One of the most tried-and-true happy endings in literature (particularly in British literature) is to end a story with two major characters getting married. So, to this end, here’s four stories of British marriages that went in some unusual directions.
Bride and groom spend £1 on their wedding.
When my mother was still alive, she liked to watch shows like Bridezillas or Say Yes to the Dress, either watching young women with a Kubrickian level of perfectionism sparing no expense to ensure that their big day is perfect, or watching them spend thousands on a dress that is designed to be worn exactly once. It’s nice to see that there are some couples willing to take the exact opposite approach.
Georgina Porteous and Sid Innes of Inverness decided to spend as little money as possible on their wedding, and, except for the £70 license fee, they spent exactly £1 ($1.70) on the whole affair. They asked the guests to bring their own food, they held the marriage in the barn behind their home, the minister did the ceremony for free, Georgina’s aunt baked the cake, and her dad’s saxophone provided entertainment for the reception. The only expense they paid was for the bride’s dress, which she bought from a second-hand store for only £1, which makes this wedding cost about 1/200 of a percent the national average.
Quoth Georgina Porteous: “I don’t see the point in these massive weddings. We didn’t want or need a big, fancy affair. We had a ball. The day went beautifully. People said it was the best wedding they have ever been to.”
With all the money they saved, they spent the whole thing on a honeymoon trip to Berlin, where they got engaged.
Woman cancels brother’s wedding; ends up in court.
Ann Duffy of Plymouth did not like her brother David Greatrex’s fiancee, Sandra Hardy. The article I used as a source would only say that it was because of “friction over the care of her and David’s mother.” Whatever the reason, on November 5, fifteen days before the wedding was to take place, she pretended to be Sandra, contacted the register office and called off the big day. Later that day, she called her brother and said: “I have saved you on the divorce. I have cancelled your wedding.”Sandra found out and sent her to court for harassment. defense attorney Roger Page said: “The defendant still takes the view her brother is not suited to his wife. To avoid him making what she regarded as a disastrous move she cancelled the wedding.” He also clarified that the plan was meant to only make Sandra miserable and not David.
Prosecutor Will Rose added: “One offence doesn’t constitute harassment. There were other incidents reported which is why the charge was brought.” He also likened it to an episode of EastEnders and called it “a cruel and vindictive act which left the couple distressed and distraught.”The Magistrate concurred, saying: “It was a planned, deliberate, spiteful and vindictive offence.” Ann Duffy pled guilty to harassment and was sentenced to 8 weeks in jail. Sandra and David would marry on November 25.
Birmingham, England advertises wedding fair… in Birmingham, Alabama.
I am honestly surprised that I haven’t covered more stories from Birmingham; when Usain Bolt stayed there during the 2012 Olympics, they unveiled a life-sized wicker statue of him in his famous pointing pose, except they had him pointing the wrong way. In addition, during their 2010 elections, they took the time to pulp thousands of voting cards with the wrong date on them, but didn’t take the time to spell the name of their own city properly. And now, Birmingham city council has done it again.
On the city’s official site, they have a list of “things to do in Birmingham” and they included a wedding fair among the local attractions. Unfortunately, it turned out that the wedding fair was in Birmingham, Alabama, over 4220 miles away. The advert even included a map of the American city, and, after many confused questions, the city council removed the ad. They noted that members of the public can put their own ads on the site, but the ad was added by members of the staff, and prices on the promo were converted from dollars into pounds.
A spokesman for Birmingham city council joked: “Our events website is clearly so successful that event organisers from over 4,000 miles away are keen to advertise.” In all seriousness, he added: “Events are submitted by organisers and there is an approval process before they go live on the website. Unfortunately this one slipped through the net but was removed once we discovered the error.”
One prospective bride who wanted to go said: “I’ve been looking out for wedding fair – but I’m not sure about public transport to that one. I can understood confusion over the ad, but not the map.”
They apparently claimed that the venue of the wedding fair, Bridge Street Gallery, was responsible for the mix-up. Strangely, this isn’t the first time the Birmingham City Council mixed itself up with its American counterpart: in 2008, upwards of 700,000 copies of a pamphlet about recycling were sent out before anyone noticed that it had a picture of Birmingham, Alabama’s skyline and not Birmingham, England. Overall, given the gaffes, and the fact that it’s the second-largest city in the UK, I’m surprised I haven’t given more press to Birmingham’s strange people.
Man stages zombie apocalypse for marriage proposal.
Claire Hulse and Brian Tollady of Liverpool are two horror fans who’ve been together since their first date, when they watched the vampire movie Underworld. So, it’s not too surprising that when they decided to get engaged, they decided to take this route.
They were walking down the River Mersey when 50 zombies converged on the pair. They ran for a bit, but when the zombies finally caught up and moved in for the kill, Brian went down on one knee and asked her “will you marry me?” Claire accepted. She’s now wearing a unique black diamond ring surrounded by four skulls. Yes, the whole thing was a plan to get her to marry him. Honestly, I’ve seen worse marriage proposals.
Brian told The Mirror: “I’m very relieved it all went okay. Claire was not happy because it was out of her comfort zone but she said yes. It’s the biggest day of my life so far. We don’t know when the wedding will be – it’s whenever Claire wants it to be though. I’m just glad it’s happening.”
For her part, Claire said: “I was a bit freaked out and confused – I really did wonder what was going on. I’m very impressed with it all because I love zombies. My birthday is in October and I’ve always loved Halloween. My favourite films are Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later. I love Brian and I’d eat his brains out for what he’s done.”