Claire Birtwistle enjoyed her wedding day with husband Philip so much that she got in touch with Church of England Weddings to share her story and dedicate it to their vicar, the Revd Nick Devenish.
The couple married at St Peter’s church, in Field Broughton, a small, Lake District parish. Philip’s mum helps out in the neighbouring parish of Cartmel Priory as a bookshop volunteer. And as Phil’s parents live in the village, he was legally able to marry Claire in the parish.
The wedding was planned two years in advance, and unusually, it took place on a Thursday.
“We specifically wanted to get married on May 5th, because that’s a special anniversary date for us,” said Claire, who works as a carer in Kendal, Cumbria.
“Over the two years of planning, Nick took a lot of time and effort to get to know us properly. We were really nervous, but Nick was very kind and helpful. He was easy to get on with.
“On the day, everything he said was so personal to us – how we found each other and what we were all about as a couple. It wasn’t ‘just another wedding’. We didn’t have a big wedding, it was just our closest family and friends, but it felt incredibly special.”
The couple chose three hymns they loved, Come to a wedding, Lead us, heavenly father lead us, (which Phil’s mum and sister chose for their weddings too), and One more step along the road I go*. Their reading was 1 Corinthians 13.
Vicar Nick said: “Claire and Phil are a genuinely lovely couple and although they had known each other for several years already, I know their wedding day felt like a really big step for them. It was an intimate, touching and very sincere service – it was such a pleasure to be part of it all with them.”
Claire was brought to church in a carriage pulled by two black friesian horses and the couple were fortunate to have warm sunny weather on the day.
Claire added: “Our wedding was everything we’d hoped for. Nick helped us make it wonderful and we so appreciate everything he did. I wish we could live that day all over again!”
- You can see the lyrics and listen to the tunes of all of these hymns by following this link.