Mark Whiteley and Joanne Green had been dressed in formal wedding clothes, standing at the altar in front of family and friends, when the officiating minister at their wedding asked if there was anyone who had anything against them getting married. Shockingly, a woman stood and said: “I do”.
Gobsmacked guests immediately turned around to pin the woman with their gaze but she refused to back down but insisted she was against the marriage.
The best man stood and walked up to confront her. She then revealed that the couple were already married. Turns out it was a prank staged by the couple who had had a secret wedding earlier. The couple, from Rawtenstall in Lancashire, staged the nuptial for their loved ones, months after they had already wed in secret while on holiday at Rhinestone Wedding Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee, in March.
They kept their marriage secret until the “big reveal” at the St James the Less Parish Hall service three months later. It also turns out that both the officiating minister David Crowley, the best man Dan Hoffman-Gill, and the woman who objected, Celia Perkins, were all actors from Mark’s drama company, Hard Graft Theatre. The actress objected to the union on the grounds that both were already married to each other.
Mark, 50, explained they rehearsed their dramatic timing in such a way that it would take guests’ eyes off the ceremony for a while so a video of the legal wedding ceremony in the States can be projected on the screen.
Mark, of Hardman Avenue, said: “We didn’t set out to do anything different but once the seed was sown we had the recipe for an amazing (possibly terrible) day.
We hedged our bets that it would work out. We just wanted to do something a bit theatrical, we’ve got a flair for a drama.”
He added: “We were worried about people being upset because it’s extremely sneaky to have been married three months and not even told our children. We hadn’t worn rings until the ceremony and we thought that was really important. But it has taught us how important marriage is and how important the sharing of your love with your family and friends is, and it was amazing to exchange rings.”
After finally revealing the truth to their guests, the couple had a celebratory and wedding reception. GP receptionist and nurse Joanne, 49, admitted they only felt properly married once they had made the declaration public. After their big reveal, their family and friends were impressed and thought it was brilliant.
How do you think this would turn out if someone tries this in Nigeria with your typical Nigerian family and friends? See the video below.