Lapland Ceremony Icing on the Cake

Article excerpt

AS this is National Marriage Week, we asked to hear the stories behind your wedding days.

Memories ranged from churches being struck by lightning and a wedding in the Arctic Circle to romance over a bag of chips in The Burges and love at first sight after waking from a coma. Here's some of those stories and look out for more romantic tales in tomorrow's Evening Telegraph.

SOME people might think that you were Christmas crackers if you suggested Lapland as the perfect place to get hitched.

But Claire and Sean Brookes, of Chestnut Tree Avenue, Lime Tree Park, Coventry, say their winter wedding was the experience of a lifetime.

The couple met 2 1/2 years ago as neighbours and got engaged four months later when service engineer Sean, aged 40, proposed while they were on holiday in Majorca.

They decided that they wanted their wedding experience to be slightly different and Finnish Lapland seemed the ideal place, especially as the ceremony took place just before Christmas last year.

Claire, aged 33, a clerical administrator, said: "A lot of people get married in a warm place and we wanted something different. We took my 10-year-old son Ciaran and he had a fantastic time.

"We met three years ago over a bottle of rosA wine at a bonfire and ended up married, sitting around a bonfire with a bottle of rosA wine, totally by chance."

The ceremony took place in a purpose-built ice igloo with fairy lights set into the ceiling and an altar made entirely out of ice.

Then they had a celebration dinner on ice tables and chairs, followed by a moonlit reindeer sleigh ride.

Their day was made even more special when the wedding department of a travel company told the couple that they had watched the wedding and intend to use it in its 2005 brochure.

Sean said: "It was a truly memorable and unique occasion that was shared with Ciaran as ringbearer and Claire's parents."

Marriage thrived after stormy start

MY husband crashed the car the night before our wedding day, August 9, 1969,

He got to the church with rather a fat lip (no-one told me anything until after the reception).

My brother drove me to church and we ran over a black cat as we arrived, then lightning struck the church roof as we walked up the drive. It was a stormy day and the organ was damaged by the strike.

The service and reception went well.

We went on honeymoon in my sister's husband's new car (which she offered, to his surprise).

Stopping on the way to phone home to say we were okay, I left my handbag with money and keys etc in the booth. We went back but it had gone.

From the next day things got better.

We have been happily married for 35 years, and have two sons, a grandson and a stepgranddaughter, but what a day our wedding was.

Alice, aged 57, and Steve Grant, aged 56, Burbages Lane, Ash Green.

The bride wore cycle clips to get to the church on time

IDRIS BULLOCK, aged 81, of Shanklin Road, Brighton, writes about how he met his wife Mary and wants to know whether his wedding "on the bicycles" is a one-off.

I was born in Wales, my wife (nAe Lattemore) is a Coventry girl born and bred and she lived in Bennetts Road, Keresley. We married at Keresley Church on March 24, 1945.

I was 18 years old when I was sent to Coventry. I wanted to join the RAF, but was found to have a perforated eardrum and was sent on an engineering course and then to work at Bretts Stamping Company, Coventry.

I made friends at Bretts with Ivor Preece, the England rugby fly-half and Sid Buswell. Sid said if I played for Bretts at football instead of going home to Wales at the weekends he would introduce me to his girlfriend's sister. The first date was to be November 29, 1943, on a Sunday.

Mary was a lovely person, very smartly dressed and very good looking. …