We came to one of Pentillie’s Wedding Previews and totally fell in love with the place, and the people
Kerry Lewis (nee Eldershaw) is an Assistant Principal, Born in Stoke on Trent but lived in Plymouth for 26 years
Mark Lewis is a Royal Navy Marine Engineer, Hampshire born and bred, but moved to Plymouth 2 years ago to be with kerry
Ceremony in the Victorian Bathing Hut by the River Tamar
How did you choose your venue? As it was second time around for us both we were looking for something small and intimate, almost low key. But then we came to one of Pentillie’s Wedding Previews and totally fell in love with the place and the people. After speaking to Marks parents about Pentillie they told us, that when Mark was a child they sailed up the Tamar as a family and anchored just next to the bathing hut, over 40 years before we even met. So the choice of the venue was already made. It was fate.
How did your proposal happen (who, when and where)? We were visiting marks parents in Wales, July 2017 and while we were out for a meal he popped the question and pulled the ring from out of his pocket while a waitress turned up with champagne and dessert which had ‘Congratulations’ written on it in chocolate. Something tells me they knew before me.
In 3 words, how did you picture your wedding at the beginning?
Elegant, Family and Personal
Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail/theme – tell us about the special details of the day and how you implemented them (colours, theme decorations, centre pieces, favours, photo booths, DIY etc) We started with a colour scheme. We wanted something rich and opulent and I like dark colours so Mark and I decided on Navy Blue and Burgundy with gold accents. My daughter and I made the Save the dates and Wedding invites which we were really pleased with. The personal touch was a dandelion stamp which has a special meaning to my daughter and myself. We wanted to keep the decorations simple because Pentillie is such a beautiful venue we didn’t want to hide it behind sashes and buntings so we decorated the Bathing hut in fairy lights which made it feel magical and let the beautiful floral arrangements stand out in the Dinning room. Our wedding favours were simple, a Yankee candle ‘wedding day’ for the ladies and a personalised box of Matches for the Gents.
Were you inspired by anyone on social media? Pinterest/Instagram etc? Pinterest was a god send. From wedding hair , cake ideas , to photography. Any newly engaged couple must start with Pinterest.
Please give a brief account of your wedding planning story i.e. priorities, highs & lows, challenges etc As we had both been married before we both new what we wanted and how to spend the budget. This made it easy to plan the wedding and we could focus on the fine details. The most imports things were the food, the flowers and the photographs. As we had small guest list of 32, our priority was for the whole weekend to be about bringing family and friends together. We wanted to make sure our family and friends had a memorable weekend. I was anxiously watching the weather forecast as we had the hottest Sept for years but there was a storm coming. So I bought some umbrellas just in case and it rained all day, but they produced some of the best photos. The registrar said to me, ‘A wet knot is harder to untie’. This summed up the day really. The rain just made the day more special. The whole weekend was full of smiles , happiness and laughter. We wrote the vows ourselves which were beautiful, not a dry eye in the house. Even Claire our photographer had to compose herself during the vows. We didn’t want a DJ or a band because we wanted conversation and laughter, so we hired a casino. This was perfect for us. Some of our family and friends are quite competitive and it made a great atmosphere.
What food did you choose for your day, wedding breakfast and evening buffet and why? Because of the family focus of our wedding we wanted to replicate those big family Sunday lunches with big platters of food and jugs of gravy in the middle of the table. So we went for roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. It was all locally sourced and some of it was even grown on the estate. This just added to the family feel of our day.
Total approximate cost of wedding (for research purposes only)? Phew, well we were quite selective with what we spent our money on. Quality rather then quantity and we didn’t really spend much on frivolous things. So according to my spreadsheet £17,626. Yes I’m a bit over organised at times. But we don’t regret a penny.
What was your favourite part of the day?
Kerry: I think my favourite part of the day was the service. We had 2 beautiful readings, the music was very personal to us and we wrote our own vows. The service was very magical and intimate. It was just perfect being surrounded by all the people we love, showing them how much I love Mark.
Mark: Getting ready before the ceremony with my son as best man and my groomsmen, sharing that time of anticipation prior to the ceremony. The best bit of the whole day was the brides entrance, seeing my Kerrys big smile as she walked down the aisle to be with me.
How did you feel as you walked down the aisle / saw each other on the day? Kerry: I wasn’t at all nervous on the day. I was excited. I hadn’t seen Mark all morning and we got married at 3.30, so I was missing him. I knew that I needed to be with him. When I walked down the aisle I could see how nervous he was. But when I held his hand it was all ok, because we were together.
Mark: I couldn’t wait to see Kerry, as she walked down the aisle, looking amazing, with her lovely smile it was the best feeling and when she put her hand in mine any nerves I had evaporated.
What was the most important investment for you? i.e food, photography, dress? The Venue and the Photographer were the best investment. We could have had nothing more and still had a magical day. However we did spend a lot on the rings as we knew we would be wearing them for the rest of our lives.
What song did you have for your first dance and why? We didn’t have a first dance because we didn’t have a DJ, but I walked down the aisle to Barbara Streisand and Bryan Adams, I finally found someone. The words in this song have such a strong meaning for us. We are both in our late 40’s and we feel we have finally found the ‘one’. After the ceremony we left to ‘Ellie Goulding Still falling for you’. This is a special song for us. We have been together for 2 years and every day we continue to fall in love.
What are your top tips for other couples? Mark and I were very lucky. We had no influences or pressures from parents. No courtesy invites to long lost relatives or people we had never met. Everyone at our wedding had been a part of mine and Marks relationship from day one and they gave us their strength and support. We didn’t care about tradition. We did exactly what we wanted. Mark wanted cocktail sausage canapés and port, that’s what we had. My daughter gave me away and made a wonderful speech, even one of our closest friends gave a speech. So my top tip would be, don’t do something just because its ‘tradition’ or because others expect it. Do what’s important to you and take a minute to enjoy it. It goes so quickly.
Photographer: Claire Tregaskis
Bride’s Dress: Wed2be
Bride’s Shoes: Jenny Packham
Groom’s Outfit: Baeumler Suits
Flowers: Dartmoor Flowers
Caterer: Pentillie Castle Chef
Music: Couple owns Playlists
Cake: Becky Hall. Family friend
Stationery: Home made
Hair and Make up: Adele Hack
For more information about getting married at Pentillie please contact Lisa on 01579 350044 or email