Cornwall is about as wow as you can get if you want the perfect UK setting for your secret proposal photography.
With its stunning vistas, warmer weather and sensational venues, Cornwall, the UK’s answer to the French Riviera, offers all you need for your secret proposal shoot. As an experienced Cornwall proposal photographer, I’ve shot lots of secret engagements here and it’s always amazing.
Whether you’re planning a secret proposal in Cornwall or looking for some ideas and tips for your surprise engagement, in this article you’ll find answers to some of the most popular questions I’m asked as well as plenty of cracking photos and venue ideas.
Here are my Top 10 places for a wedding proposal in Cornwall:
(top 10 is not a ranking )
1, Trebah Gardens
Spoilt for choice with picturesque sub-tropical gardens, a private beach, a beautiful white Georgian manor house and the most breathtaking view, Trebah Gardens in Mawnan Smith near Falmouth is an idyllic setting for a secret proposal.
The botanical gardens are a riot of colour, glossy foliage and huge, striking plants that lead down to Trebah’s splendid private beach, Polywiddon Cove. This place is made for the camera!
From its iconic white bridge over the water garden to the astonishing vista across the valley edged by exotic blooms and its many insta-ready tropical gardens, the only difficulty is choosing where to propose.
Having photographed 7 wedding proposals, yes 7….. at Trebah & a hand full of weddings I can say I know this area very well.
31 of my favourite wedding proposal images from Trebah Gardens
Trebah Gardens Proposal Video
When it comes to planning a memorable wedding proposal in Cornwall, Trebah Gardens emerges as an exquisite choice. This captivating destination showcases the very essence of Cornwall, making it an ideal setting to pop the question. With its breathtaking coastal views, meandering pathways, and serene lakes, Trebah Gardens offers an intimate and romantic ambience that perfectly complements a Cornish proposal.
2, St Michael’s Mount
This is a majestic setting, rich with history and steeped in Cornish legend – you won’t find anywhere else like this. St Michael’s Mount is a magnificent Cornish castle on a hill, on its own tiny island in the midst of Mount’s Bay.
This historic hilltop fortress in Marazion is accessible by a cobbled causeway that’s hidden by high tide when the isle is completely surrounded by waters from the bay. The castle’s splendid stonework is accompanied by sloping stone terraces edged with lavender, rosemary, agave and other colourful botanicals.
In St Michael’s gorgeous grounds you’ll find everything from sweeping lawns to botanical gardens and a pretty chapel. This is an outstanding English castle venue guaranteed to deliver endless wow and buckets of romance.
Having photographed 2 weddings proposals at St Michael’s Mount, the bucket list shot is to have a proposal on the road that leads to the Mount, this is very dependent on the time of the time, but also the time of the year as it is an iconic attraction for tourist & photographers.
Do you like what you see?
If you planning a wedding and you like my work that you’ve just seen we should connect.
You deserve cooler memories and I would be honoured to be part of your special day, wedding or engagement. Just say hi and let the journey begin.
3, Minack Theatre
Built into the granite Cornish cliffs, the Minack Theatre is a spectacular open-air theatre with monumental views out to sea and pretty gardens. With Porthcurno Bay below and the beautiful stonework of this world-famous theatre as your backdrop, the Minack is absolutely breathtaking and completely unique.
Boasting Ancient Greek-style architecture and colourful botanical gardens, although the Minack Theatre was built over eighty years ago, it looks like a slice of Ancient Greece on the coast of Cornwall. It’s an absolutely stunning place for a proposal you’ll never forget.
4, Tintagel Castle
The home of Arthurian legend, Tintagel Castle sits high on the grass-covered, jagged cliffs of the north Cornish coast. With stunning views out to sea, this sublime coastal retreat has long been the seat of Cornish kings.
In the land where Merlin, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were said to have roamed, you’ll find plenty of heart-stopping spots where you can propose.
Tintagel is one of the UK’s most dazzling castle locations. With the waves crashing against the cliffs below and the sun high in the blue sky above as you propose amongst the beautiful castle ruins – it doesn’t get more romantic than this. For more information check out my Romantic wedding proposal at Tintagel Castle blog post.
5, The Cornish Coastline
Boasting the best coastline in the UK, the Cornish coast delivers an infinite choice of dazzling places to shoot a proposal by the sea. As a local resident and experienced Cornwall secret proposal photographer, I know tons of spots along the coast that will deliver the spectacular coastal backdrop you want. The north coast of Cornwall is always a winner, with a stunning proposal I recently photographed at Fistral Beach.
21 of my favourite wedding proposal images from the Cornish Coastline
Embark on a visual journey through the enchanting landscapes of Newquay with this captivating video. From the rugged cliffs to the sparkling shores, immerse yourself in the natural beauty that makes Newquay a haven for adventure and relaxation. Witness the crashing waves, feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and experience the vibrant energy of this coastal paradise. Let this video transport you to a place of tranquility and inspiration as you discover the hidden gems and captivating moments that await in Newquay.
6, Kynance Cove
Choose one of the most photographed beaches in Cornwall, Kynance Cove, for your wedding proposal and you’ll have that elusive mix of romantic, relaxed yet slightly edgy and really special, Cornwall wedding you desire.
A hideaway bay wrapped by a towering cliff edge finished with 375 million-year-old rock stacks and mini islands is the perfect backdrop to your unique wedding in Cornwall. Your aisle, soft white sand leading to foam-topped waves. They too, if you choose, are your only wedding guests.
Picture, you and your loved one in a coastal location ranked amongst the best in the world. Behind, cut into the cliff face is an intimate cave.
Right there on the sand, encircled by iconic Jurassic geology, amongst the sound of crashing waves and the fragrant smell of Cornish heather on the whisps of salty sea air, you exchange your vows. Or maybe it’s a dramatic proposal.
Up high on the cliffs and down below on the beach you have the most sensational wedding photography.
Then to your cave, carpeted in soft white sand. Here you enjoy a picnic, barbecue – whatever you choose. Together – just you two. Or bring guests if you wish.
Decorate it, leave it bare – it’s your blank canvas to do as you like.
Hark back to the romantic heritage which made Kynance Cove so famous. An impressive mix of adoration from Queen Victoria, Tennyson, the BBC, and more.
Just some of the famous admirers who have loved to frequent Kynance Cove and immortalise it forever on film, in paintings, in books, amongst high-society grandees, spreading its beauty across the globe.
And did I mention Poldark was filmed here?
Just two miles away is Lizard Point, across land St Ives, Falmouth, across the water, Jersey, Guernsey, Brest, along its clifftops, the celebrated South West Coast Path.
No surprise then that Kynance Cove is part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Beauty and owned by the National Trust. The BBC says Kynance Cove is one of the most beautiful stretches in Cornwall. Having filmed their Coast and Seven Wonders of the World series here, it’s an opinion well-proven.
Flawless open blue skies offer infinite 360° views over the Cornish coast and out towards the Atlantic. Awe-inspiring vistas littered with choughs, Atlantic grey seals, rare butterflies, dolphins, porpoises, and more. Can you think of a better way to do a unique beach wedding in Cornwall?
7, St Ives
Exchange your vows in St Ives for a spectacular backdrop of award-winning sands bordered by beautiful blue skies and sea. In this sun-trap on Cornwall’s southwestern flank, you’ll find top Cornwall wedding venues overlooking St Ives’ glorious beaches, some of the best in the UK.
Delivering the UK’s warmest climate and spectacular ocean views, this idyllic beach setting offers up pretty chapels, charming churches, top hotels, historic castles, beautiful barn conversions, and more for your Cornwall wedding.
Amongst them, St Ives Harbour Hotel and Spa, the Carbis Bay Bay Hotel, Tregenna Castle, and St Ives Chapel are the most popular choices for couples.
Whether you exchange your vows in their outdoor or indoor wedding spaces, you and your guests will enjoy dazzling beachside views throughout your wedding, from sunrise to sunset, across the water, and out to sea.
Indeed, St Ives’ coastal vistas are the deciding factor for many couples from around the world – easily enjoyed by its award-winning restaurants as well as its wedding venues.
Of course, we’ll pop down to the beach for more stunning wedding photography. What’s better than joy-filled wedding photos with the sand between your toes?
St Ives’ beaches offer something for everyone. Porthmeor is a global destination for surfers, perfect for swimming, chilling, and watersports. For a hideaway bay, it’s Porthgwidden. For half a mile of non-stop golden sand, it’s Porthminster. All stop-off points along Cornwall’s much-loved South West Coast Path.
With so much beauty to admire, it’s no wonder St Ives has been a magnet for famous artists and writers for centuries. From JMW Turner to Henry Moore, Virginia Woolf, Bernard Leach, Naum Gabu, and Barbara Hepworth, St Ives’ influence on popular culture is still evident here. Visit Tate St Ives, Leach Pottery, the Barbara Hepworth museum, and more. Take pottery classes, wander museums, dive into endless adventure sports or stroll its cobbled streets. Whatever your plans, the pretty harbour town of St Ives will make a magnificent backdrop to your wedding in Cornwall.
8, Watergate Bay
In an area that is beach wedding central, Watergate Bay is the one for intimacy. Views, glorious views are what you come here for, and a 2-mile expanse of golden sand.
Uninterrupted coastal vistas, from sunrise to sunset, accompanied by the rhythmic sound of waves rushing in from the Atlantic, make Watergate Bay a destination for those looking to surf or unwind.
Whether it’s your wedding day or time to surf, swim, kitesurf, do yoga, pilates, paddleboard, dine, relax or explore, when you do it here, it’s with plenty of chill against a backdrop of Newquay blue.
Wedding venues in Watergate Bay are exquisite and full of character. First on the list? The Watergate Bay Hotel. Tucked into the cliff face with the beach a couple of metres below, Watergate Bay Hotel is the bay’s premier location.
Whether exchanging your vows in the hotel or on the beach, Watergate Bay Hotel and Spa offers a stunning beach backdrop to your wedding and a relaxing beachside stay. Its infinity pool, Scandi-style oceanview rooms, and restaurant, The Living Space, are highlights, all overlooking the beach.
Continuing the intimate feel, for a beautiful country house wedding for up to 22, head to Treseren.
Available for both single and multi-day weddings, Treseren is an award-winning Georgian manor house with beautiful gardens. Just 15 minutes from Watergate Bay, it’s easy to pop down to the beach for some awesome beach wedding photography.
Bigger guest list? Head to Trerice House. The grade-I listed Elizabethan manor house is owned by the National Trust, offering elegant period architecture, gardens, and room for up to 100 guests.
Trerise too, is just 10 minutes from Watergate Bay so nipping down to the beach for some beach wedding photography is quick and simple – that’s part of the draw of a Cornwall wedding.
Nearby are a collection of other divine beaches such as Fistral Beach, Porth Beach, and Lusty Glaze. Must-dos on Watergate Bay itself are its collection of beachside restaurants, such as Zacry’s (unfortunately Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is now closed) and Extreme Academy where you can brush up your surfing skills. Of course, close by is Newquay plus Crantock, Holywell, Padstow, and more. In the local area are tons of top Cornwall attractions, including the Blue Reef Aquarium, the Eden Project, the Lappa Valley Train, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Lanhydrock House, and more.
Here is a guide to wedding proposals at Watergate Bay
9, Carbis Bay
Picture an Aussie beach and you have Carbis Bay. Its slash of golden sand, edged by lush green sub-tropical plants and blue sea, is as picturesque as it gets. Complete with surfers, kayakers, paddleboarders, and sailboats, turn off the sat nav for a sec and you could be in Cairns.
Instead, you’re just 5 minutes from St Ives, in a bay ranked as one of the best in the world by the World Organisation. So revered in fact, that Carbis Bay played host to the 2021 G7 Summit. Remember those images of world leaders on Cornish sand? It was right here.
And no wonder.
Travellers have been coming here for centuries and of course, couples come here to wed. Top Cornwall wedding venues in Carbis Bay?
No.1 is the Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa. Overlooking the beach, a wedding at Carbis Bay gives you the choice of 12 spaces plus its own private beach. There are tropical gardens, lots of facilities and extensive accommodation for family and friends.
Other top Carbis Bay wedding venues include medieval St Michael’s Mount, an incredible castle wedding venue on its own island, complete with a disappearing tide.
Or Tregenna Castle, an 18th-century castle surrounded by 72 acres of grounds. From its 18-hole golf course to its spa, sea views, and many indoor and outdoor wedding spaces, Tregenna Castle has something for everyone.
10, Land’s End
Located at the tip of the UK, in the place where the English Channel meets the Celtic Sea, Land’s End serves up plenty of drama for a Cornwall wedding. Vistas across the sea and out to the Atlantic Ocean are unparalleled from here.
Look carefully and you might spot, the rocky islands of The Longships or Seven Stone Reef or even the Isles of Scilly. Look closer and you could see: sharks, seals, dolphins and a whole host of sea birds. Around you, the endless rare botanicals which make Land’s End an Important Plant Area.
Positioned in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, raw, unspoilt nature is what you come here for. Hardy, towering cliffs hit by relentless crashing waves, beautiful wildlife and 360° vistas – you can only imagine the panoramic coastal scenes to be had from morning to night.
Choose Land’s End for your Cornwall wedding and experience it for yourself. Top Land’s End wedding venues for couples are:
- The Minack Theatre: an ancient-style open-air amphitheatre built into the cliff face for dazzling views as you exchange your vows.
- The Isles of Scilly: white sands lead to an array of wedding venues, including pretty churches, an Elizabethan castle, a hotel and more.
- The Land’s End Hotel: perched high on the clifftops the hotel has numerous wedding spaces and plenty of breathtaking views.
Of course, the cliffs are a setting you’ll want to use as part of your wedding photography but there are also lots of beautiful beaches nearby.
Nanjizal Beach is littered with interesting coves and rock pools. Gwenver Beach is a favourite for surfers and Sennen Cove is a favourite choice for those who want to unwind.
In the local area, there are tons of things to do and Penzance is close by. From Aardman Presents to the RSPB Wildlife Discovery Centre, Cape Cornwall, Penwith House and more, in Land’s End you’re guaranteed to have a Cornwall wedding everyone will be talking about for years.
Secret Proposal Photography In Cornwall: What you need to know
What does wedding proposal photography involve?
A secret wedding proposal photo shoot involves photos of both your proposal and those special moments after you’ve popped the question when you’re both drenched in joy and still absorbing what’s just happened.
This is your special moment so I won’t be in the way or up close. It will be a private act between you and your partner. I’ll be discreetly hidden from view, in a prime position to catch all the best shots. Your partner doesn’t even have to know I’ve been taking photographs.
If you want to keep the photos a surprise to reveal at a later date, I don’t have to join you after you’ve popped the question. I can remain hidden. If however, you want to have a full photoshoot after the proposal, I will join you and we’ll have a full engagement shoot.
Do you only shoot proposals in Cornwall
No. I shoot secret wedding proposals all over the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall so I do photograph a lot of surprise engagements here. However I also shoot proposals in Devon, the South East, London, the North, Bristol, the Swiss Alps, overseas – wherever you want.
Will you tell me how to make the most of the location for the shoot?
Absolutely, I’m here to make sure you get the best record of your wedding proposal so fire away with any questions you have. I’m always available.
Most people have questions about their surprise engagement photography so don’t feel you have to figure it all out yourself. I’ve done this many times before so from lighting to poses, locations and putting it all together, I have lots of secret proposal tips and ideas I can share with you.
I hope my Top 10 places for a wedding proposal in Cornwall was helpful, it was so hard to compile the list but if there is a place that is special to you as a couple or you have an idea I would love to hear from you.
3 wedding proposals in Cornwall you might find interesting
Here are a few of my favourite wedding proposal blogs that I’ve shot over the last year or so. Just click on the images below to find out more.
Top 10 Locations for a wedding proposal
“Best of 2021” wedding proposals
Wedding proposal at Kynance Cove
If you would like to enquire about a Cornwall Proposal Photographer or the services I offer please feel free to get in touch. Tell me as many details as possible, I love hearing all about what people have planned for their big day, and also the finer details… how you met and a bit about you both.
Please feel free to contact me on 07854172143 or if you prefer you can contact me by email at email@example.com or by using the form below. I aim to respond within 24 hours however if you haven’t heard back from me please check your spam folders as sometimes emails drop into there.
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