A COUPLE were left “speechless” when they discovered they were to renew their wedding vows at a surprise ceremony at St Mary’s Church in Whitby.
In March, Jacky and Nick Woods of Grimsby received a present from their three children, daughters-in-laws and partners and when they opened the box they found details of the service where they were to renew their vows.
Mrs Woods said: “Wow, what a surprise.
“We were both speechless.
“We were surprised one Sunday lunch, with all the family round, when we were presented with a lovely silver box decorated with ribbons and bows.
“On opening it we found photo’s of St Mary’s Church and an envelope with a letter inside explaining that during our visit at Christmas they had been to the parish office to book for us to renew our wedding vows on Friday 24 June.”
After organising where they would stay and the location of their second wedding dinner – the Hatless Heron on Church Street – everything was in place, 17 years after the Woods first exchanged rings.
Mrs Woods added: “The weather was sunny and warm and we walked through Whitby, listening to the bells ringing, up the 199 steps to St Mary’s Church.
“There was a bit of panic when Father David was taken poorly, and was unable to conduct our service, but Father Hugh stepped in at short notice and did a grand job.
“After the service we went to thank the bell ringers and while we were there they asked if we would like to give it a go, which was an experience we will never forget.
“We eventually made our way to the Hatless Heron, which had been decorated with cream bows up all the stairs and the flower decorations on the table matched my bouquet.
“We would like to thank the hospitality of Whitby, to Father Hugh and the ladies in the Parish office, Mr Franks and the bell ringers, and everybody at the Hatless Heron.”