Gill Betts and Steve Procter spent their first date at a Lancashire landmark, as well as their first moments as husband and wife.
The pair, who split their time between Gill’s hometown of Lancaster and Steve’s beloved Colne, met in May 2007 on an internet dating site.
“We initially had a four-hour conversation,” says Gill, a secretary at Lancaster University, “and we agreed to meet the next day where we had our first date at Williamson Park.”
Little over a year later in June 2008, the couple were holidaying in Turkey where Steve, a telecommunications engineer for Vodafone, made a very public display of his love for Gill.
“We had gone to a Roman site at Ephesus with a tour from our resort,” says Gill.
“When we arrived at the large amphitheatre in the middle of the site Steve ran up to the middle tier and shouted to me if I would marry him.
“There were hundreds of tourists present at the time and when I agreed the crowd clapped and cheered.”
Gill and Steve returned to the Ashton Memorial, Williamson Park, on March 28, where they exchanged vows and despite the scaffolding obstructing the view of the tower, nothing could hamper their day..
Escorted by her son, Michael, Gill made her way down the aisle to her future husband.
“The date was very significant for me as it would have been my father’s birthday,
“He was a native of Lancaster and was born in Thurnham Street in the city centre.”
Guests came from far and wide to wish the newlyweds well with the bride’s family arriving from Scotland, the groom’s from Colne, whilefriends from the Isle of Man , where the bride had lived for a number of years, were also there.
There were also a couple of surprise guests who had flown in from Switzerland and during the reception, the bride was handed a phone and her oldest friend, Heather Quinn ‘face timed’ her from her home in Hong Kong.
In lieu of gifts the bride and groom requested donations and a total of more than £1,100 was donated to The Immanuel Kindergarten in South Sudan where friend, Carolyn Murray, helps to run the charity.