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  • Writer's pictureLisa Flahant

Real life wedding: David and Jen

David and Jen’s rustic, romantic, riverside wedding ceremony was held in The Bathing Hut of Pentillie Castle on Saturday 8 October 2022

…. And it was an intimate celebration for just closest friends and family to mark the marriage of two people who had met 11 years ago to the very day! Jen and David are a cracking couple! But with both of them working long hours in the NHS, they are also an incredibly busy couple, so when they discovered a registrar was not going to be available to conduct the legal part of the wedding at Pentillie, it was Jen’s sister Claire who stepped in to save the day – because she knew that a celebrant would be a much better option! So thank goodness for Claire and initiating our booking! But it wasn’t long before we got to chat with Jen and David and on explaining how we would approach writing their ceremony, those infamous words “This is a blessing in disguise!” were uttered :-) - with Jen and David realising that a celebrant-led wedding ceremony would offer them a far more personalised and authentic ceremony, plus it would be delivered by someone who was genuinely invested in their day. The ‘getting to know you’ conversations started some months before - there might have been some wine involved J - and we were intrigued to discover how initially David and Jen did not click at all, but despite a first date during which (due to a night out with his brother) David was incredibly hungover, and (due to some very long night shifts) Jen was exceptionally sleep-deprived, they got along a like a house on fire.

And we laughed so much during that initial chat about their life together and the little nuances of their relationship – we knew this was going to be a FANTASTIC ceremony to write! And it was! The initial feedback from David and Jen confirmed that we’d been right on track:

This is perfect, we couldn’t be happier! We have no changes to this gorgeous ceremony, we can’t wait to share it with our friends and family!!

Jen and David decided that since they would be saying their legal vows in a short register office ceremony in advance of their celebration at Pentillie, they wanted to write their own personal vows for their celebrant-led wedding. They drafted the words independently of one another (something Jen was particularly daunted by!) and sent them to us for feedback. Seriously, Jen should not have worried, these were some of the best vows we'd read all year!

And what makes a great wedding vow, you might ask? Well, in our very humble opinion, if the words are honest and from the heart, if they are carefully and thoughtfully structured to describe what it is you love about this person and what it is you are actually promising, if they are original and creative and might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, perhaps with the capacity to make your other half (AND your guests) laugh and cry, you could have some pretty-darn perfect wedding vows. Gold stars to Jen and David!

Moving on to the big day, after a period of gloomy and wet weather, Jen and David were blessed with a wonderfully blue and sunny Saturday in October. As their guests arrived at the rather grand and beautiful private home which is Pentillie Castle, they were escorted to the banks of the river Tamar and the romantic ceremony venue itself.

Family and friends quickly filled the charming Victorian bathing hut, which needed no further adornment than the twinkling white lights draped from the eaves. David stood at the front with best man and brother Chris, and best friend Simon, patiently awaiting the entrance of his bride, with her father Graham. As the music played, the bridesmaids entered – Jen’s sister Claire, Jen’s best friend Jen, and little Grace, Jen’s niece.

Once Jen’s Dad had played his part, we all participated most enthusiastically in group vows, we took a quiet and reflective moment to remember David’s darling Mum Maggie, who really would have loved every moment of this most special day, and we might have shed a little tear at the reading “Maybe” chosen and read beautifully by Jen’s friend Jo. But we also laughed out loud remembering many of the moments of Jen and David’s life together, including a potentially disastrous first meeting which was nearly ruined by David’s uber-competitive streak, a first date which went surprisingly well all things considered (fruit cider: say no more), a deeply romantic marriage proposal for which Jen had dropped an outrageous amount of hints about, and some rather dubious fashion decisions on both their parts.

However the show-stealer was the personal vows – Jen, who had opted to go first because she was so convinced David’s vows would be ‘better’ than hers, was just incredible and brought out all the emotions, and, having taken a deep breath, David responded perfectly, sharing with us all that Jen was indeed the labrador* of his life. (*Labrador being their special code word for love.) Ah Jen and David. We labradored you, we truly did. Thank you for this wonderful review.

The best thing to go wrong when planning our wedding was lack of registrar availability on our chosen date. It meant that we explored the celebrant option instead and we couldn’t be happier. We had so many compliments about our personalised ceremony and it was all thanks to Lisa. She was an absolutely dream to deal with from our first conversation through to the big day. Lisa was warm and engaging, she took the time to get to know us as a couple and understand our history then weaved our story into the most perfect ceremony. With her encouragement, we were brave and wrote our own vows from scratch and honestly that was a highlight from the day. We couldn’t recommended Lisa enough xxx

Memories of an incredibly happy day captured perfectly by Jason Williams Photography.

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