Rebecca and Tom’s wedding at St. Agnes Parish Church on Saturday 20th July 2013, with ‘Show-girl’ Lola and ‘Party-girl’ Lily.
Still no sign… of a future King or Queen that is, the day that Rebecca (Bex) and Tom tied the knot.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s baby was officially a week to the day late and the coverage frenzy was entering meltdown – literally!
Over the last couple of weeks a media city the size of ‘The Shard’ laid sideways (and not too dissimilar) had taken root outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, where Kate is expected any minute to give birth.
They should have gone to St. Agnes and St. Ives. Had they set up camp 300 miles southwest of W2 1NY, there would have been no time for thumb twiddling and Super Fiendish Sudoku!
Instead, awe-inspiring vistas and an occasion of appreciable gravitas to report on…
Having been tipped-off some time ago by Bex and Tom about their special day, I (Chauffeur Bob) along with Chauffeur Steff were there to assist and witness an on-time ‘delivery’ and as such, feel deeply honoured to be able to report on the day’s proceedings…
It seems like only yesterday that the Met Office were issuing flood warnings like they were going out of fashion. Indeed, just a few weeks ago their ‘doom and gloom’ prediction was for yet another ‘Annus Horribillis’.
With a twist of irony washed down with a large slice of ‘humble pie’, today a number of papers issued Met Office heat warnings and predictions of longevity.
Full to the gunnels with bottled water and in glorious, warm sunshine, Chauffeur Steff and I climbed aboard Lily and Lola respectively to depart Strawberry Leisure HQ.
It was about 11.15am by the time we had carried out our pre-sortie briefing, rolled back their ragtops and got under way. Our joint destination being just a few miles chug away – St Ives Harbour Hotel.
Here we go – the boys ready to depart St. Ives for St. Agnes.
As we approached midday, you could feel the heat cranking up and as we neared the hotel we could see the traffic stacking up.
A chap in a ubiquitous fluorescent jacket appeared to be ‘break-dancing’ in the middle of the road at ‘The Terrace’ main junction directly adjacent to The Harbour Hotel and main drag into downtown St. Ives.
It turns out that rather than auditioning for Britain’s Got Talent, St Ives was gridlocked and the poor chap was getting hot under his jacket and motorists hot under their collars!
“You can’t go down there”, he said… “It’s bedlam!” Thankfully he didn’t need too much persuasion that we were on a wedding mission and waved us through. By some miracle we still arrived on schedule at 11.45am.
The carefully crafted plan today was for our jaw dropping duo to transport the boys and photographer in convoy from St. Ives to the wedding venue, 20 miles due east at St. Agnes Parish Church. The bride was already ensconced just a bouquet’s throw away from the church.
Following the ceremony, we were to bring the bridal party back to the hotel in time for the reception but not before a royal hand waving circuit of St Ives and beachside photo stop.
Rebecca George, the hotel’s lovely Wedding and Events Manager, was there to greet us with a cheery wave and smile.
Seconds later the ‘boys’ had left their pre-nuptial boudoir (bar) and were making their way, rather excitedly to their waiting chariots.
Professional photographer Sarah, wife of Ben Selway, who had been on hand to cover ‘the boys’ preparations, was in close pursuit. No doubt as we assembled, 20 miles or so miles away, Ben was preparing to capture the ladies industrious pre-nuptial rituals.
Joining our fun filled soiree to St Agnes was; Tom and his best man, Joe, ushers Christopher, George, Adam and Dan. Tom and Joe joined me in Lola as did chief picture taker, Sarah, who rode shotgun. The others followed in Lily. Conspicuous by his absence today was Michael ‘Marmite’ Buble… in discussing music for the journeys a day or two beforehand, Bex was adamant, “definitely no Buble!”
St. Agnes knew we had arrived!
We made good progress with lots of parping (klaxon noises) and waving all the way to our destination. Fifty minutes later and with most of our VIP’s standing, we pulled up outside the pub (conveniently opposite the church), in a blaze of glory. St. Agnes certainly knew we had arrived! It was T minus 1 hour and 10 minutes to ceremony time and counting.
The hostelry was already buzzing with wedding folk, including the vicar enjoying a ‘not so quiet’ pint on a busy table outside.
Steff and I had just under an hour to kill before we would be called back into action, so we set about dusting down our two beauties, fielding questions from admirers and posing for photo’s – it’s a tough life being a Strawberry Leisure chauffeur!
Lily and Lola attracting attention outside the pub, opposite the church.
I met up with Sarah’s other half, Ben and joined him for a walk to find the bridal boudoir. Rosewood Cottage was nicely tucked away just behind the pub.
We agreed that Lola and Lily would make their way round about 20 minutes before kick off to take the bridesmaids and a few honoured guests for a memorable spin around the Beacon before finally delivering them to the church.
Bex originally planned to walk the few tens of yards to the church, but instead decided to go via Porsche.
Bridesmaids & guests board for a memorable pre-nuptial spin around St. Agnes Beacon.
The plan worked with impeccable timing and majesty… the head-turning convoy of bridesmaids (Natalie, Phoenix, Roseanna, Hannah) and guests around the Beacon was truly spectacular.
No sooner had our VIP’s alighted at the church, Bex arrived. It was 2pm on the dot.
I love this picture!
The bridal party about to enter the church – the time has come!
The usual last minute pause for composure, instruction and pictures ensued, before the bridal party gracefully made their way through the Lychgate, down the path and into the church.
The bells started pealing fifty minutes later as the now Mr. and Mrs. Grove stepped outside to receive the congratulations as well as ‘monsoons’ of confetti from the congregation.
The newlyweds eventually made their way to Lola, whereby I swiftly popped the ceremonial champers. Shortly afterwards Steff reciprocated with a bottle of Prosecco for the ‘boys’ and guests that had already boarded Lily.
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Grove!
Wow!… did you see that! (Chauffeur Steff pops the Prosecco for honoured guests)
We departed in memorable style, in convoy, with VIP’s in both vehicles standing throughout (chauffeurs excluded), waving and shouting.
Our trip back to St. Ives was equally as fun but this time the Paparazzi were in pursuit! Sarah was at the wheel of their van whilst Ben was hanging out of the passenger window frenziedly snapping away as they passed us, twice on the A30 westbound carriageway!
Now back in St. Ives, we paused for a comfort break at The Harbour Hotel, before setting off again on one of those spellbinding open top tours of the town, which was to culminate with a wonderful photo shoot at Porthgwidden beach.
Bex, Tom and all, chauffeurs and photographers included, had a simply fabulous time. It really does become more and more difficult finding a superlative that adequately sums up the sheer fun and entertainment value these incredible vehicles bring to weddings.
Our happy couple are off to Cyprus soon on their Honeymoon. Our love and best wishes go with them x.
All photographs taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.
Wednesday 14th August 2013 and we have just received these fab snaps out of the blue. Paul Burgess, a professional photographer holidaying in St Ives the day that Tom and Rebecca tied the knot (20th July 2013) was so amazed by what he saw, he couldn’t help snap away.
It makes us feel really proud and appreciative of our rare topless girls.
These are his pictures…
October 2013 and Ben Selway has just sent in this lovely picture too from Tom and Rebecca’s fab day…