Katie and Dave’s wedding at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, on Saturday 25th May 2013 with ‘Party Girl’ Lily.
I strongly suspect that today was the hottest so far this year. Let’s face it; it didn’t have to try too hard! Nonetheless, by the standards we have become accustomed to of late, it was a belter!
As too was Katie and Dave’s meticulously planned castle extravaganza. Fun, smiles, excitement, laughter and love permeated the ether from start to finish.
If only it could have lasted just a little longer but with a 4.30pm ceremony time, the post nuptial schedule with Lily was always going to be under pressure.
Despite my unusually late kick-off with Lily, my trusty alarm clock was still primed the night before. An early start was in order, as I had to prepare and despatch our two other gorgeous girls; Lola and Lulu who were also on parade across the county with Chauffeurs Brett and Steff respectively, writes Chauffeur Bob…
Despite having all the vital details down on our booking form, we always make the point of speaking to the bride or groom a day or so before the occasion. We check and double check everything, go through the couple’s plan for the day, discuss pick-up timings and get all the names of people in the wedding party. There’s no hiding place, even for the photographer and Videographer! It’s only professional after all to do your research on such a vitally important day, which makes also for more accurate and comprehensive blog writing.
It was clear from Katie and Dave’s returned booking form that they, like many, had put considerable thought into the proceedings – I called Dave 24 hours prior to discuss the detail.
The plan was to comprise three collections of VIP’s from ST Michael’s Hotel in Falmouth – the ‘boys’, the ladies and finally Katie and her Dad; Andy.
Our wedding venue destination was to be the spectacularly located Pendennis Castle. Perched on the summit of headland, watching guard over Falmouth Harbour and Carrick Roads, this omnipresent fortification was built by Henry VIII in the 16th century to counter threats of invasion by sea – notably from the Spanish.
Today though we were to storm the Castle via the lightly guarded rear entrance by road in a fifty year old campervan called Lily – a little like the Greeks Trojan Horse but less covert!
It was therefore on a sunny, warm afternoon in the 21st century that I escorted Lily from Strawberry Leisure’s North coast HQ to Falmouth on the opposite coastline of the Cornish Peninsula.
The ‘boys’ ready for the off!
Our gentle 50 minute chug to St Michaels Hotel attracted plenty of attention, which was to culminate upon our arrival at 15.05 precisely. Indeed within seconds, a topless Lily had started to flirt with onlookers, hotel staff and wedding folk!
My first introduction was Andy, father of the bride. He started making funny noises… apparently a pocket sized sound generator of sorts. “I hope it doesn’t go off during the ceremony”, I recall saying.
A few seconds later the ‘boys’ appeared, all visibly taken with Lily – the main man, Dave, along with his brother Chris, Best Man, Paul Ford and Ushers; Tom Brigden (brother of Katie) and Shane Fear.
Michael Marker; Katie and Dave’s professional picture taker for the day followed closely behind.
Not a cloud in the sky as the ‘boys’ arrive at the castle.
A few fun poses later and a couple of blasts on her klaxon and we were all underway in Lily to the castle, serenaded by Michael ‘Marmite’ Buble. The boys were noticeably surprised at the amount of attention we were getting – “it’s all the ladies waving at me”, I assured them! Many of the ‘boys’ decided to stand for most of the journey. I remained seated whilst driving!
Despite our subterfuge, the castle’s friendly staff was waiting for us – they must have had a tip off!
At 3.45 and to schedule, I was back at the hotel ready to collect the ladies – not a peep. Unsurprisingly, they were running late.
The ladies arrive at the castle.
“This is not uncommon, so don’t worry”, I remember saying to Dave’s mum Kath, “it happens most of the time”. Ladies do seem to have a lot more to attend than us menfolk after all.
Eventually, one by one the ladies materialised, jumped aboard and posed for a few ‘just departing’ snaps before we set off. On board we had; Mother of the bride Sally, Mother of the groom Kath and bridesmaids, Mo Kendall (Maid of Honour) and Amy Brigden (Katie’s sister).
A similar fun-filled, but far more ‘dignified’, penultimate, open-top chug to the castle took just a few minutes. With her second precious cargo of VIP’s safely delivered, we returned to the hotel to collect Katie and Andy.
Katie with dad, Andy, ready for departure from St Michael’s Hotel.
A few minutes after the allotted ceremony time of 4.30pm, Lily made her way through the moated portcullis to be enthusiastically waved on by the castle’s lovely Beverley. We made our final right hand turn and gracefully chugged the last few yards to the castle’s entrance. We could see Michael had somehow miraculously managed to outfox the lightning speed of Lily, and was snapping away in an animated fashion as we slowed from a walking pace to a halt.
Here we go!
A final few poses alongside Lily and at the castle’s entrance before the bridal party were ushered inside. Guests, registrars and of course, husband to be already ensconced in anticipation.
During the ceremony I was becoming aware of a heavenly aroma staring to arouse my taste buds. As time wore on, the ‘wafting’ became more intense and to a perpetually hungry chauffeur, it was tantamount to torture! I reached into my ‘man-bag’ and grabbed a pre-packed morsel to stem the pangs. It couldn’t compete and the torture continued!
Lily awaiting the arrival of the bride and groom at Pendennis Castle.
Fortunately, distraction therapy came to the rescue as something started to stir …
With the formal aspects of the ceremony clearly now over, the newlyweds and guests assembled on the terracing within the confines of the castle walls for drinkies, nibbles and photo’s. The sun’s hat was still on, which combined with the spectacular setting and made for a simply fabulous occasion.
Running a trifle behind schedule from the outset (trifle = circa 15 minutes), coupled with the infectious garden party atmosphere, we soon found ourselves quickly running out of time.
Katie and Dave had planned a brief excursion at this point down to nearby Gyllyngvase beach for a few intimate post-nuptial photos and some poses in and around Lily. Unfortunately, we had already reached Wedding Breakfast time. The mouthwatering aromas wafting up from the adjacent barrack reception building added testimony to this.
Katie and Dave decided instead to grab a number of poses with Lily on campus and defer a visit to the beach until later as Michael, the photographer, felt he had found a suitable time slot after the ‘sitting down’ bit had finished.
Katie with mum, Sally.
Lily remained topless, enabling the happy couple to be up-standing throughout a very slow chug around the castle grounds. During which time, a confetti throwing line-up was being ordered into place by Dave’s impressively efficient and hard working Best Man, Paul Ford. Omnipresent Michael chased and followed us with his bag of tricks, creatively snapping away like the paparazzi as we circled.
Minutes later we returned to the threshold of the castle and the awaiting line up, evidently replete with an impressive arsenal of petals at the ready.
A ‘monsoon’ of confetti pretty much rounded off the afternoon for Lily at the castle. Apart from one last chug with the bride and groom down the path to the barracks.
Cheers and congratulations!
As we made this final short trip together, Katie and Dave expressed their thanks and delight with Lily.
“ What’s cooking, as it smells absolutely delicious”, I remember saying. “Paella”, retorted Katie and Dave together.
Ah, I thought, it just had to be – perhaps the Spanish are coming after all!
Our very best wishes go to a truly lovely couple x.
All pictures taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.
6th June and this thoughtful message has just arrived from Katie and Dave…
Thank you for your email, I hope you are both well.
What a great blog! You have done a brilliant job – you have picked up on all the special little details and the photos are great. We have told our family about it so I’m sure they will have a look in the next few days and we’ll also print off a copy for our wedding scrapbook as it’s something to treasure forever. We had a lovely time reading through it and it truly is special, thank you. It means a lot that you took such care with writing it.
We really can’t thank you enough for the service you have given – your friendliness, professionalism and passion have impressed us from the very beginning. As for Lily – wow! She looked stunning on the day and everyone loved her. So many of our guests we still raving about her the day after, and still do so now!
Thank you too for arranging the extra trips (boys and the mums/bridesmaids), I know they were made up to be included too and it got them in the party mood. When we get the photos back I’ll see if I can send them on to you. We had such a fun time with Lily and would love to do it all again!
Kate and Dave