Venue Showcase: Pengenna Manor

Take a walk through history and tie the knot in this magnificent 800 year old venue.

Richard, the proprietor of Pengenna Manor, tells us more about this gorgeous place in the middle of the woods.

Tell us about yourself!
Richard Thomas smiling.

I opened up Pengenna Manor, my family home, for weddings and events in 2014 –  I love hosting couples here and making sure they feel totally at home during their stay. I have a partner and two dogs and we live nearby when the Manor is being used, spending time here when it’s free to ensure it is still very much a family home. When I’m not hosting weddings or running the business I get out and about in the countryside and seaside nearby for long walks with the dogs and I love photography too so I’ve always got a camera of some description with me!

What drew you to the wedding world?
A living room with rustic furniture.

In my previous career I worked in marketing, business development, project management and corporate events, so when my father retired (from farming at Pengenna) and moved out of the Manor I knew what I wanted to do here. My first wedding that I planned and executed from start to finish was actually  my sister’s – she got married at the local church and then had her reception here before we had even started turning it from a working farm to a unique venue!

What do you think makes Pengenna Manor unique?
A green garden gazebo surrounded by wooden chairs.

First and foremost it’s definitely the location. Set in a beautiful hidden valley just 4 or 5 miles from the coast and surrounded by ancient woodland you feel like you’re back in time somehow, especially when you step inside our 800-year-old manor house! Secondly it has to be that Pengenna is still our family home where we all gather together for celebrations and parties and weekend stays, it’s not a generic hotel experience. Finally I think that it’s the way we host all our guests, opening up the venue to let them use it however they want, but still being there to offer help and guidance and make sure all their plans come to fruition.

How do you get to know your couples before the big day?
Bride and Groom look lovingly at each other in front of an ancient door.

We like to meet with our couples several times between booking and their return for the big day itself – we particularly love it when they come back with their families and we get to show them around as well! We work hard to look after all our couples needs, always being available for help and advice over the phone and by email and I don’t think it’s too cheesy to say so many of them have become friends afterwards and stop by for a coffee when they’re back in Cornwall!

What do you think makes for the perfect wedding?
A bedroom with a queen sized bed.

I would say it has to be getting together with all your most loved family and closest friends and having a really great party! All the fine details and plans for ceremonies, arrivals, outfits, cakes, flowers, decoration, etc. are always important, but you can’t underestimate spending time with your loved ones whilst they witness your special day.

What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve had at Pengenna Manor?
A black and white picture of a newlywed couple.

We’ve had so many! The best weddings are always those that think about all the details and what could bring a real wow-factor (like having gospel singers during the drinks for example), and those that make full use of all the fabulous areas that we created across our 20 acres of grounds. We particularly enjoy those who have guests camping and glamping for the whole weekend which gives the wedding a great party atmosphere over all three days and the camping meadows really come into their own when you add special touches like a campfire area and even wood fired hot tubs!

Why should a couple book Pengenna Manor?
Bride and Groom dancing outside with the guest cheering on.

Quite simply because Pengenna is a beautiful, private, exclusive and inspiring venue and we offer total flexibility and freedom for couples to have their wedding their way, no templated functions here!

What is your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?

Ask your suppliers for their top tips, help and guidance! We all have so much experience and advice to give to ensure you have the perfect wedding weekend, and might suggest ideas you would have never thought of! Most of us work in the wedding industry because we are creative people.

What’s the best photo spot at your venue?
Bride and Groom take a stroll down a hill with flowers.

Either in front of our 800-year-old manor house surrounded by all that history, or down amongst the trees in the woodland walk that leads to the camping grounds at sunset with the festoon light bulbs strung overhead.

What part of your business are you most proud of?
A long stone room with an oak beam ceiling with a table in the centre.

That we have helped over 90 couples have the wedding of their dreams in the last 7 years!

How do you feel technology is changing the industry?

Technology has been a huge boost to the wedding industry and changed it so much, even just in the last 7 years we’ve witnessed. Now couples can find out everything about their potential suppliers before they even start talking to them, seeing what inspires them, viewing their work and premises on the move 24 hours a day. They can see the latest global trends and experience so many amazing ideas and learn from others around the World the all important do’s and don’ts. Most of that was impossible even 10 years ago.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to couples that are currently struggling amidst the COVID-19 crisis?
A stone house with plants covering the wall.

This is such a difficult and unprecedented time for everyone but I would say keep calm and try and carry on! Be flexible when it comes to your plans and seek advice from suppliers and venues, but essentially stick to your dreams. Also make sure you take time out to try and relax and unwind from all the worries and stresses.

What do you love about Bridebook?

It’s such a universally helpful tool – it brings suppliers like us together with couples like you on a platform that you know you can trust. It’s not like all those other wedding directories you’ll find with lists and lists of suppliers ranked based on how much they’ve paid to appear, they genuinely want to help connect us all!

Check out Pengenna Manor on Bridebook!