Laura & Ben’s wedding at Crantock Church on Friday 7th June 2013 with campervan Lily.
“This is the best job in the world”, many couples would have heard me say whilst chauffeuring them on their wedding day. It truly is! “There must be downside?” is a frequent retort, often expressed in a way to solicit an answer.
My repost is always the same, “pressure, for the right reasons”. You never, ever lose sight that it is a couple’s most important day of their lives, usually a good year or two in the planning!
‘Sorry I can’t make it as something’s cropped-up, but I can be there later today or tomorrow if that’s any use’, may work with most other professions but clearly doesn’t cut the mustard, let alone the cake with weddings!
The right sort of pressure is good for us though as we are frequently told. Whether you subscribe to this rationale or not, I’m sure you’ll agree that high pressure of the ‘barometric’ kind is positively good for us.
With my barometer’s needle still wrapped around its end stop (must get a new one) glorious high pressure was still dictating dry and sunny conditions across most of the UK.
Yet another fabulous weekend of weddings was on the cards, starting today.
Well, Friday certainly qualifies as the start of the weekend in my book, anyways who’s going to argue with me?
Certainly not Laura and Ben or their families and friends, who had the privilege of an early start to the weekend and were witness to a most beautiful occasion, writes Chauffeur Bob…
The headlines in the ‘quality’ papers on the day that Laura and Ben got married centered on two ageing international household names, both hospitalized, The Duke of Edinburgh and Nelson Mandela, 92 and 94 respectively. Here in the Duchy, The Royal Cornwall Show was in full swing and dominated the local news.
10.45am at ‘Apartment 4’, the Glendorgal Hotel, Newquay however was the headline on my all-important piece of paper. It was indeed the address of the bridal boudoir and I didn’t want to be making the early evening local news by missing it!
Lily looked resplendent; thanks to Mrs. Chauffeur Bob (Kate) who had the idea to blend some lovely pale/dusky pink net-like ribbon in with main ivory ribbons and bows.
Our eastward chug up the A30 from Strawberry Leisure HQ and across to Newquay certainly didn’t go unnoticed. If only I had her pulling power at fifty!
On arrival at 10.45am precisely, a helpful gardener gave me directions to Apartment 4 as it was not as straightforward as it appeared. Something Laura was keen to stress when we chatted a day or so beforehand.
Sally, Elizabeth, Daisy, Ellie and Mylie with Lily.
I knocked on the door and two of Laura’s bridesmaids appeared and excitedly introduced themselves as Mylie and Daisy. Ushered inside, I was greeted with a scene of such industrious activity it would have graced the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Two sets of smoking curling tongs were being unleashed on a couple of seated and slightly nervous looking bridesmaids. One, I believe, was Sally who seemed somewhat alarmed to see me, “we’re not going to ready for eleven”.
“I’d better wait outside but just wanted to let you know we’re here”, I said.
The carefully pre-arranged plan was to do an initial run to the Church with the bridesmaids and return to do the final sortie with Laura and her dad, Bob.
Ready for the off!
Although only about 4 miles distant, Crantock Church is out in the sticks and coupled with the nuances of slow moving traffic; tractors, other campervans and suchlike, I felt we needed to allow ample time – a ‘rule of thumb’ that has served me well over the past 5 years.
Outside it was hotting-up. Guests and onlookers, clearly captivated by Lily’s presence, started to mingle in and around her, enquire about her and pose with her. During this time I was introduced to Laura’s sister Nicola and mum, Brenda.
At about 11.20am, the bridesmaids appeared closely pursued by Laura and Ben’s bubbly professional picture taker for the day, Rickie Staples from Padstow.
With an allotted ceremony time of 12.30pm barely an hour away, everyone developed a certain spring in their steps. Rickie had clearly done this before and was very efficient at organizing the ladies for a few quick departure poses.
The ladies arrive at Crantock Parish Church.
In no time at all we were underway in a topless Lily, heading for the picturesque village of Crantock. On board we had a total of five cheeky (in the nicest possible way) bridesmaids; Sally, Elizabeth, Daisy, Ellie and Mylie.
Lily’s VIP’s were clearly enjoying the journey, buoyed by the CD which Laura had burned especially for the occasion. ‘Is This Love’ by Bob Marley went down particularly well – “turn it up Chauffeur Bob”.
With Lily pulsating and my ears now bleeding, we arrived the Church! The adjacent pub began to empty as guests started to make their way over. I managed to get a few ‘just arrived’ snaps with my blogging ‘Box Brownie’ before pointing Lily back in the direction of Newquay and the Glendorgal Hotel.
Here we go – Laura with proud dad, Bob.
At 12.30 exactly, accompanied by the peeling of bells, a topless Lily made the final left turn back down to Crantock Parish Church, this time with Laura and her proud dad, Bob, on board.
Somehow Rickie had managed to outfox the lightning speed of Lily and was there at the church snapping away as we arrived.
12.35pm and the bridal party make their way into the church.
A few customary arrival pictures later, the now complete bridal party, along with the vicar, were all standing under the Lychgate. A brief pause to gather thoughts and composure followed before the procession gracefully made their way down the path to finally enter the church. The doors closed behind them and Laura and Ben’s life changing ceremony formally got underway.
Lily continued to get plenty of interest during the service. Not least by the church’s campanologists, who were clearly in need of refreshment as they made their way with haste to the ‘Hostelry’ next door!
Their return to the church some 40 minutes later was also a call to ‘stations’ as it signaled the imminent arrival of the newlyweds.
Make way for Mr. and Mrs.Beer!
At approximately 1.20pm the belfry started to resonate again, as the now Mr. and Mrs. Beer stepped outside. Now, I’m not necessarily an expert when it comes to church bells but I sensed something may have gone awry. Many photos and showers of confetti later, Laura and Ben made their way to the waiting, topless Lily, boarded and remained standing to receive the warmest of congratulations from family and friends. During this time, I couldn’t help but notice one of the campanologists walk by rather sheepishly holding a long rope with a frayed end!
“Excuse me Guv, do know anywhere around here that sells ropes?”
I popped the champers, charged their glasses and with the happy couple still standing and waving, we eventually pulled away at walking pace, en-route for a penultimate photo stop at Porth Beach.
The ‘Ukuleles’ were strutting their stuff on Lily’s impressive sound system as we chugged our way back into Newquay. Ben and Laura were clearly in ‘heaven’ and savouring every moment. We paused as we passed the Glendorgal Hotel so Rickie, the photographer, could join us in Lily.
A few lovely images from Porth Beach…
You could say we all became the centre of attraction for the next 20 minutes or so as Rickie set about orchestrating some lovely poses on the beach.
As is always the case, time goes fast when you’re having fun. The wedding breakfast was calling from the top of the cliff, so it was time to bid farewell to Porth Beach and get our precious cargo back to the Glendorgal Hotel, which sat literally a few hundred feet above us.
A lovely time was had by all, along with some beautiful memories that will endure for years to come.
Our very best wishes go to a smashing couple and thank you for involving us in your beautiful day x.
All photographs by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.
16th June and a little note from Laura and Ben arrived…
Bob this is such a great write up thanks again for a fabulous trip in lily xxx wish we could it all again.
On 20th June and this lovely set of professionally taken photos arrived from Rickie Smith of Staple Photography..