting for your photos, and not all photos can be corrected, so think about where and when you pose for photos during the day.

AUTUMN

Pros

  1. Even though leaves may be falling from the trees and temperatures are a little cooler, you can still have endless options planning a late September wedding, whether you prefer an indoor or outdoor ceremony.
  2. Autumn weather is slightly more dependable than spring, and there’s still a fair amount of daylight left in the evenings, allowing you to plan a later ceremony and reception if you wish.
  3. Deep, dark colour schemes are perfect for this time of year; complementing the natural décor of your venue with rich bronze, orange, deep purples, reds and greens will create a stunning look for your wedding.
  4. Incorporating the nature around you into your wedding scheme can be a great way to reduce costs and boost the budget of your wedding, and autumn is the perfect time to do it.

Cons

  1. You may find you get fewer ‘yes’ replies with an autumn wedding, especially if your guests would be travelling from further afield, having used up their holiday entitlement during the summer and saving the rest for Christmas and New Year.
  2. As the weather changes, skin starts drying out and losing its summer
    glow, causing flakes, spots and dry patches – not a good look for the photographs!
  3. With the summer holidays over, school starting again and Christmas looming, autumn can be a difficult time for many people financially, meaning that your guests may not be able to afford to attend your wedding, especially if they have to splurge on travel and accommodation costs to be there.
  4. Many autumn weddings take place indoors, especially in the UK where it can start getting chilly in September! Having an indoor wedding can sometimes place greater restrictions on your colour and décor ideas, so make sure you’re happy with any compromises you may have to make before you commit to booking.
rustic-wedding

7 Top Tips for making the most of a Rustic Wedding Theme

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7 Top Tips for making the most of a Rustic Wedding Theme

Choosing a wedding theme can be really hard – there’s so much inspiration, it’s hard to pick just one!

Here at The Cow Shed we love all things rustic, and rustic, country style weddings are our specialty, so we don’t think you could go wrong with this theme for your big day. It’s pretty, simple to style and works at any time of year, from sunny summer days through to frosty winter ones.

dsc_8451Pick a barn venue

One of the most important parts of the wedding planning process is choosing your wedding venue – and picking one that complements your wedding theme makes all the difference. Barns are the ideal choice for a rustic themed wedding, with their beautiful settings, neutral colours and natural, romantic feel creating a perfect backdrop and relaxed atmosphere.

dsc_8350Use pretty props for styling

There are so many objects you can use to style your rustic-themed wedding; hay bales, jam jars, barrels, logs, apple crates and candles can be given extra finishing touches to turn them from everyday items into pretty wedding props. And they don’t have to be expensive! You can find pieces at flea markets, car boot sales and charity shops for a reasonable price, and get creative with upcycling and embellishments etc. to create your own unique pieces. If you’d prefer to hire them, local florists and wedding hire companies stock most items which they will happily hire to you and also help you with styling.

Make mealtime fun

Rustic weddings and a relaxed, laid back atmosphere go hand in hand, and allow for a little more fun too. So serve up something a little less formal than the traditional three-course wedding breakfast, and opt for a hog roast or barbecue. Dessert could be a selection of classic home-made cakes so guests can choose a slice……or three…… of their favourites. Here at The Cow Shed, Sarah’s repertoire of classic dishes and delicious comfort food is always a winner with our guests, no matter what time of year it is.

12697492_852399118202186_7607814463824989599_oAdd a twinkly touch

Fairy lights are a must for adding subtle, romantic lighting that perfectly complements your rustic wedding and adds a little touch of magic to your big day. Hung as a backdrop from the ceiling, wrapped around the beams or strung between the eaves, twinkling fairy lights set among beautiful seasonal flowers and foliage are the perfect addition.

Keep it natural

A rustic wedding always has a natural overall finish, neutrally coloured in browns, creams and greens that works well with many colour schemes. There’s no need for chair covers, tablecloths or chair sashes; in fact at The Cow Shed, we use hay bales covered with cosy blankets and wooden trestle tables with simple linen runners, although you could always use burlap or lace depending on your taste.

dsc_8371Weave your theme throughout

Keep your rustic wedding theme in mind when choosing each element of your wedding. Choose wild flowers for simple floral centrepieces and bowers, and have a naked or lace-style cake as your wedding cake. In terms of your dress, add a rustic touch by opting for a simple dress style or a lace design, while your groom could choose a less formal suit with a touch of tweed, or even braces and a flat cap!

Give homemade favours to guests

Everything about a rustic wedding is natural, simple and homemade, so you can be really creative and bring a touch of this to your wedding favours for your guests too. Jars of homemade jam, honey or sweets are good choices, or you could put together hot chocolate and marshmallow jam jar kits for a winter wedding; the possibilities are endless!

If you’re stuck for inspiration, Pinterest is a great place to look for ideas on everything from décor, to dresses to homemade crafty touches. Whatever ideas you have in mind, make sure you discuss them with your venue co-ordinator who will often have plenty of tips and advice to help make your day perfect.