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Vicar unites dummies in shop publicity stunt

05 April 2013

Wilt thou? The Revd Philip Smith "marries" the two shop dummies

Wilt thou? The Revd Philip Smith "marries" the two shop dummies

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 town.

"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 wedding.

"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 failure."

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."

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