A delightful Cornish ceremony led by the father of the groom

You cannot get much more personal than having your own father conduct your wedding ceremony, which is exactly what gorgeous couple, Dan and Lizzy had, with their ceremony led by Dan’s vicar father. To be married by your dad, and by your future father-in-law has got to be a most special and precious moment that you can cherish.

Lizzy and Dan’s ceremony took place in St Bartholomew’s church in stunning Porthleven in Cornwall, UK, and was full of personal touches from the off. The choice of church itself was very central to the decision-process, in the sense that there was almost no decision to make! The church is steeped in Lizzy’s family history, set in the town where she is from and where a many of her family members have been married, christened and also buried. So the decision to have the ceremony there was an easy one.

Not to mention all of the personal and handmade elements contributed by friends and family to help create a wonderful community effort to create everything from the invitation designs to the bunting. And any wedding day, which starts off with a swim in the sea, (yes the freezing cold English sea!) is definitely going to be one which is full of character and charm. And starting the day as you mean to go on, chilled and relaxed, is always a good thing!

So let’s delve into Lizzy and Dan’s ceremony story, beautifully told by Lizzy herself and stunning photography by the awesome Barney Walters (whose work I’ve been waiting to showcase for like, forever! And you will see why!).


Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-

♥Pre-wedding dip in the sea  ♥ Pre-wedding champagne ♥ A fun bridal party ♥ A lace garter made by Lizzy’s mum ♥ Lizzy’s sister in law styling the bridal party’s hair ♥

Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-Flowers Barney Walters

The ceremony

We wanted a relaxed but traditional church ceremony. We’re not overly religious but both felt it important to get married in a church, especially at St Bartholomew’s.

My work colleague (and friend) drove my bridesmaids to the church in a Landrover and I followed them with my dad in a classic car. We were met outside the church by the vicar, my soon to-be father-in-law, Alan. Inside the church, Alan cracked a few jokes and spoke about how this was the most significant wedding he’d done, having watched our relationship develop. He led a jovial but poignant ceremony, whispering words of support throughout.

I walked down the aisle to Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by Handel. It was so memorable seeing Dan with Alan and Tom, his brother and best man, waiting at the front of the church.

Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-Lizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney Walters

Lizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney Walters

During the ceremony we had two readings by two close friends, one of Dan’s closest friends from school read Ecclesiastes 4:12, a reading recommended by Dan’s Dad. Our other close friend read the poem ‘I like you’ by Sandol Warburg.

As many of our friends are not church goers we chose well known hymns because we wanted them to feel comfortable and Alan encouraged them to sing loud! We had ‘Be thou my vision’, ‘Be still in the presence of the Lord’ and ‘Tell out my Soul.’

Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters

We were thrilled when our son announced that he was getting married to Lizzy and the announcement was quickly followed by a request for me to conduct their wedding. I was honoured and felt privileged but I also felt daunted by the responsibility.

It was very intense for me because I had all the emotions of a father seeing his son marrying but had to keep a professional front …this was hard. Weddings are always emotionally charged events and would I be able to hold it together? In some ways I did want to be watching with the other guests and not be involved but I remember the day with such love and warmth. It was such a privilege to marry Dan and Lizzy and I hope that they, like I do, feel that we have a very special bond, both on the day and continuing forward,

  • Revered Alan, Dan’s dad and Lizzy’s father-in-law

Lizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney WaltersLizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-Lizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-

lizzy900pxLizzy + Dan by Barney Walters-

Looking back, we are really lucky to have known the person taking our ceremony! Whether they are your father-in-law or not it is important to build a relationship with them prior to the day as they play such a significant role in making it happen!

Evening Barney Walters

Two thumbs up for Lizzy and Dan’s wonderfully, personalised ceremony. Their gorgeous ceremony shows the beauty and heartfelt emotion that can be achieved when you have some one close to you or related to you, conduct your wedding ceremony.


Mad love to;

The awesome Barney Walters for the photography

Celebrant: Reverend Alan Ryan

Lizzy and Dan for being so generous with the time and for sharing their lovely ceremony story.

About the author

Natasha Johnson

Natasha Johnson is an experienced Wedding Celebrant, blogger and writer on all things related to weddings, in particular wedding ceremonies. Her mission is life is to encourage couples to see the importance of their wedding ceremony and to get married in just the way they want to. Make sure you catch her on the Engaged and Ready Wedding Podcast, here or on iTunes and Stitcher.

Leave a comment: