Wacky Cornwall wedding venue that has seen chickens be the guests and light sabers as props

Frieda and the Moon near Looe, in South East Cornwall, specialises in bespoke, small scale, unique and wacky weddings
-Credit: (Image: Frieda and the Moon)

Over the last few years, there has been a growing trend in couples scaling down their plans for their big day. Weddings are an expensive affair and with the cost of living, it is an expense many couples are now looking to reduce as much as possible without scrimping on making their wedding the special day it always ought to be.

"Weddings are changing," explained Paul and Babs Slocombe, who run the self-confessed wacky micro wedding venue Frieda and the Moon near Looe. "A while ago, couples, like the ones we like to call our romantic individualists, began to realise that their day should be about them and the special meaning of their experience, rather than a jolly for all the friends and relatives, with all the pressures and pitfalls that can sometimes entail. You can always put the dress back on and do a big party on another day."

The couple, who have been running the unique venue for the last five years, said that with the Covid pandemic forcing people to scale down their weddings when restrictions were in place on the number of people who were allowed to get together, and an increasing focus on small scale, quirky and authentic.

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Paul added: "In recent times such couples have begun to look beyond the corporate artificiality of the more traditional wedding, and seek out unique experiences which are about the subtler delights to be found in unusual venues with surprising, authentic moments.

"People want the real thing, without the cheesy trimmings, a day just about them and their lives coming together. This trend was intensified when the pandemic came along and changed everything. People examined their values, what had authenticity and meaning for them, what they really wanted and some of them realised that it was something gently special and unique in an offbeat, quirky setting."

Frieda and the Moon near Looe, in South East Cornwall, specialises in bespoke, small scale, unique and wacky weddings
Frieda and the Moon near Looe, in South East Cornwall, specialises in bespoke, small scale, unique and wacky weddings -Credit:Frieda and the Moon

Going for something different, smaller scale and off the beaten track has seen couples getting hitched among chickens with no guest present, a bride arriving by helicopter, alpacas and vultures delivering the rings. cowboys and cowgirls rodeo-style nuptials and having Champagne breakfast hampers delivered by tractors.

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Paul said: "We make a virtue of what we call 'exquisite tiny weddings' which are tailored bespoke packages where anything is possible except a big flouncy traditional wedding with crowds of roistering guests."

Babs makes the boho bouquets, with foragings from the hedgerows and whatever flowers are in season while Paul takes the photos. The food is all homemade and includes high teas on eclectic vintage crockery where nothing matches.

Later, as twilight falls, this couple will be having a second ceremony; a candle-lit handfasting at the Hornbeam Circle down in the woods. The couple will be joined by a specialist celebrant, who will eulogise their romantic journey with a personalised ceremony designed just for them.

Frieda and the Moon near Looe, in South East Cornwall, specialises in bespoke, small scale, unique and wacky weddings
-Credit:Thomas Frost Photography

As an example of one such quirky wedding the couple organised, Paul said that that day the bride and groom arrived by helicopter and landed on a big H painted in a field among the sheep. They stayed in a bright blue 'Cornish Tin Tabernacle'. After their Champagne breakfast, the bride had her hair and make-up done by one of the village's hair and make-up artists. At the ceremony, there were no guests, unless you count the chickens clucking around the registrar's feet and Little Man The Alpaca.

Babs said: "We decided to do elopement and tiny weddings initially because we knew that this rambling 13-acre smallholding was just perfect as a location, but then we very quickly realised that the smaller the wedding the more fabulous and special they were."

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She said that over the years the couples choosing to have their big (small) day with Frieda and the Moon are those who want to focus on being in the moment without any distractions, from older couples, who never quite got around to getting married, people who are on their second, third, even fourth weddings and don’t want all the fuss anymore as well as couples who just do not want the stress and anxiety that a bigger wedding would entail.

Paul explained: "We have created weddings for Game of Thrones and Star Wars enthusiasts who brought their own cloaks, bows and arrows, swords and light sabres, special bespoke ceremonies for Wiccans, Goths and Pagans and even a 'polyamorous' celebration for two couples together.

"Our couples have jumped the broomstick, created a sand ceremony, a Japanese saki ceremony, and performed their own cabaret. The wackier the wedding, the more we like it. It's not for everyone, but for those seeking an off-the-beaten-track experience, Frieda and the Moon has proved to be the icing and the cake for hundreds of couples.''