Katrina and Darren’s Polhawn Fort Wedding {images by Charlotte Dart}

Katrina and Darren’s Polhawn Fort Wedding

My vision for Pasties & Petticoats has always been to create a community for the Cornwall and Devon wedding world which is inspiring, open, and supportive.

As part of this, I created a facebook group specifically for brides and grooms where they can chat with each other, ask for recommendations and share their wedding planning journey (without sales posts and adverts).


This little group is evolving into a lovely friendly place for wedding planning chat, and I was thrilled to see a recent post lately from one of our readers, Katrina, with a photo of her and her new husband Darren on their wedding day.

Katrina used Pasties & Petticoats blog and facebook group throughout their wedding planning and it was so heartwarming to see photos of their beautiful day, which involved so many of our recommended suppliers.

So Katrina and Darren – congratulations, and thank you so much for being a wonderful part of the Pasties & Petticoats community, for your input and for sharing your wedding day with us. Wishing you both a wonderful and happy future together.





The proposal

Darren had planned to propose on a trip to Bruge in the summer of 2015, but we had to cancel the trip when Darren’s appendix threatened to explode – bit of an elaborate way to get out of it if you ask me ?

We managed to get there in October, and after I managed to get in the way of a number of proposal attempts – he was forced to propose in our hotel room before we went out for dinner so he could relax and spoil me in the lovely restaurant he’d booked.


Where it all happened

We did it all at Polhawn Fort… one of my bridesmaids had looked at the venue when she was planning her own wedding but her dates weren’t available, so when we got engaged she sent it to me in case we liked it.  We’re not from Cornwall, but we got together at Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall and often visit with Darren’s family so we thought we’d check it out.  We went to see it December 2015 – it was the first and last venue we saw….we loved it and booked it right away.

I have a real thing about water and the sea, and the views were just breath taking.  We loved that you got the venue for the whole weekend as everyone that gets married always tells you their only regret is that their day went in a blink of an eye and they regretted not being able to spend time with anyone.  We also loved that there was no corkage fee as it meant it was easier for us to provide a free bar for all our guests who had spent so much time, money and effort traveling to Cornwall for us.  We also loved that we could put ourselves and nearest and dearest up in the venue to keep everything relaxed and simple, and that you weren’t constrained by any supplier choices.

The only thing we did outside the Fort was a family meal at The View up the road, which meant we didn’t have to lift a finger the night before the wedding and could enjoy each other’s company over some gorgeous food.



What they wore

I wore a two piece from David’s Bridal – I’d had my eye on it for a while, and when I finally went to try it on there was only one left… it just happened to be my size and massively reduced due to a couple of loose buttons so I snapped it up.

I felt like most dresses had already been worn and wanted something a little different, and a great friend of mine suggested a two piece and I’m so pleased I wore it.

Darren wore blue suit trousers to match the flowers, a dusky pink bow tie to match the flower girls, braces, brown brogues and a grey waistcoat with a pinky purple back that he could wear his dad’s pocket watch with.

The ushers and Father of the Bride wore the same as the groom minus the waistcoat, the bridesmaids wore gold sequin fishtail dresses from Godiva and the flower girls dresses were chosen by the eldest flower girl from Monsoon.



The theme

We didn’t have a plan as such, we just knew we wanted it to be casual and relaxed – but as we chose things we made sure they either matched or clashed enough that it would work… Lily chose pink for the flower girl dresses, mine was obviously white, I call Darren Blue sometimes because his eyes are stupidly blue – so we found a blue flower… and I loved the sparkly addition of the bridesmaids because I wanted them to feel special and stand out.

I loved how all the colours worked in the end – our group photos were fab!  We didn’t need too much of a theme inside the Fort because it’s so beautiful in its own right it doesn’t really need dressing much!

We did hire big bright love letters for the dance floor though to make a focal point.



The flowers

Our florist was the lovely Hannah Burnett.  We had the usual bouquets and buttonholes, flower balls for the young girls, vases of flowers by the chairs outside which were later added to the tables, decorations to the summer house where we married and a few arrangements in a large jug and milk churn to decorate the cake and guest book tables.

We chose blue hyacinths, thistles, peonies and white flowers as we wanted something pretty but not too formal that would still stand out in the venues lovely gardens.

Hannah did a fabulous job and we got so many compliments.



The cake

We had a beautiful wedding cake – three tiers of chocolate cake with white chocolate brushed rings around it from Marks and Spencer!  It was really pretty and so tasty, and not too expensive!

Another bonus of having the Sunday to celebrate too is that all the guests that forgot to have any on the day got a chance to try it!



What they ate and drank

We drank prosecco and beer on the roof before the wedding and for drinks with canapés.  Wine with the meal, fizz for toasts then added gin, rum and whiskey in the evening.  Darren’s cousin James also brews his own beer professionally so we served a few barrels of lovely ale too.

My Dad supplied the wine and the rest we collected over about a year taking advantage of supermarket deals when we could and stashed it all in our garage.

We had the lovely Miss Tea as our caterer, who helped us put together a menu that represented our tastes and food memories into a feast for everyone to enjoy.

We had canapés before the wedding breakfast, then a pre-ordered deli platter starter that was either meaty, fishy or veggie followed by a barbeque type sharer meal of brisket sliders, ribs, chicken, homemade slaw, salads and sauces to create a relaxed atmosphere where everyone could dive in and socialise.  Pudding was homemade scones, jam and cream of course with tea.

In the evening we had homemade pasties and the largest table of cheese and homemade chutneys that has ever been created.

Obviously we wanted a bit of a Cornish theme but we also loved Miss Tea because her food is good honest homemade food without pretentiousness – we much prefer eating that way ourselves and we also wanted our guest to feel comfortable and relaxed.


Photos and film

Charlotte Dart did our photos and did a fantastic job.  We were supposed to also have a drone for the drinks and canapés after the ceremony but sadly the weather wasn’t good enough and we all had to run indoors!

A friend recorded the speeches for us as you can never quite remember what everyone said afterwards and it’s so nice to treasure.  Our guests also took lots of great photos and videos that we’re still discovering!


The party!

We had some lovely acoustic guitar and singing from Joe Hurworth during the ceremony and pre-drinks…

We wanted to get everyone in the mood for a party after dinner, and give the DJ a chance to set up, so we arranged for some fire entertainment with Josh from Circus Uncertainty up on the roof.  It got all the guests up on their feet, fresh air in their lungs and a great show as the sun went down.

Afterwards most of us hit the dance floor (run by Andy Mitchell from gig9569).

Another lovely thing about the Fort is that there are a few sections so it was easy for those not up for a dance or wanting a rest to relax up the other end.



The honeymoon

We are going to honeymoon in Sri Lanka next year, but after the wedding weekend we spent the day in Looe with some close friends and then spent 4 nights in a little cottage in Mousehole.


Favourite part of the wedding

On the day…Looking out at our guests and seeing them have a good time and feeling lucky to have them all ?

The day after though was a huge highlight for me…we got half a hog from Helford Hog Roasts and sat out on the lawn drinking our left over booze in the sunshine really catching up with no more arrangements to do!  The weather was lovely and we stayed outside until the sun went down.


Advice to others

Everyone says it, but really try not to worry about other people and what they might think during planning.  Everyone there is in your corner and people can just behave a bit oddly when a wedding is on the horizon ?

Lists! And…

Get local recommendations… Pasties & Petticoats helped me find all our lovely suppliers and we loved them all!  The best bit about Pasties & Petticoats for me was the Facebook group – the community were so kind and helpful with their recommendations and I really am so grateful.


Anything else…

We also hired Hannah Symons for beauty and Sarah and her team from The Salon for hair….the girls did a fabulous job and we had such a lovely time in the morning getting ready!!  I’ve literally never looked that nice and doubt I ever will again!







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