Dara & Steve, Christmas 2010!


We can’t believe how white and clear our day turned out to be. It looked a bit grim in London prior to us all travelling down to Cornwall so it was something of a relief when we arrived, although those who got stuck / missed flights / crashed cars on the way home would probably disagree…

Bride & Groom: Steve & Dara Blackney

Where are you both from originally and where is home now: Steve – Cornish but grew up in Dubai. Dara – Irish but grew up in Belgium. Home presently in Dubai.

Ceremony and reception venue: Pentillie Castle

How did you choose your venue?  Visited a number of possible venues in the area but Pentillie had a certain charm, offered plenty of accommodation and is impeccably well looked after & presented. The owner Sammie Coryton showed us around and we loved her approach.

How did your proposal happen? At the bar in the house on a hot weekend morning following a bike ride in the desert.

In 2 words, how did you picture your wedding at the beginning?

1. Picturesque

2. Social

Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail/theme – tell us about the special details of the day and how you implemented them.

We wanted as much authenticity as possible so tried to source everything locally. Its not a particularly floral time of year but even the decorations were minimal and locally inspired. It’s also a festive time of year so we aimed for a social atmosphere and planned for the whole day to be held indoors, making full use of the facilities. Oh an Steve had some Cornish pasty cuff links!

Please give a brief account of your wedding planning story i.e. priorities, highs & lows, challenges etc

Of course the dress had to be made as there was nothing that really fitted what was in my mind, so I developed a design and made the dress in Dubai with fabric sourced from London.

We chose local produce were possible and tried to accommodate as many people who travelled from overseas at the venue. It was hard to organise everything from overseas so we planned a couple of trips to try and source and finalise things well in advance. We also tried to pay for everything on booking for the same reason. No surprises!

The choice of photographer from the UK was limited at the time so for an equivalent price we managed to fly in a recommended person all the way from South Africa. We paid for his services and received more for the full cost of that than we would have from someone local!

The one think we hadn’t planned for was the best man losing his wedding ring during the snow chucking episode, luckily a local guy with a metal detector was found to save him from certain divorce!

What food did you choose for your day?

Local where possible. Found a lovely caterer in Devon that did a superb job. (Pentillie did not have their own chef at the time).

What was your favourite part of the day? Waking up to the snow covered landscape and playing on the snow outside the Castle during photos.

How did you feel as you walked down the aisle? Confident and comfortable!

What was the most important investment for you? The photography.

What song did you have for your first dance and why? Well it was supposed to be Peter Gabriel ‘Book of Love’ because its just the best song ever about love without being tacky…but it ended up getting mixed up with Iron Maiden by the DJ!

What are your top tips for other couples? Pay for it all in advance! Don’t worry about little things like the table decorations etc, you’ll remember what they were and nobody really cares about that anyway.


For more information about your Winter wedding at Pentillie please contact the team on 01579 350044 or email.


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