Five weddings and a tub of wax!

Lola on the summit of The Island St Ives on Monday for Jo and Chris’s wedding

Another fantastically busy few days of excitement, fun, sun and frolics was served up across the Duchy with an intoxicating cocktail… lashings of Lulu, Lily and Lola, finished off with a dash of chauffeur!

The great British summer arrived at last in time for a hat-trick of separate weddings on Saturday for our flirtatious trio, followed by more sweltering sorties on Sunday and Monday for showgirl Lola.

Friday came and went in a flash, as did another tub of mega shiny (and expensive) wow factor wax as I, Chauffeur Bob and wife Kate, surfaced early and massaged copious amounts into our three beauties followed by a good old fashioned buffing and a trip to A&E with tennis elbow!

Saturday 26th May 2012

I awoke on Saturday morning to the bedside cabinet vibrating in concert with my Blackberry. A text came in from insomniac, Chauffeur Steff, ahead of his arrival. It read…  “Caution, chauffeurs die in hot cars and remember; chauffeuring is for life and not just weddings.”  We do love a sense of humour!

A few hours later and all three girls had progressively gone their separate ways. Chauffeur Alan in Lily, destination Redruth was first off the blocks, followed by Chauffeur Steff with a jerry can of iced water in the boot, en-route for St Austell in Lola.

Lulu was last to leave with me, Chauffeur Bob, at the pedals for the short trip to Carbis Bay…

Joanne and Garry’s wedding at Lanner Methodist Church with Lily

Joanne and Garry celebrating in Lily on Saturday

Picture by Sharron Sidney Wedding Photography Cornwall

Chauffeur Alan picks up the story…

It’s vitally important on wedding days to be a little ahead of the game in terms of timings and preparation and Saturday was no exception. I was just getting into my Chauffeur’s outfit when my mobile burst into life. It was Steve, father of the bride, asking if I could possibly arrive a tad earlier as he didn’t want anything to get held up. Always eager to please, I set off for Strawberry Leisure HQ slightly earlier than planned to find a gleaming Lily all ready and waiting for me.

I headed up the bypass towards Carnkie. The sun was shining and the temperature rising, although the wind was whipping up into some fairly strong gusts.

I arrived at the revised earlier time as promised and didn’t have long to wait to see the lovely bridesmaids, Sarah, Becky and Rachael and Jo’s mum, Lynne, step aboard Lily before setting off for Lanner Church. Upon arrival, there was quite a large reception party gathering, with the photographer and many others taking photos of the bridal party and, of course, Lily.

Then it was about turn and back to Carnkie to collect Jo and Steve. Bride Jo looked tremendous as she emerged with her dad and joined Lily for a gentle meandering through the sunny lanes to Lanner. Whereupon the photographer was waiting to snap away as Jo, Steve and bridesmaids assembled themselves in order and filed into the church on cue.

Following the ceremony guests congregated outside for photos. As ever, Lily proved a big hit and many were taken of her with Jo’s bridesmaids inside, plus many more.

Jo and husband Garry eventually stepped aboard and whilst the cameras were still whirring away, I popped the cork on the champers.

We then set course for St. Ives Holiday Park for a special cliff-top and beach photo shoot, a pre-arranged destination where Jo’s uncle, Andrew, works. Andrew escorted us right up through the park to the cliff where Jo, Garry and the photographer got some amazing shots on the cliff top and down on the beach. As we were driving out of the site we stopped for some more photos with Godrevy Lighthouse in the background. The wind, although not cold, was still blowing strong but it couldn’t blow away the smiles on Jo and Garry’s faces!

It was then off for the reception at Penventon Hotel, Redruth, where after a few final photos with Lily we said goodbye and parted.

I had a really enjoyable day with Jo and Garry and wish them all the best for the future.

Kelly and Antony’s wedding at Carlyon Bay Hotel, St Austell with Lola

Lola awaiting the Bride and Groom at Carlyon Bay Hotel on Saturday

Report posted by Chauffeur Steff follows:  Hi Bob, great time with Lola today. The weather was superb. The ride out was heavy going, attributed to the increase of campers and caravans on the roads. Dashing through the back streets and winding through side roads, ensured we got to the first pick-up destination in time… phew!

Upon arrival, the photographers snapped away at the bridal party (Bride Kelly, her mum and dad Lynne and Philip and Bridesmaid Fiona) with Lola before we set off for the ceremony at Carlyon Bay Hotel. As Lola approached, the hotel staff, guests and onlookers became very excited by her presence and VIP passengers. They said that they don’t get that many chauffer weddings at the hotel, as most of the brides stay over for the wedding. So everyone was quite excited at the chance to meet Lola… who clearly left her usual indelible impression. After the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Broome came out for some champers. I was asked to pose with the bride and groom as I charged their glasses before setting off for a brief trip down Sea Road with the newlyweds.

Kelly and Antony enjoying sun and champers with Lola on Saturday

Oh nearly forgot…. the best man had to dash off to collect some guests that got the wedding time wrong. They thought the wedding was at 3:30pm rather than midday!

Suzy and Christian’s wedding at St Ives Parish Church with Lulu

Lulu awaiting newly weds Suzy and Christian at St Ia Church, St Ives, on Saturday

Time really does fly when you’re planning a wedding. I, Chauffeur Bob, first met Suzy over 12 months ago at the Wed Show in St Austell, whereby Suzy immediately fell in love with Lulu and booked her there on the spot. The frightening thing is it seems like yesterday!

The descent down to Carbis Bay Hotel, particularly on a clear sunny day, is an awe- inspiring vista and today was certainly no exception. I pulled into the hotel on schedule, some 45 minutes before the allotted ceremony time of 1:00pm.

Specially attired in blue and yellow bows and ribbons, Lulu immediately began to stun and wow wave after wave of guests who were progressively making their way from the hotel by taxi into St Ives for the ceremony.

Suzy emerged into the glorious sunshine of St Ives Bay escorted by her bubbly bridesmaids in vibrant yellow, her Dad, Nigel and the effervescent, lovely Victoria Williams from Carbis Bay Hotel.

I suggested that we should extend the short trip to the church by doing a pre-nuptial warm-up lap of honour around St Ives. A motion passed unanimously by all VIP’s. So, accompanied with music aptly taken from Lulu’s 60’s era we set off and what a wonderful few moments we all had. Suzy’s Dad rode shotgun and everyone was visibly moved and excited by the occasion.

During our lap we had to pass the waiting reception party which had gathered by the church entrance… their shocked expressions as we sailed past would have made a wonderful photo.

Lulu delivered her precious cargo amidst a large gathering of onlookers who were to remain throughout the ceremony to welcome the happy couple some 50 minutes or so later.

Hughy, a lovely 1956 King Harry Coach arrived to ferry guests back to the hotel whilst I popped my customary cork, before setting off with Mr. and Mrs. Koch and their photographers for a roaming photo shoot around the town and beaches.

Crowds gathering in St Ives on Saturday awaiting the Bride and Groom

I made a courtesy call to Victoria at Carbis Bay Hotel to announce our pending return. Lulu was found a special spot close to where guests were having Pimms and ice creams on the hotel’s lawn. Many had their photos taken in and around Lulu and with me, Chauffeur Bob …I’ll have to start charging extra for this! Before departing I handed out a dozen lovely red and white leis which guests promptly donned. You could say it was Honolulu!

Chauffeur Bob with Suzy and Christian

Upon returning to Strawberry Leisure HQ I spotted that Lily was already back and resting from her earlier wedding in Redruth. A chipper, well hydrated Chauffeur Steff, arrived back in Lola pretty much at the same time as me following his outing to St Austell. Everyone reported a great day and not a single heat induced chauffeur fatality!

With no time to waste, it was back into my ‘civvies’ and fuelled by a double Espresso, Kate and myself set about another lengthy waxing and spa session in preparation for Lola’s Newquay wedding the following day…

Sunday 27th May 2012

Jo and James wedding at the Headland Hotel Newquay with Lola

Lola outside the Headland Hotel, Newquay on Sunday

Sunday weddings are clearly on the increase, as are couples choosing to stay on campus or nearby, get married and have their reception at the same venue. This was the case on Sunday for Jo and James’s fabulous day.  One could argue that wedding transport, in the conventional sense, is negated by such arrangements. However, we all know by now that in Lola, Lily or Lulu, these unique gorgeous girls offer much, much more. They are, by no means, conventional!

Best man Kris with groom James

Jo had kept Lola’s involvement in the proceedings a complete surprise, so it came as a bit of a shock when I, Chauffeur Bob turned up in full regalia to collect James at a nearby apartment along with his Son, Ayreton, Best Man, Kris and one of the Bridesmaids, Bethany.

Within seconds of stopping outside the apartment on Headland Road, Lola was swamped by passers-by, many reaching for their phone cameras and bombarding me with questions about her.

Photographers Phil Bunt and Carolyn Oakley from Images Photography were there to capture the day. Phil was already with the boys when I arrived, whilst just a few hundred yards away at the Hotel, Carolyn was busy snapping away at the girls.

Blue Belles with Jo and her dad, John

A few pictures with Lola later and Lola delivered her first set of VIP’s to the hotel’s entrance. Father of the bride, John Coghill and their lovely family Airedale Terrier, Holly, guided us around to the rear of the hotel and we parked up outside the bride’s apartment. I immediately sensed the usual flurry of industrious pre-ceremony activity; hair, make-up and dresses. Understandably, this can be a somewhat fraught time for the bridal party whilst keeping one eye on the time schedule. I soon sensed things may not be going exactly to schedule. Eventually, a relieved bride’s mum, Pauline, emerged and made her way round to the main hotel to join the waiting congregation.

Jo and James celebrating with Lola on Sunday at Porth Beach Newquay

A little later than envisaged!! Jo eventually stepped outside escorted by her Dad and beautiful bridesmaids, Mary, Beth, Sarah and Louise all wearing stunning Colbolt Blue, matching perfectly  with Lola’s specially selected ribbons for the day. You could say they were all Blue Belles.

With Lola’s famous and unique ragtop rolled back, we made our short approach in the baking sun to the main entrance. Photographers Carolyn and Phil adopted a more hurried manner, chivvied along I suspect by the registrar!

As always, all went well and James and Jo stepped out into the bright sunshine as husband and wife. A few pictures overlooking the magnificent Fistral beach adjacent to the hotel and we headed off in Lola for a fun filled photo shoot on Porth Beach.

This turned out to be a real hoot, with everyone getting the childish giggles over Chauffeur Bob’s rather lively champers cork popping session… must have been a comment I made!

We returned to the Headland with Jo and James adopting the now customary standing position waving away at their amazed guests and onlookers. It was all so much fun that Lola remained outside for some time after their return for guests to pose in and around her. She really is quite a showgirl!

Lola and I had a leisurely run back down the A30 to base, reflecting on what a busy, but fun filled and rewarding weekend we had had. But there was still more to come for Lola the following day. Another evening of waxing and buffing lay before us….

Monday 28th May 2012

Jo and Chris’s wedding at Carbis Bay Hotel with Lola

Jo and Chris in a reflective mood on Monday in St Ives!

What a wonderful day from start to finish, rounding off a particularly busy weekend of fabulous weddings.

Bride’s mum, Pearl, had managed to keep Lola’s star role in the proceedings a total surprise to Jo and Chris. Lola was about to stir emotions, create her usual fun and excitement to the extent that I’m sure she will leave an indelible impression on Jo, Chris and guests for years to come…

I, Chauffeur Bob, pulled up outside the bride’s St Ives apartment on schedule. Despite being in a somewhat ‘tucked away’ location, Lola still managed to attract oodles of attention.

Lola on Monday during Jo and Chris’s blessing at the Little Chapel, St Ives Island

Bride Jo, her escort Roy, mum Pearl and Christine boarded Lola a little later than planned but we still found time for loads of hand waving throughout an immensely enjoyable circuit of the town before finally pointing Lola up Tregenna Hill, in the direction of Carbis Bay Hotel and the awaiting Victoria Williams.

Lola’s involvement in the day had carefully been crafted into two separate sorties. After delivering the bridal party for the ceremony, Chauffeur Bob drove Lola back to Strawberry Leisure HQ before returning to the hotel post ceremony midway through the afternoon.

It was not until this stage that Groom Chris also became aware of Lola’s presence and the newlyweds wasted no time in excitedly jumping aboard. Another lively cork popping ceremony was conducted by Wine Waiter Chauffeur Bob and glasses charged. Husband and wife waved as cameras clicked away and we made our slow climb out of Carbis Bay. Guests followed in taxis as we headed into St Ives and up to ‘Little Chapel’ at the summit of the Island for a blessing. Like many, Jo and Chris really enjoyed Lola’s unique, full-length rag top feature. So much so, they spent more time standing and waving at amazed onlookers and well wishers than seated.

Lola had special permission to carry her VIP’s to Base Camp 1, a hundred or so metres  from the summit and with it some great photo opportunities, made extra special given the wonderful weather.

Jo’s mum, Pearl, at the wheel of Lola on Monday

Following a steady descent, our penultimate port of call was the Sloop Inn. As the wedding party disappeared inside for a couple of liveners, Lola again received the sort of attention you would associate with an ‘A’ list celebrity. My on-board, four inch high stash of brochures evaporated in a flash. Jo, Chris and entourage eventually emerged just as a posse of taxis arrived in ‘flying squad’ style.

Jo and Chris with Chauffeur Bob and Lola on Monday

Husband and wife stood yet again for most of the trip back to the hotel in Lola serenaded by Mr. Bublé.  A quick pause to call Victoria at the hotel with a 2 minute ETA and we made our final approach.

Time for one last photo with shiny showgirl Lola

We returned in good time for their 7pm reception with the sun still shining and the opportunity for some final, intimate photos of the bride and groom with Lola.

As we said our goodbyes, I somehow sensed no one wanted the day’s fun we all shared with Lola to end!

Here at Strawberry Leisure we really do feel we have found the best job in the world!

Congratulations and sincere best wishes to all our lovely couples xx

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