Gemma and Paul’s wedding at Gwithian Church on Sunday 21st July 2013 with ‘Showgirl’ Lola.
Still little sign… of a future King or Queen that is, the day that Gemma and Paul tied the knot. However, 24 hours later unto us a future King was to be born.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s baby was officially a week and a day late and the coverage frenzy was in 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.
TV crews, photographers and reporters remained buried under a mountain of ladders, tripods and cameras… and still absolutely nothing to report – the view from ‘The Shard’ was unclear!
Had they ventured 300 or so miles southwest of W2 1NY, awe-inspiring vistas, stonking weather and a beautiful wedding ceremony would have made worthy news.
What’s more, they could have ‘legged-it’ back in time to photograph a picture frame on a gilt easel outside Buckingham Palace with time to spare. Not in Lola, it has to be added!
Jesting aside, what a wonderful historic week to mark the occasion of your wedding. Make no mistake, Gemma and Paul’s wedding was true pomp in wonderful circumstances in its own right, writes Chauffeur Bob…
All aboard at Connor Downs!
The ‘boys’ were ironing when I arrived at their ‘tucked-away’ boudoir in deepest Connor Downs. The day had certainly got off to a steamy and industrious start.
Meanwhile outside, just off the main road, Lola was already topless and busy flirting with onlookers – I had to leave her at the end of ‘Chinese Laundry Lane’ through fear of getting her stuck in a lut (rut).
One by one the now crisply attired ‘boys’ descended on Lola for a few departure poses.
The boys ready for the off!
The Groom Paul, his brother Steve (Best Man), along with ushers Carl & Barnaby eventually climbed aboard. It was Steve, I think, who was clutching a bottle of ‘Sexy Men’. After checking in their baggage, including the Sexy Men and a sneaky squirt, I stowed everything away in Lola.
“Have you got the rings?” I remember asking. “No”, came a lady’s voice from outside. “I’ve got them, and will be taking them to the church separately – otherwise they’ll get lost”. Must have been Paul and Steve’s mum, I assumed.
We arrived at Gwithian Church pretty much on schedule at midday, an hour before kick off.
‘Sexy Men’ arrive at Gwithian Church!
Time for a quick snap of ‘the boys’ before ‘legging it’ to Angarrack.
Waiting for us as we approached was the couple’s professional picture taker for the day, Mik Allerton.
A few arrival snaps later and after handing back the bottle of ‘Sexy Men’, I made haste for Steamers Hill, Angarrack, for the first of two VIP collections.
The bridal boudoir was located just off Steamers Hill, in turn up a very steep driveway. Nonetheless, Lola, just a few months off her 50”s tackled it with aplomb.
Gemma’s bridesmaids ready to depart Angarrack.
Gemma’s mum Georgia rode shotgun.
Despite the incline, we succeeded in boarding bridesmaids and mother of the bride whilst on the drive. However, on setting off, the front underside of Lola started to scrape on the threshold of the main road – it was everybody out as I maneuvered her gently onto the road before all six recommenced the boarding process.
Things were warming up – it really was sweltering! The hottest ambient temperatures for years and with six passengers and a chauffeur it was lovely to get moving and a welcome breeze going – not so!
We had barely driven a few hundred yards before alarm bells started ringing… “My hair”… “My eyelashes”…
Chauffeurs have been known to die in hot cars. Even so, I pulled over, shut the roof and closed all the windows and with Lola now hermetically sealed, we continued on our way to Gwithian.
Relief came a few hundred yards before the church after pleading with the ladies that we ought to pull over and get the roof rolled back for a ‘regal like’ arrival.
The ladies arrive at Gwithian Church without a hair or eyelash out of place!
Gemma’s mum, Georgia and bridesmaids Abi 1, Lindsey, Lou, Claire and Abi 2 alighted at the church, to be greeted by the vicar and Mik the photographer.
The vicar seemed rather concerned and whispered in my ear that none of the guests were yet in the church but in the pub instead. By my watch they still had 30 minutes to walk or stagger the few yards to the church. I felt we were running a trifle late anyway (trifle = 10 minutes) which I though I’d better keep to myself through fear of further antagonizing the reverend.
Nice and relaxed and cool! Gemma and dad Andy ready for departure.
Fifteen minutes later and back at Steamers Hill, Angarrack, Gemma and her proud dad Andy boarded Lola (on the main road). I whipped out my blogging Box Brownie once more and captured a final few, special pre-nuptial moments before getting underway on Gemma’s journey of a lifetime.
Arriving at church.
In the same place as 30 minutes or so earlier, we paused to fully open Lola’s magical ragtop before chugging the final few yards to the church.
“What time do you call this?” the vicar said. It was ten past one, which given the logistics and heat of the day seemed a miracle of sainthood proportions to me.
I remember saying that we’d got lost somewhere around Truro. On reflection, I’m not certain whether my sometimes troublesome sense of humour registered with the clergy. ‘Is that ‘Sexy Men” I just caught a whiff of?’ was perhaps pushing my luck, so I quickly ran round to open Lola’s doors and let the bride and her dad out!
All was well though as the bridal party regrouped outside the Lychgate for final instructions and deep breaths before finally gracefully making their way down the sunlit path and into the church.
This is it – the moment has come!
During the ceremony the ‘Lola affect’ was occasionally causing traffic to stop outside, take a few snaps and move on.
Lola awaiting the arrival of Mr. and Mrs Warmington.
It was about 55 minutes later when the now Mr. and Mrs. Warmington reappeared at the church doors, pursued by their many friends and family members, all naturally keen to congratulate the happy newlyweds.
Confetti, champers and many poses followed.
A few lovely post nuptial snaps at Gwithian Church…
We had a quick chat about a fun sortie before the couple’s reception at St Ives Tregenna Castle. I suggested a lap of downtown St Ives, washed down with a photo-stop at Porthgwidden beach.
Gemma used to work in the town, so my motion was carried with unanimous approval.
Our departure from Gwithian Church was simply magical and noisy! Mr. and Mrs. Warmington remained standing throughout, excitedly returning waves, cheers and blown kisses.
Photographer Mik had little trouble keeping up with us in his car and was later to admit that the reaction we received in St Ives was unlike anything he had seen before.
A few memories from Porthgwidden Beach.
Suffice it to say, some really moving and unforgettable moments would have been recorded on our soiree around St Ives and concluding photo-shoot at the beautiful Porthgwidden beach – I can’t wait to see Mik’s professionally taken snaps.
Back at Tregenna Castle against vistas to die for, we said our goodbyes. Paul and Gemma had clearly loved every minute of their day so far and were eager to express their sincere thanks.
Just time for a final snap at Tregenna before the reception.
Just as we were about to depart, Paul asked whether I had heard how the cricket was going. Although guessing it was going well, I wasn’t sure – I had been busy for the past few hours after all!
One thing I was certain of though, is that Paul had bowled his maiden over!
Gemma and Paul are off on honeymoon soon to Greece. Our love and very best wishes go with them x
All photographs taken by Strawberry Leisure unless otherwise stated.