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A stunningly sentimental wedding at Pengenna Manor in Cornwall

A stunningly sentimental wedding at Pengenna Manor in Cornwall

Written by Katie Byrne

Sarah and Jody filled their romantic day with meaningful family references and ended it with a bang!


Sarah Lane, 29, and Jody Smith, 35, tied the knot at Pengenna Manor, Cornwall.

Photography: Leo Sharp

Budget: £10,000-£12,000

Floral budget: £500 originally - but my best friend did them for us as a wedding gift!

We met on the dating app Tinder! After our first date, I went home and told my mum I've met 'the one'.

After two-and-a-half years of dating, Jody proposed on Porthilly Beach. It was a total surprise! The beach is very special to me as it's where I used to go as a child with my family, especially my grandparents.

We visited Porthilly Church in our wedding outfits the day after we were married; gran's ashes are at Porthilly.

We set our wedding date for five months after Jody proposed. The reason for this was because we had a terrible year and lost two grandparents within six months of each other. This made me think: I wanted to have the remaining grandparents at our wedding.

We had an amazing, beautiful wedding which my gran and remaining grandad absolutely loved - however, sadly my gran passed away just 12 days later. I just feel so blessed that she could be with us that day surrounded by all her family.

Pengenna was the perfect venue for us. It had everything: rolling hills, a summer house to have the ceremony (I always wanted to get married outside), a stream in the woods over a bridge... Honestly, I had never seen anywhere so beautiful that wasn’t in a film. Even when we went to view the manor, it was raining and still looked so beautiful!

We wanted to create a natural, rustic feel for the day, and used lots of hessian bunting, glass jars and log slices. We didn't want decor that was too over-the-top or in-your-face - rather, we wanted something laidback to match our personalities.

My wedding dress was by Lusan Mandongus - it featured a low-cut back and a sweetheart neckline, as well as beaded straps and an overlay of the most delicate lace. I wasn't sure when I picked it off the rail to try it on, but the moment I walked onto the platform and looked into the mirror, I knew it was the one. Mum's face and the tears in her eyes said it all!

In my bouquet I held roses and gyp - the colours all matched so well. There were gorgeous shades of pastel green, blue, pink, purple, white...

My flowers were also very special because my best friend Miss Charlie Wilson did them for us. She doesn’t as yet have a business but she should have as you can see from the pictures! 

Roses were in my gran's bouquet when she got married, too. My best friend-slash-florist also put my grandparents' picture in a lovely locket and attached it to my bouquet, so they were with me when I walked down the aisle. In contrast, the bridesmaids held posies of gyp. My great grandfather used to grow and sell gypsophilia, so it had an extra special meaning! 

We had a 'memory candle', which sat inside a heart wreath, with a chalkboard behind it that read: “This candle burns in loving memory of those who are watching us from above, love and miss you always”.

I made my cake and cupcakes and used them as the dessert for the meal – I used to make a lot of cakes for friends and family. Jody’s mum also made a cake of stacked cheeses which looked (and tasted) amazing!

Our favours were chocolate hearts and packets of Love Hearts, presented in boxes that were wrapped with ribbon to match the lanterns in the middle of the tables.

The children at the wedding had a little party box in keeping with the colours of the wedding and stickers which ended up everywhere – but they had fun!

We also had matching napkin holders and hummingbird place names placed on the edges of the glasses. Log slices topped with moss sat on the tables as well; they looked beautifully rustic paired with ivory lanterns and flowers.

We had a sweet cart which was made for us by our carpenter friend, Jon French - it was awesome and the fact it was a gift made it even more special!

We also had a photo booth – a load of props and a frame – put it in front of a bench, set a camera up with a clicker and off we went! We got some pretty good photos from this too! Still with those rolling hills in the background.

Jody's uncle runs a vintage car hire business, so we had a very cool bright red car as our 'something different' for the day.

On the morning of the wedding there had been beautiful sunshine - then, an hour before the ceremony, the heavens opened. The forecast the day before for the wedding day was absolutely horrendous, showing rain, hail, thunderstorms and fog.

However, when the time came for us to go outside for the ceremony, it was as if gran and grandad were up there, clearing the way. White fluffy clouds appeared around patches of blue sky. I looked at dad and saw him smiling - I knew he was thinking exactly the same thing. In that moment, all the panic stopped and I felt totally stress-free, as the weather was the only thing playing on my mind.

My parents surprised us with a firework display - which was amazing. 

To brides planning their own weddings, I would say remember to enjoy every second. The day will fly by and you can cherish those memories!

Steal their style!

Venue: Pengenna Manor Marquee: Absolute Canvas Flowers: Charlie Wilson Wedding dress: The Bridal House of Cornwall Bridesmaids' dresses: Dororthy Perkins Fireworks: Celebration Pyrotechnics Car hire:

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