Blagdon Village celebrated a very special wedding at the weekend as two of its residents became husband and wife.
Geoffrey Morton, 78, and June Smith, 73, were married at St George’s Wilton Church, hosting their reception in the lodge at the Middleway retirement village, before throwing a gigantic village party for residents days later.
The couple join a small select set of people who have separately moved into one of the company’s 14 UK villages over the past 30 years and then gone on to marry.
“Love, friendship and relationships do blossom and are a natural part of village life but over the years we have only seen a handful of actual marriages between two existing residents and so we are delighted to celebrate this very special occasion,” said Paul Walsh, care and operations director.
For the new Mr and Mrs Morton their happiness is tinged with sadness, both having lost their own spouses to cancer.
“What amazes us is that June was married for 42 years and myself for 53 years and you just don’t expect this sort of thing to happen,” explained Geoffrey, a former printer and publisher.
“You almost accept that after losing your partner that is the end of that part of life. But June and I have got to know each other over the past few years through helping out at numerous village events and somehow our lives just seem to have converged.
“We were adamant if we were to be together we would do things properly and the whole experience has been just wonderful. We both believe we have been blessed.”
The couple have certainly done things in style. After getting engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower in April, they returned to start planning their wedding day, and asked Geoffrey’s son to be Best Man and June’s daughter Matron of Honour.
They now head off for a short honeymoon to a secret destination before the main event, a winter cruise, takes place in the New Year.
“We were determined we wouldn’t live together until we were married and we’ve had a real job on our hands trying to squeeze all our belongings into one home. But we managed it and on our first day I made sure I carried June over the threshold,” added Geoffrey.
“Our families are all delighted for us and in the village there has been much excitement. Everyone has been so happy and thrilled for us which has added to the occasion. We now look forward to settling down to married life together.”
Click through the images below to see more of the special occasion.