Kate and Stephen’s wedding at St Michael’s Church, Porthilly, Rock, on Saturday 27th July with ‘showgirl’ Lola and ‘party girl’ Lily.
Unto us a future King was born the very week that Kate and Steve tied the knot and he shall be known as George Alexander Louis or ‘His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge’ for short!
What a wonderful historic event to mark the occasion of your wedding.
Kate and Steve’s own historic day was a wonderful, well-planned affair. From the outset it involved some serious driving for Lola and Lily, who between them, are just a few months away from racking up an incredible century of motoring history.
Today’s flurry of activity saw our two girls heading ‘up-north’ at the crack of dawn – destination Rock and, most other places surrounding it.
We don’t get to Rock that often, but despite it representing a ‘good chug’ from our HQ here in deepest West Cornwall, particularly for fifty year old campervans, we all had a truly fabulous and memorable time, writes Chauffeur Bob…
The weather was to remain fine and warm all day with a somewhat elusive sun managing to break through from time to time.
With Lola and Lily diligently prepared and fuelled the evening before, Chauffeur Steff and yours truly were able to make an early morning get away. Our departure was carefully timed to get us to within easy reach of our different pick-up addresses a good hour before.
Wadebridge seemed an obvious place to stop – Lola and Lily chugged to a halt at circa 10.00am.
Chauffeur Steff, today custodian of Lily, soon set about giving her a last minute ‘sparkle’ by removing a few squashed insects and dust. I did the same for Lola before finally attiring them both in fresh ivory ribbons and bows.
It was at this point we needed to go our separate ways. The plan was to reconvene at the bridal boudoir; St. Moritz Hotel, Trebetherick, a couple of hours or so later.
In the meantime Lily went in search of ‘Parkdean’ St Minver to collect the father of the bride, Mark, whilst I headed further up the Atlantic Highway in Lola in the direction of Camelford.
The ‘boys’ nearly ready to ‘tee off’ from the golf club!
My first duty of the day was to rendezvous with ‘the boys’ (and some girls) at Bowood Park Hotel & Golf Club at a hitherto unknown place called Lanteglos.
The drive turned out to be further away than envisaged during my map reading exercise. Nonetheless, we arrived bang on schedule. It was 11am precisely.
Meanwhile back at St Minver, I was to discover that Chauffeur Steff was having a spot of bother finding his pick-up address. It turns out that ‘Parkdean’, a holiday park, had been renamed. Fortunately, they were unable to shake off the tenacious Chauffeur Steff that easily and with address decryption skills to match Bletchley Park, he caught up with Kate’s dad, Mark and made haste to St. Moritz Hotel.
A party atmosphere was underway at the golf club, noticeably heightened by Lola’s arrival with a few blasts on her klaxon (I just can’t resist it!).
Introductions ensued; the main man himself, Stephen, Best Men Chris and Matt, Usher Robin and Stephen’s Mum and Dad, Carolyn and Paul.
I was later introduced to a fluffy dog called Rusty – the owner insisted that Rusty got a snap with Lola before departure.
Chauffeur Bob becomes photographer Bob – what a photo!
For the next few minutes, Chauffeur Bob became photographer Bob as cameras were thrust in my hand. I snapped away like a true professional (after all I have seen quite a few perform over the past five years!).
Here we go!
We had a good 40 minutes chug ahead of us to Porthilly Church and with ‘the boys’ under strict orders from the vicar to be there an hour before kick off, we needed to get our skates on.
Steve, Best Men, Usher and a family friend Becky, who rode shotgun, joined Lola for our fun filled, klaxon-sounding soiree to the church.
Lola was cooking on gas, making light work of the difficult North Cornish roads to make Porthilly in good time. We even had chance to stop so the guys could get some cash out from a hole in a ‘Rock’.
A couple of chaps jumped out as we turned down the lane towards the church to stick-up a couple of ‘wedding’ signs.
A few ‘arrival’ snaps later and with boys now safely ensconced and discharging their pre-nuptial duties, I left in pursuit of the bridal boudoir.
Again, St. Moritz Hotel seemed further away than I had anticipated but we arrived with plenty of time to spare at about 12.20pm. As planned Chauffeur Steff was already there and appeared somewhat relieved to see us chug in.
Things were already springing into life the second I arrived… professional photographer Rickie, from Staples Photography appeared from nowhere to say the bridal party were just coming out – Chauffeur Steff grabbed a duster and started to help me give Lola a quick pampering.
Together again – Lily and Lola at St Moritz Hotel, the bridal boudoir!
Everyone seemed in such a hurry, which I put down to nervous excitement and yet by my watch we still had 35 minutes to go and were just 5 to 10 minutes max from the church.
I deduced that Kate must have been under strict instructions not to be late – possibly the vicar had another wedding to do somewhere afterwards I thought.
We were able to let a few more minutes tick away with a number of poses in and around Lola and Lily, before finally chugging as slowly as we could in the direction of Porthilly.
Kate with proud dad Mark, excited and eager to get going.
The ladies travelled in Lily to the church.
Bridesmaids, Lara, Sam, Lola and Kate’s mum, Jane, joined Chauffeur Steff in Lily, whilst Kate and her proud dad, Mark, travelled in Lola.
As we neared the church with a good 15 minutes remaining (it was a quarter to one), I slowed and pulled over to allow Lily’s VIP’s time to alight at the church ready to greet the bride.
We sat and chatted for a few minutes and opened up Lola’s ragtop. My fear with an early arrival is that some guests may still be making their way inside or, as is not uncommon, late getting there.
At T minus 10 minutes and counting, a text message popped in from Chauffeur Steff… ‘All guests have arrived’. So with that we rolled the last few hundred yards to the church.
A couple of snaps on our arrival at Porthilly Church…
Rickie was on hand to capture a few final pre-nuptial moments before the bridal party disappeared through the small gateway, down the leafy path and into the quaint, beachside church.
After a very busy morning and tricky logistics, Kate’s life changing appointment with Stephen was finally underway – ahead of schedule!
Lola and Lily attracted a throng of excited admirers during the ceremony, all asking questions about their heritage and taking loads of pictures.
Lola and Lily awaiting the bride and groom.
It was just under an hour before the now Mr. and Mrs. Simmonds stepped outside the church to join their many guests and receive congratulations.
Rickie was busy orchestrating a number of poses and marched the happy couple down onto the beach, just a few yards away. Bridesmaids, Best Men and Usher Robin, joined them.
Mr. and Mrs. Simmonds & Co having fun on Porthilly Beach.
Pursued by Rickie, the bridal party eventually returned to the awaiting chariots for ‘champers’. During this time, Chauffeur Steff and I realised that it would be possible to get Lola and Lily down on the beach for a couple of really special photos.
Cheers… congratulations Kate and Stephen!
Unsurprisingly, everyone was up for it. So with glasses charged and Lola and Lily replete with upstanding wedding folk, we slowly made our way down the slipway and onto the sand for a few truly memorable moments.
Everyone loved the camper vans!
Bridesmaid Lola with her namesake.
A few lovely, memorable snaps from Lola and Lily’s sortie onto the beach…
As we came off the beach we continued onwards, just a half a mile or so up the hill, through a farm, past some cattle being milked and finally over a field to arrive at the reception marquee and a vista to die for.
It was here that the confetti throw took place and two thirsty chauffeurs were able to hydrate and refresh.
Kate and Stephen expressed their thanks and invited us to loiter for a while.
Guests made full use of our loitering to get a few snaps with Lola and Lily and we had a pleasant time chatting with a few new and familiar faces.
We left as everything was getting into full swing and awash with a warm, fuzzy feeling of another very enjoyable job, well done.
Congratulations Kate and Steve and thank you for sharing your precious day with us x.
All photographs taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.