HE knew it was going to be an extra special day – and for Father Richard Masshedar it turned out to be “absolutely perfect”.
Father Richard has married countless number of couples in his 19 years as the parish priest at St Paul’s Church, in Grange Road, Hartlepool.
But Sunday’s ceremony had even more significance for the 56-year-old, as it was his eldest daughter who was walking down the aisle.
As featured in the Mail last week, Father Richard was carrying out the service as his daughter Sarah, 28, tied the knot to 25-year-old Craig Reid.
It was the way Sarah and Father Richard had both always wanted it to be – and everything went exactly to plan.
“It was absolutely lovely, as we knew it would be,” said Father Richard, who is married to Julie, 53.
“It was even better than we had hoped. We said afterwards that we didn’t think anything at all could have made the day any better, it was just so lovely.”
And the ceremony proved to be a real family affair.
For as well as Father Richard carrying out the service, Sarah’s older brother James, 30, walked her down the aisle and her younger sister Rachel, 17, was the chief bridesmaid.
And after the service they all enjoyed a “brilliant” reception at the Grand Hotel, in Hartlepool, where Father Richard was again at the centre of proceedings, performing his father of the bride speech.
Afterwards, Sarah and Craig jetted out to Egypt to enjoy their honeymoon, and Father Richard said the couple left on a high.
“They had such a lovely day,” he added.
“It was an absolute privilege for me as I said it would be, and it was quite an emotional service, but I managed to get through it.
“The reception at the Grand was absolutely fantastic as well, the staff there really went out of their way to make it special for Sarah and Craig.
“Everything was just absolutely perfect.”
Sarah, a nurse and mum of two-year-old Grace Read, said having her dad carry out her wedding service as the parish priest was the way she had always wanted it.
Sarah has worshipped at the church since her family moved to Hartlepool from Gateshead in 1994.