Elaine and Gareth Pentillie Castle Wedding Photographer


Pentillie Castle Wedding

Wedding Photographer Cornwall

Pete Bennett Wedding Photography

Elaine and Gareth at Pentillie Castle Wedding – 12th April 2014

This was my first time photographing a wedding at Pentillie Castle. It is steeped in history and has the most fantastic grounds for your wedding photography. As I approached the gate house I started to get an understanding of how it would feel to be a member of the aristocracy in the 1800s. As you drive through the gates you are presented with curiously inquisitive pheasants, a fairy-tale drive way and a tremendous sweeping view cascading down the Tamar Valley. I hadn’t yet seen the castle, but I knew I was going to be in for a delight.

What seemed like a mile later the driveway suddenly started to open up to finally reveal Pentillie Castle. The first thing which struck me was the statue of the late Sir James Tillie who built the castle in 1698, standing proudly on a plinth outside the main entrance. I was lucky enough to have been invited to stay in the castle the night before the wedding. By now I was very excited too if the stunning exterior renovation had been continued throughout.

I strolled into Pentillie castle and followed my ears towards some girls' laugher, sure enough I had stumbled upon Elaine and a bridesmaid in the large commercial kitchen icing  and decorating some homemade toffee and fudge cupcakes ready for Elaine’s big day. Elaine was one very calm bride… My wife (Sarah Bennett) had the honour of being a bridesmaid for Elaine and the equally important role of being the makeup artist too. So I left the three of them giggling and went to explore the enchanting building further. Elaine had explained that Sarah and I were in a room caller ‘Parker’. All the bedrooms at Pentillie Castle are named after various important family members from over the years. Each one having its own special story. Empty handed I headed off towards the stairs. As I walked along the corridor my attention was grabbed by a beautifully fitted out living room area with a large fireplace for a focal point. What gripped me about the property was the impeccably high level of finish throughout the house and this room was no exception. I eventually made it to our room but not before looking at all the other rooms along the way! The whole house oozes sophisticated, stylish and welcoming. From the Aga kitchen to the sitting room on the landing, the house is amazing. It is a tribute to everybody who has been and is still involved in its running and restoration.

I awoke on Saturday morning to find out from Sarah that Elaine had been awake since 05:30, excited and unable to sleep any longer. When I looked out the window I was confronted with the most glorious view towards the River Tamar, enriched with colour by the various blooms from the Castle's garden. I let the girls crack on with breakfast and decided to go for a short walk around the estate scoping out possible picture opportunities for later. I found out during my walk that pheasants are tame, inquisitive birds until you get a camera with a big grey lens out and point it at them. I can only imagine that they see it as a shot gun and literally run for the hills!!!! On my return to Pentillie Castle I went in to the room named ‘Dewhurst’ (the bridal suite for the day). I opened the door to find Elaine, Sarah and Lyndy (the hairdresser) setting up ready for the morning's transformation. That is where my coverage of the day commenced. There was an air of calm surrounding the bridal preparations. Only broken by the occasional visit from family members and friends all bringing their own style of excitement and apprehension into the room. The waves of this emotion brought several moments along with them. The occasional time check would suggest that timings were all looking good with a view to departing at 12:40 to be at St Stephens church to be wed at 13:00. However at 12:45pm somebody suggested the bride should probably get her get into her dress!

I can honestly say Elaine is the most relaxed bride I have ever had the pleasure to photograph to date. Not even the inevitable late arrival at the church could move her from her euphoric bubble she was currently in.  The ensuing chaos which followed involved a ‘conga’ style procession of bride, bridesmaids and hairdresser simultaneously lacing, pining up hair and putting in ear rings all on each other!! After this short flurry of activity they were all finally ready.

Meanwhile at the church there was less of a serene state of calm surrounding the groom. Elaine arrived at the church fashionably late with her dad in a beautiful Rolls Royce silver shadow, owned and driven by Jay Rashbrooke.  Finally Gareth was going to see Elaine walk down the aisle. After a quick announcement from the vicar that the bride had finally arrived, the organ started and in walked Elaine safely and steadily on her father’s arm. Gareth turned around to see Elaine at the end of the aisle and his face told the rest of the story. The ceremony went without a hitch, the best man had the rings and a couple of friends did a reading. It was time for some confetti and then back to Pentillie Castle.

I had agreed with the couple to go to the ‘bathing hut’ on the grounds of Pentillie Castle for the couple to have some time out and for me to grab some couple portraits. Elaine and Gareth arrived at the bathing hut with Emily their little girl parked between the two of them in the Rolls with a big smile on her face delighted with herself. After 15 minutes we all had a discussion about the fish and chip canapés which were being served back in the castle and without further debate we all headed back to the castle to see if they tasted as good as Elaine had suggested. An individual delicately battered fish goujon, presented in a small cone with chips. They were delicious, our complements to the chef.

The wedding breakfast was being served at around 1600 hours so it wasn’t long before the guests were sitting down to enjoy the Dartmoor Inns finest delectable offerings. I have had a lot of food at a lot of weddings but I have to say it ranks highly as one of the best. The speeches had been placed traditionally at the end of the meal so on completion of desert, there was a ringing of glass, as rather non-traditionally the best man went first. For a best man’s speech it was very complementary and it wasn’t until the home made film of Gareth’s students opinions of him commenced that some abuse started to flow.

While the guests went for tea and coffee I grabbed Elaine and Gareth for some more couple portraits in the gardens in Pentillie castle. The fifteen minutes we needed flew by and it was back inside for to prepare for the first dance. If you are looking for a wedding photographer to photograph your wedding at Pentillie Castle contact Pete for details.

Make up – Sarah Bennett

Hair – Lyndy Ewings

Bridal Gown – Sam Cox Bridalwear

Car – Jay Rashbrook


Author : Pete Bennett

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