Sarah and Chris’s wedding at Kenwyn Church, Truro on Saturday 13th April 2013 with campervans Lulu and Lola.
At the time of writing this blog, you’ll find Mr. and Mrs. Smout somewhere amidst an ‘lsland Nation’ in the Indian Ocean otherwise known as the Maldives. No doubt with a cocktail or two in hand reflecting upon their simply wonderful wedding day with Lulu and Lola.
Let’s hope that the weather they are currently enjoying is a far cry from the ‘Mumbai Monsoon’ that engulfed Cornwall for 24 hours or so on Saturday 13th April 2013!
Yes, it was rotten timing weather wise but there was no way anyone was going to let driving rain, strong winds and even fog conspire to spoil what was an enjoyable and memorable occasion!
Centric to the national news on the day that Sarah and Chris got married were preparations for a ‘state-like’ send off of Maggie Thatcher. Internationally, the war of words between North and South Korea was still going hammer and tongs!
Here at Strawberry Leisure HQ in deepest Cornwall at 09:30 hours, Chauffeur Brett and yours truly (Chauffeur Bob) jumped aboard Lola and Lulu respectively and set sail in driving rain and fog in search of Porthleven, last seen on the opposite coast!
Lola leading the charge to Porthleven with Lulu close behind
Conditions were appalling but with a ‘dreckly’ chugging motion we eventually made it to the bride’s industrious boudoir with time to spare. A quick wipe down of the two girls ensued immediately upon arrival, although we could see we were fighting a losing battle with the elements.
Chauffeur Brett battling with the elements in Porthleven!
Lulu and Lola awaiting the bridal party in Porthleven.
First to appear was the make-up lady who had just finished her important vital role in the day’s proceedings. Clearly impressed with Lola and Lulu, she grabbed a couple of brochures before driving off into the mist.
The safety catches came off our dozen umbrellas as Brett and I made our way to the front door to formally announce our arrival and state of readiness – we were warmly greeted by Sarah’s mum Sylvia and were quickly introduced to bridesmaids Liz and Mel. Sarah was standing in the middle of the room looking absolutely stunning in a most beautifully elegant ivory dress. Standing proudly alongside was Sarah’s escort and close friend, DJ Kris Kool; a familiar, popular and friendly face on the wedding scene.
Everyone appeared incredibly relaxed. Well almost. Everyone that is apart from Kris, who confided that he’s used to doing big events and functions in front of thousands, but his role today was setting his nerves jangling! That’s weddings for you I remember saying – they really do put the pressure on and it has to be right first time and on time!
It was approaching 11am and with an allotted ceremony time of midday, quite a few miles away in Cornwall’s principality, I felt we had better get going, given the weather. It was just as well…
Sarah’s mum Sylvia, with bridesmaids Liz and Mel ready for the off!
Sarah with escort Kris Kool departing for Kenwyn Church in Truro.
Sylvia, Mel and Liz were first to board Lola, today under the auspices of Chauffeur Brett. A few minutes later through a canopy of umbrellas, Sarah and Kris had alighted Lulu. With klaxons sounding, music playing and lots of waving, we got underway to Truro.
It was exactly one hour later that we made our final approach and turn into Kenwyn Church Road. As we neared the Lychgate, I caught site of photographer Helen Barnecutt busy capturing our arrival whilst trying to keep her camera dry. The timing was perfect – just as well we had the foresight to leave an hour earlier. Unfortunately the weather was persistently far from perfect!
We’ve made it through the rain – Sarah with escort Kris arriving at Kenwyn Church.
The time has arrived – it’s midday at Kenwyn Church!
Following a number of customary ‘arrival’ photos and with an army of umbrella holders, we all made our way down the path to the church entrance. I managed to support the delicate train of Sarah’s wedding dress, keeping it out of harms way whilst also sporting a large umbrella; who said us men can’t multi-task!
With our VIP’s now safe and dry inside the church, Brett and I made our way back to the vehicles and started another rub down and re-blackening of tyres; such is our dedication to duty, even in the face of demoralising messy weather!
Sarah and Chris had planned to go to Holywell Bay beach for a photo shoot with Lulu after the ceremony en-route to the reception at Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club near Bodmin. Sheltering alongside Brett in Lola during the ceremony, I somehow felt a change of plan would be on the cards. Indeed, the weather was so bad that we heard Helen had decided to get the formal, family and guest snaps done inside the church.
The duty campanologists were all audibly on steroids; the bells pealed with such vigour I thought the bell tower was about to come down! It may have been a way of keeping warm, as most guests would later testify how cold it was inside the church.
Lulu and Lola awaiting the bride and groom at Kenwyn Church Truro.
At about 1pm and with Sarah and Chris now officially Mr. and Mrs. Smout, Helen commenced capturing a pre-arranged set of formal poses at an unarranged location inside the church. Brett and I, along with our dozen umbrellas, watched on from the back.
Eventually the smiling newlyweds, along with their guests, made a dash for the next nearest dry sanctuary between the church and awaiting vehicles – the Lychgate. I did my best to keep Sarah and Chris dry as we walked towards the sheltering guests, all of which were now armed and loaded with boxes of confetti. As we neared, Helen asked us to pause and for me to jump out of the way so she could get at least a couple of snaps of the lovely couple on their own outside the church.
A very happy couple emerge from the church.
A ‘monsoon’ of confetti greeting!
The inevitable monsoon of confetti soon followed as Sarah and Chris made their way finally through to the awaiting Lulu and champers. Bridesmaids, Mel and Liz, along with Sarah’s mum Sylvia, jumped aboard Lola.
Chauffeur Bob pours the shampoo!
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Smout!
The ladies board Lola for their chug to the reception.
The bubbly flowed as the many cameras clicked and, as suspected, the now Mr.and Mrs. Smout decided against the Holywell Bay excursion. Whilst I really wanted them to go irrespective of the weather, their decision was understandable. “Don’t worry” I said, “we’ll get together again at a convenient date when the sun’s out and have a photo shoot with Lulu and Lola – I’ll even don my chauffeurs outfit!”
Lola and Lulu slipped their moorings and the flotilla set sail for Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club about 45 minutes sailing time away for 50 year old campervans that were never designed to be amphibious!
Cars were flying past tooting and waving as we chugged on our way, eagerly reciprocating.
As we neared the venue, Chris had been on his mobile and had heard that they were getting up steam today at the nearby Bodmin and Wenford Railway. Now Chris is really into trains and used to work at this wonderful place of nostalgia, Cornwall’s only full-size railway running steam locomotives. We all excitedly decided that it would make a great alternative stopping off point for some memorable photos. So the decision was taken to head for the reception venue first, have a comfort break, grab Helen and steam off into downtown Bodmin.
Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club soon appeared on our radar. A warm and professional greeting followed, along with a red carpet and champagne reception.
Lulu wanted to join the reception inside the hotel!
A sit down time of 4 o’clock meant that we needed to get going, so it wasn’t long before we got underway to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway just a couple of miles down the road.
We pulled up outside in Lulu and, already creating a lot of attention, Helen ran inside to see whether it would be OK to get some special ‘steamy’ poses with our VIP’s. Suffice it to say, their lovely staff were only too pleased to help out. What happened thereafter was incredibly atmospheric, romantic and nostalgic. As I watched some great moments unfold, the setting seemed reminiscent of the film; ‘Brief Encounter’ – a love story by Noel Coward. All that was missing was Rachmaninoff’s deeply romantic music from his 2nd Piano Concerto that features throughout.
Despite appalling weather, a simply wonderful time was had by all, made especially memorable by a last minute impromptu detour.
Our very best wishes go to a lovely couple x.
All pictures taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.