“I think we might just have had one of the most sustainable weddings possible, although it wasn’t a conscious decision, we just happen to live in a village surrounded by very talented friends and neighbours” says Tom, the new Tywardreath village shopkeeper who married Laura Curry on 20th August.
Their idea for a modest, informal home-made wedding took off in February when the couple, who had been together for 10 years, decided they wanted to tie the knot this summer. They booked the ceremony at the Coastguard’s Lookout, Caerhays (zero electricity) and friends Trudy Thompson and Josh Taylor agreed to host the reception at their Entrepreneurs Retreat in the village.
Private chef Kim Evans from Tywardreath was enlisted to provide a luscious buffet lunch, and a local pasty company that Tom helped start supplied the evening sustenance, which was served up by Michael Redmond from Lazy Jack’s Kitchen in Fowey. He also ran both bars, one of which was a converted horse box called Lazy’s Bar. And to top it all, a barbecued organic turkey was kindly donated by friends Debbie Andrews and family from South Torfrey Farm in Golant.
But as word got out about Tom and Laura’s forthcoming wedding, other people came forward to offer their assistance.
“The ‘beer boys’, a group of mostly retired gentlemen who recently started brewing their own beer in one of the barns at Newhouse Farm, created a light, hoppy summer ale to our chosen recipe and gave it to us for nothing,” explains Tom. “And Josh surprised us with a bespoke label for the brew.
“All the flowers were wild, pollinator friendly, and grown on the farm. Trudy spent ages working out what was going to come out in time, basically turning the back of the farm into a mini florist’s in the run up to the wedding.
“The bunting was either made or donated. Lighting was also donated, and a group of women, who meet up at Newhouse Farm every month, made hundreds of origami butterfly decorations. In fact around half of our 140 or so guests made some kind of contribution.”
With no groom’s speech to prepare or posh suit to press in the week before the wedding, Tom was able to roll up his sleeves and help Josh, Trudy and other volunteers clear out the barns and create the less-than-romantic but vital men’s urinals from straw bales.
On the day itself, as Laura stepped into her wedding dress (from Amanda K Bridal an independent shop in Truro) and donned her four-year-old flip flops, the heavens opened. Rain was coming in sideways and high winds threatened to put a damper on their big day.
“We thought the weather would ruin everything, but it didn’t,” says Tom. “It kind of made it better actually, especially at the Coastguard’s Lookout. The rough sea and wind in our hair put a bit of character into the photos, which were taken by my Uncle Ade and friend Will.
“By the time we got to the farm around 4.30pm the wind had died down. There was some mizzle, which meant we couldn’t have the outdoor games like crazy golf and the greasy pole (donated by the Village Fete committee), but the weather didn’t spoil a thing.
“In fact there is nothing we’d do differently if we had to do it all again. We had an amazing day; it was very ‘us’ and it was also a demonstration of how a community can pull together and achieve something really special.
“We’ve received so many positive comments. Lots of people have told us that it was the best wedding they had ever been to.”
Interview by Sharon Barnard, August 2016 – Sharon is a freelance features writer and editor based in Tywardreath. To find out how she can put your own special story into words contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
At the end of September Tom Larkin will be taking over managing Tywardreath Village Shop, which is funded by the community and supplied by dozens of local businesses.