VILLAGERS did a double take when they saw two brides arriving together in a horse drawn carriage at a parish church.
But it was not a dreadful mix-up – Alison Merrett and Kate Kendrew were getting married in the same church at the same time.
Alison, 46, and her brother Jon, 39, had decided to get hitched at the same time to their respective partners in a double marriage ceremony.
It was the first time the priest in charge of St Mary's in Frampton, Reverend Dr Anne Spargo, had been asked to conduct such a service and she admitted she was a bit nervous.
“I am quite anxious - especially when it comes to signing the Register afterwards and making sure we get the right names on the right pieces of paper!” she told the congregation.
“It is a very special day - a double wedding. Double the emotion, double the number of tissues being used up, but also double the love and joy to go around.”
When it came to the ceremonial binding together of the hands of brides and their grooms Rev Spargo quipped “It's very complicated tying double knots - but I have tied the right hands together!”
Rev Spargo, who was the GP in the village until her retirement, added “It's the first time I've officiated at a double wedding in three and a half years in charge here and most of the clergy I know have never done one either.”
Office worker Alison, of Nailsworth, was the first tie the knot to partner Martin Baker, 42, a delivery driver, after she was given away by her retired policeman dad John Merrett, from Brimscombe.
Then maintenance engineer Jon Merrett, 39, was wed to Kate, 47, a purchasing administrator, after her son William, 12, gave her away.
It was a busy time for proud dad John - who now works as a Gloucester Crown Court security officer - because he was also singing with the Gloucestershire Police Male Voice Choir during the service.
About 150 people attended the service and saw first Kate and then Alison enter the church accompanied by their bridesmaids.
The reception was held at the nearby 16th century Wool Barn on the Frampton Court Estate.
Alison said the idea of having a double ceremony had come about by chance when she and Martin were looking for a reception venue.
Jon had just moved back to Gloucestershire from Lancashire with his work and was lodging with them.
“We went to look at the Wool Barn together and we all fell in love with it,” she said. “It was very pricey but then Jon and Kate decided to get married as well and we all agreed it would be lovely to have a double wedding and a joint reception.”