Valentine’s Day Weddings!
Do you remember Ann Duffy? She was the woman who rang a register office and cancelled her brother’s wedding because she didn’t like the woman he planned to marry. Her excuse? She was ‘saving him from a divorce’.
Ms Duffy, who impersonated her now sister-in-law to call off the wedding at Plymouth Register office, was jailed for two months on 11 February, for what the magistrate described as ‘totally unacceptable behaviour … a cruel and vindictive act which left the couple distressed and distraught.’ The good news is that her brother and his fiancée were able to reverse the cancellation and get married where and when they’d planned.
Las Vegas wedding
Meanwhile, Donna Farnsworth must be wondering whether her feet have touched the ground yet. Her partner of 27 years, Del, proposed to her live on TV (on the ITV Daybreak programme, to be precise) on 10 February as they were queuing for a ‘holiday flight’ at Heathrow Airport. The whirlwind journey ended on Valentine’s Day, with a wedding ceremony in front of the Bellagio Hotel’s dancing fountain in Las Vegas! The bride said she was ‘emotional and overwhelmed’ to be walking down the aisle in Vegas and no surprise, because the officiant at the wedding was Westlife member Kian Egan. The ceremony was formally confirmed by a Las Vegas registrar and as the couple kissed, the fountains – famous for featuring in the Ocean’s Eleven film – burst into life.
What a thrilling experience for Donna, who was given away by her daughter Fern, and we’ve decided that next week we’re going to have a Vegas wedding special feature … because it’s such a fun idea and because we do love the idea of being married, remarried, by Elvis!
Less joyously, UK immigration officials were uninvited guests at a wedding in Blackburn on Valentine’s Day. They weren’t delivering good wishes either; instead they arrested the British bride and her Kosovan ‘husband-to-be’ for engaging in a shame wedding. The woman was released without charge but the groom, who was in the country illegally, remains in custody.
And forty-two happy couples fulfilled their lifetime’s dream … they got married, on Valentine’s Day, at Gretna Green! Since 1754 the blacksmith’s forge at Gretna has been a popular venue; that was the year that the Marriage Act came into effect in England and Wales, meaning that people under 21 had to have parental consent to marry. In Scotland marriageable age remained 16, and Gretna Green is the first village over the Scottish border!
Of course it’s a huge industry now, and the ‘runaway wedding’ has become a well-oiled machine with pipers, tartan cakes and many couples travelling from further away than just England. 60% of Gretna weddings involve both bride and groom coming from outside Scotland and 20% of those are couples from outside the UK.