Chelsea and I have been planning to get married for some time now. While we are not yet engaged (watch this space), this has not stopped us talking about plans for the wedding. In particular, the visa that we are applying for requires proof of a planned wedding, which means we have started looking into specifics earlier than many couples may.
The most important choice we have had to make, is the venue. We have been searching for venues online for a long time, and very few struck the exact balance of what we wanted: flexibility, a reasonable price and a gorgeous setting. One property in particular however, caught our eye: The Alverton. This historic hotel is located in Truro, the centre of Cornwall and only an hour away from my hometown of Plymouth. So, while Chelsea was in England in December, we took the opportunity to check it out.
The Alverton Hotel
The Alverton hotel is a grand, imposing building. This photo was taken on the driveway leading to the front entrance. On the left hand side, you can make out the great hall, where wedding ceremonies and receptions take place. To the right is the bar and lounge, where guests are able to mingle both inside and out.
Approaching the main entrance, it is clear that The Alverton is not your standard hotel. In fact, if it were not for the sign it would be nearly impossible to tell that it was a hotel at all. That is one of the key features that drew us to the venue. That it offers the convenience of a hotel, but the luxury and elegance of a manor or church. In fact, the venue is steeped in history and has served as everything from a family home, to a base for the Order of the Epiphany.
Inside, you begin to get a feeling of both the old and the new as they merge together to form this elegant hotel. The grand arched doorway is supplemented by an equally grand glass entrance. This would be the first impression that both the wedding party and guests have of the venue.
As you move further inside, one of the first rooms of the hotel is the library. While it is not used as a library anymore, it has still kept its small, quaint charm. This is where guests would be served canapes and welcome drinks as they move between the ceremony and the reception. It is a small, intimate room, with some great views of the grounds and gardens, which would hopefully be open (weather permitting).
As we move into the Great Hall, we were blown away by the room. It is refined, elegant and awe inspiring. The grand red and gold arches provide a great setting for the rest of the room, which can serve as both a reception and ceremony venue. Although when we visited it was set up for a Christmas party, it gave us an insight into how a reception there could be arranged.
The final area that we visited was the bar. This is open to the public, as well as wedding guests, but is a large room and seems relatively quiet for most of the day. It provides some beautiful views over the gardens, and direct access to the patio, where guests can enjoy the (hopefully) sunny weather.
We were equally as impressed with the exterior, as we were the interior of the hotel. The gardens and patio are immaculate. Unfortunately, when we visited the weather was against us, but it is easy to imagine the grounds in the late Summer sun. Coupled with some stylish seating, a small fountain and great views we were sold already.
There was no doubt in our mind that we wanted this venue, so after the tour we headed back inside to talk dates and prices with the wedding co-ordinator. We found The Alverton to be very accommodating of our needs, and understanding too. They did not push the venue onto us, but let us look for ourselves and make up our own minds. And, at the moment, we have a date held for this dream venue in early August next year!
Of course, we can’t talk about visiting wedding venues without talking about Truro Cathedral. Originally our plan was to have a religious ceremony, a traditional English church wedding. However, logistically this proved to be too difficult to plan. However, we did still visit Truro Cathedral. This is where the ceremony would have taken place, if it had not proven too difficult to plan around the visa.
The cathedral itself is in the centre of Truro, only a five minute drive from The Alverton. It is a prime example of Gothic Architecture at the heart of the city. It towers over the surrounding buildings with it’s huge stone spires and domes. It is as imposing as it is impressive.
Inside, the cathedral is of a massive scale. You feel tiny as you walk in the doors and approach the lectern, barely able to imagine congregating in such a grand space. It is impressive, grand, and the tiniest bit scary. It was built to impress, and that is certainly what it does.
Leaving, we looked behind us, down the main row of pews, to gaze in wonder at the huge structure once again, with its towering arches and massive stained glass windows. Having visited, we realised that although it may be grand and impressive, it feels cold and impersonal too. Our families could barely fill a few rows. We are happy with our small, intimate setting at The Alverton. We have found our perfect venue.