Echoing the old Abba hit, ‘I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do’, five couples will renew their wedding vows at the hotel where they were married.
The Days Hotel Marsham Court in Russell Cotes Road, Bournemouth, launched a competition asking for people to send in memories of their big day for the chance of winning a complimentary renewal ceremony.
The five winning couples, who have all tied the knot at the hotel during the last 27 years, will receive a complete renewal package, with ceremony, Bucks Fizz and canapés for themselves and up to eight guests, flowers, a cake, photography and a sea view room with dinner and breakfast.
The ceremonies will take place during the Days Hotel Marsham Court Wedding Fayre on Sunday September 14, between 12pm-4pm, with each couple renewing their vows in the garden wedding pagoda overlooking the sea.
General Manager and Director Rosie Wallace said: “We were bowled over by how many couples entered the competition and choosing just five winners was very difficult as everyone’s wedding was magical to them for their own reasons.
“Amongst our winners we have a couple who met during a car breakdown and even used a breakdown truck for their wedding transport!
“We also have a bride whose mother missed her original wedding this summer, so her renewal will be especially poignant.
“I think it is going to be a very emotional but very happy day.”
Peter and Clare Kendrick, from Bournemouth, entered the competition after their original wedding, on 28 June this year, was blighted when loved ones were caught up in the French air traffic control strikes.
Clare, a shop manager said: “At the time of our wedding, my nan was visiting my mum in Spain and they were prevented from getting to us because of the strikes.
“Winning this competition will not only mean we will finally have wedding photos with them on, it will be all the more special because my nan has terminal cancer and this will be such a wonderful day for her.”
The bespoke renewal ceremonies will be conducted by celebrant Diana Saxby of Grace the Day.
She said: “I haven’t been involved in multiple ceremonies of this scale before and as I don’t use formatted scripts it is going to be a challenge to make each one different and bespoke. But I am looking forward to meeting each couple beforehand, hearing their individual love stories, and incorporating this into their personalised ceremony.”
Flowers for the couples will be provided by Hillview Flowers & Events, with a wedding cake from Speciality Cakes of Kinson and photography from Keith at Bridle Photography.
The Days Hotel Marsham Court Wedding Fayre is open to the public and will feature displays by a range of specialist wedding suppliers. Plus two Bridal Fashion Shows by Wedding Bridal Boutique at 1pm and 2.30pm.
A collection will also take place for the Macmillan cancer charity.
The couples are:
Gareth and Natalie Down, 28 and 30 from Weymouth, married on May 11, 2010. They met when Natalie’s car broke down and Gareth ‘rescued’ her in his breakdown truck. Natalie used a breakdown truck as her ‘wedding car’. They entered the competition to re-affirm their wedding vows after suffering five years of painful infertility, including two miscarriages.
Natalie, a vet nurse said: “We have been tested to our limits but we have survived and have become a much stronger couple. We start IVF treatment in October and the renewal of vows will be a welcome and very happy day after many sad ones.”
Peter and Clare Kendrick live in Bournemouth. Clare is a shop manager and Peter a HGV driver. They have one child each from previous relationships and two grandchildren. They married on June 28, 2014.
Clare said: ” I applied for the competition as at the time of our wedding my nan was visiting my mum in Spain and they were prevented from getting to our wedding because of the French air strikes.
“Not only will it mean we will have wedding photos with them on, it will be all the more special because my nan has terminal cancer and this will be such a wonderful day for her.”
Gordon and Alli Wallis, from Bournemouth, are 57 and 43 and have four children between them. They married on July 4, 2008 and danced down the aisle of the Marsham Court Hotel ceremony room to a songfrom South Pacific. Their four-year-old son Charlie is very excited to be going to his parents’ ‘wedding’.
Nigel and Linda Toohey, 52 and 51, from Bournemouth married on August 15, 1992 at St Andrew’s Church, Kinson and had their reception at the Marsham Court Hotel. Linda is a temp for Office Angels and Nigel is Branch Manager for Travis Perkins Winton. They have two daughters.
Linda said: “We have had a bit of a tough time over the last couple of years or so, and thought it would be something nice for us however I never thought we would win.”
Mike and Lucy Relf, 33 and 31 live in Poole. Mike is a musician/teacher and Lucy is a receptionist. They married on July 16, 2005 and have two children.
Lucy said: “We are really looking forward to going back to where our married lives started and having both our children with us and the friends who could not make it nine years ago.”