AN UNLIKELY wedding ceremony was held last week when a vicar
"married" two shop-window mannequins.
The Vicar of Boroughbridge, in the diocese of York, the Revd
Philip Smith, was taking part in a publicity stunt for the
amalgamation of two wedding-hire shops in his parish. The bride and
groom were staff members Abi Blades and Alex Armitage, who wore
flesh-coloured body stockings under their wedding clothes to look
like dress dummies. The brief ceremony was held outside the Crown
Hotel, and the "congregation" included the Mayor of Boroughbridge,
Liz Vose, and staff from other bridal shops in the region.
"It was a bit strange with these people's faces covered - it
must have been a bit claustrophobic for them," Mr Smith said. "I
was very happy to do it.
I thought it would be good publicity for the church and for the
"Obviously, it wasn't a proper wedding service; it was short and
sweet. I just used a few of the phrases everyone expects in a
"In fact, we did it in quite a jokey fashion. I used phrases
like 'Do you take this woman to be your awful wedded wife?' I
thought: it doesn't hurt for people to see that weddings are done
best in church, and by a vicar.
"I am not worried that someone might say this is not what a
vicar should be doing. I would just answer that it is good for the
town, and good for the church. If anyone thinks it's a bit
superficial then, well, they have obviously had a sense-of-humour
Louise Leong, the owner of the two businesses, Curvy Bridal and
Joshua Adams, said: "It was a chance to have a bit of fun at what
is usually a much more formal event. The Vicar absolutely adored
the idea. He cracked one or two jokes, and played around with the
traditional lines from the wedding ceremony."