Herefordshire People: Sarah McNeil and Jonathan Parker: Our Cathedral wedding
PUBLISHED: 17:13 09 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:49 20 February 2013
Sarah McNeil and Jonathan Parker celebrated their wedding at Hereford Cathedral on a glorious day in September. Sarah used to be a wedding planner, but she found organising her own wedding day quite a challenge. Here she tells the story.
Ours was very much a Herefordshire wedding. We got married on Friday September 26 at Hereford Cathedral, which was a great honour. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which was wonderful; and I was able to be piped to the Cathedral on foot from the Castle House Hotel, right down the middle of Castle Street with my six bridesmaids, my Mum and my Dad and two cousins, all in their kilts!
The ceremony took place in the Lady Chapel, which I can only describe as truly awesome. My Mum and bridesmaids walked in first to Pachelbel's Canon being played by the Serenading Strings Quartet. Hearing the magnificent Cathedral organ start up just before I walked in with my Dad was one of the most memorable moments of the day.
After the ceremony, we were lucky enough to be allowed to have our photographs taken in the Cathedral Cloisters, and also had some taken walking through Church Street in amongst people doing their shopping! Our photographer, Steve Shipman and his associate Dana were amazing and somehow managed to capture every moment of the day perfectly.
Our reception was held deep in the Herefordshire countryside (or in the middle of nowhere as we told our guests!) at Kempley Barns, near Ross-on-Wye. The venue is mostly used for group accommodation but has a fantastic barn perfect for a celebration which County Marquees transformed into a magical reception space for us. It was an absolutely beautiful setting and is owned by a fantastic couple, Pet and Bob Skerrett who were amazingly helpful to us throughout the whole planning process.
After champagne and canaps in the beautiful grounds at Kempley, we went into the barn for our wedding breakfast which involved a main course of fillet of Herefordshire beef. Our caterers, Fosters, were fantastic and I cannot praise them too highly.
Once the meal and speeches were done and the cake was cut, the party went into full swing. My sister and chief bridesmaid, Kirstin, sang our first dance which made it extra special for us.
We stayed at Kempley Barns for the whole weekend with 25 of our close family. Following a barbecue on the Saturday, we left for our honeymoon on the Sunday and had a lovely send-off from everyone. I didn't know where we were going until half way to the airport; but we ended up in the Maldives which was a huge surprise.
All in all it was an utterly fantastic day and was worth all the effort and stress. We felt so lucky that the weather had been so perfect for us, really showing our beautiful county off at its best.
Photographs by Steve Shipman, www.steveshipman.com
Petula and Bob Skerrett,
Tel: 01989 780 772
Caterers: Fosters of Bristol
0117 977 6611