Joy at double wedding celebration in Frampton-on-Severn
(l to r) Tying a double knot...Martin Baker and his wife Alison and Jon Merrett and his wife Kate outside St Mary's Church, Frampton on Severn on Saturday
VILLAGERS did a double take when they saw two brides arriving together in a horse-drawn carriage at the parish church in Frampton-on-Severn last Saturday.
Luckily however, it was not a dreadful mix-up as Alison Merrett and Kate Kendrew really were getting married in the same church at the same time.
Alison, 46, and her brother Jon, 39, had decided to hold their weddings together in a double marriage ceremony at St Mary's Church in Frampton.
First to tie the knot was office worker Alison, from Nailsworth, who was given away by father John Merrett to groom Martin Baker, 42, a delivery driver.
Then it was the turn of maintenance engineer Jon Merrett, 39, to wed Kate, 47, a purchasing administrator, after her son William, 12, gave her away.
It was a busy time for retired police officer John - who now works as a security officer at Gloucester Crown Court - because he was also singing with the Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir during the service, attended by around 150 guests.
Afterwards, both couples posed happily for pictures in the church grounds before they were taken - one couple at a time - in the horse-drawn carriage to a reception at the nearby 16th Century Wool Barn on the Frampton Court Estate.
Alison explained that the idea of having a double ceremony came about by chance when she and Martin were looking for a reception venue.
At the time Jon had moved back to Gloucestershire from Lancashire because of his job and was lodging with Alison and Martin.
"We went to look at the Wool Barn together and we all fell in love with it," she said.
"It was very pricey but then Jon and Kate decided to get married as well and we all agreed it would be lovely to have a double wedding and a joint reception."
It was the first time priest in charge at St Mary's, the Rev Dr Anne Spargo, had conducted such a service and she admitted to being a bit nervous.
"I was quite anxious - especially when it came to signing the register afterwards and making sure we got the right names on the right pieces of paper," she said.
"It is a very special day - a double wedding. Double the emotion, double the number of tissues being used up but also double the love and joy to go around."
When it came to the ceremonial binding together of the hands, the Rev Spargo quipped: "It's very complicated tying double knots - but I have tied the right hands together."
The Rev Spargo, who was a GP in the village until her retirement, added: "It was the first time that I officiated at a double wedding in three-and-a-half years in charge here and most of the clergy I know have never done one."
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