Coffee & Cake with Wedding Planner, Phoebe from Piccolo Weddings
Where would we be meeting if we were really meeting up, and what would you be ordering?
We would have to meet at The Old Forge, Lelant (formerly Scarletts). The two of us have spent many hours together at Scarletts historically, so it would be only right that we go and experience the new ambiance!
I would order a flat white with oat milk and a slice of their sumptuous chocolate cake for sure.
What made you want to become a wedding planner?
I’ve always been super-organised, in fact, some people might say annoyingly so! If one of my friends has a birthday, it’ll be me organising the party. It goes right back to childhood, when we were younger, if my sister wanted her bedroom tidied and re-arranged I’d happily do it for her!
Organising and planning are just parts of me, so applying my skills and passion for order to weddings filled with love and happiness seemed the perfect job for me. This is why I originally wanted to be a wedding planner. Then I organised my own wedding abroad and that’s when things got serious. I had the bug, and I knew I had to follow my dream.
Tell me a bit about your own wedding
I loved my wedding day. Portugal is where my husband and I first met, and we’ve always made sure we’ve returned every year. It’s a place full of special memories for both of us, and now our children as well. We wanted to have a very personal, celebrant-led wedding ceremony with friends and family in a very special place, that had true meaning for both of us. Because of this we chose to complete the legal paperwork in the UK 10 days before our actual wedding ceremony in Portugal.
We only invited 21 people and had a lovely intimate ceremony and celebration at a venue I found on Air BnB of all places! They had never held a wedding before, but I soon talked them round! The owners were a godsend, they were so creative and really hands-on with everything. We wanted wedding with a bohemian/rustic vibe. Relaxed, yet beautiful. The owners made our flower arch, we used hay bales for seating and we enjoyed our wedding breakfast in the gorgeous veranda looking across the valley.
In line with our unconventional, creative and relaxed approach to our wedding day we had no speeches, or any of the usual traditions as we wanted everyone to truly enjoy a big party without all the attention being on the two of us.
How did you start out as a wedding planner?
After planning my own wedding, I was determined that I would become a wedding planner. As soon as we got home, I emailed pretty much everyone I could find on Google who was in the wedding business in Cornwall. That’s when I met you Jane. You replied to my email, explaining a bit about your business and how there might be some work I could do for you. We met up and after talking to you, Jane you became my wedding guru. You have been alongside me through-out my journey and I wouldn’t be where I am now without you Jane. (NOTE FROM JANE: Phoebe is very modest, she is naturally gifted and driven and a brilliant wedding planner.)
What’s the best place to start when planning a wedding?
The style and vibe of the wedding the couples are wanting is most important, and this is where I ideally start with couples. Then a very close second is their budget. Everything else stems from this, including the right venue, choice of florist, photographer, make-up artist, food, any entertainment and décor.
What are your top three wedding planning tips?
I would say:
- Don’t be constrained by “rules’ or other peoples’ expectations
- Work out how much you want to spend on your wedding up front as costs can easily spiral out of hand if you are not making decisions along the way with your budget in mind.
- Be selective with your wedding guest list. Your guests are one of the most important parts of your day. These are the people who will not only witness your promises to each other, but also bring the love, fun and happiness to your special day. Make sure you feel your guest list will deliver on these obligations!
Phoebe third from left.
What’s the nicest aspect of your work?
I love the variety of my work. Every wedding is different and behind that every couple I work with has different priorities, tastes, style, budget and approach to their wedding. I love getting to know each couple as we plan their day and get great satisfaction from seeing a good job done on their wedding day. I feel particularly lucky to be able to work with these couples at such a special time in their lives. Who wouldn’t want to help create wedding days filled with love and happiness?
What do you enjoy least about your job?
I really had to think about this question as there’s nothing I don’t enjoy about my work! The only thing I can really think of is when I hear a couple say something like “we’re having to do it this way because of mother…” My heart sinks. I am a strong believer that couples should own their wedding day and those that love you will understand that it’s your day and respect the choices you make. Part of my role is to encourage and support couples to have their wedding day, their way.
Which venues do you particularly like working at and why?
I love all the venues I work with. Each is unique and special and has its own character.
I love Pengersick Castle because it’s a tiny Tudor Castle seeped in history that couples can have exclusive use of. There is accommodation just for 2 in the castle and its set in beautiful private gardens. What’s more, it’s only a 5 minute walk from the beach.
Cosawes Barton is another favourite. It’s a beautifully restored 17th Century farm that combines luxury accommodation on site with beautiful gardens and its very own lime tree-lined outdoor aisle to the pagoda where couples enjoy outdoor weddings.
Porthpean House is so special. The grounds are beautiful and the view from every angle is spectacular. It was also used as one of the main locations for the filming of Richard Curtis’ romcom, “About Time’. It’s simply stunning.
What do you do when you are not working?
I have a 2-year old and 6-year old daughters so I am kept super-busy as a full-time mum outside of my work. They provide a fantastic balance in my life. We enjoy family time in the garden and on the beautiful local beaches.
What does your perfect day look like?
I love being outdoors and in particular by the sea. So, a day at the beach and in the sea with my family finished off with a BBQ on the beach is just perfect for me. Life doesn’t get much better than that!
What advice would you give couples who have booked a wedding in the next 12-18 month?
We’re living in such strange times right now and things are changing quickly and unexpectedly. I think the best advice I can give is to remain open-minded and be confident that all of those involved in your wedding day will be just as keen as you to make sure that your wedding day is every bit as special as it would have been before COVID-19.
We’re all dying to get back to holding weddings and really hoping to have some positive news from the Government soon.
You can find out more about the services offered by Phoebe's business, Piccolo weddings here.