{Couples} forego rings, truffles and flowers at an unconventional wedding ceremony – and as an alternative go away with new telephones and a drag queen

A Leicester couple who decided to take the stress out of their wedding said it was clear that their wedding wouldn’t be most people’s perfect idea of ​​a perfect ceremony – but it was perfect for them.

John Voyle, 61, and Richard Allison, 48, run their own flower shop in Leicester, but decided to forego flowers on their big day.

Not only that, but they have also foregoed speeches, a cake, a first dance and even wedding rings – instead, top cell phones, a champagne reception on the double-decker bus and bingo with a drag queen – which they deliberately ordered to do their deed for their big one Day not to weaken.

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The couple’s unusual regulations were kept a secret from the 65 guests who attended their ceremony on August 29 at Anstey Frith House in Glenfield.

Richard said, “Our big day wouldn’t be most people’s idea of ​​a perfect wedding, but it was absolutely perfect for us. It was emotional, hilarious, and crazy at times!

“We decided to remove anything on our wedding day that would cause worry or trouble to everyone, especially ourselves.

“What went out were the speeches, the cake and, although we are florists, even the flowers.”

John and Richard decided to switch phones instead of ringing.

He added, “No first dance, extended ceremony, or customary vows. We even organized a drunken post-ceremony bus so no one had to worry about driving.

“Our focus was on fun, as this was the first time since the pandemic started that many have been to a good ol ‘Shindig – and it paid off.”

John and Richard met 28 years ago through mutual friends and got engaged on Christmas Day 2020.

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Richard said, “We moved in together within two months of meeting, and we’ve been together ever since.

“John surprised me last Christmas morning with a suggestion at Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk with a cinnamon ring donut and even then we knew we wanted to do things differently.

“Neither of us wears jewelry, so we saw no point in buying rings.”

John and Richard hired artists for their wedding celebration

John and Richard hired artists for their wedding celebration

He added, “At first we wanted a super simple wedding, but it escalated and we started planning more and more things to make each other laugh.

“When it came to what we wanted to swap for rings, it started as a joke but quickly became real.”

Since the two wanted new cell phones, they decided to exchange them instead of ringing the bell at the altar.

Richard said, “We checked out the new Samsung phones. We really wanted a Galaxy ZFlip3 and the Galaxy ZFold3 so we thought, why not buy them as a wedding gift?

“We made a joke of it and said we would exchange them instead of rings to communicate more with each other.

“It was a bit of fun.”

The telephones were presented on pillows at the altar

The telephones were presented on pillows at the altar

Richard said their bohemian wedding came as a complete surprise to their guests – who were amused all day.

He added, “Everyone was so relaxed. The laughs were there from the start. The registrar was hilarious and did an amazing job of calming our nerves while entertaining the crowd. When she called our nephews to bring us the phones to swap, the room filled with laughter.

“From then on, everyone knew to expect the unexpected. We were married as “Voyley and the Duchess”. The room broke out again and we left the registry office for drinks on the meadow. “

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The couple also enlisted the help of local drag queen Fanny Burns to throw drag queen bingo for their guests before they boarded the champagne bus to the front desk.

Richard said, “The bus took us into town and dropped us off at the Knight and Garter Pub. We posed for some fun shots on board before entering the venue to be greeted by the greatest saxophonist Rob Charles playing over a backing track of Ibiza classics.

“Fanny entertained all the guests. She had asked us beforehand if we wanted her to tone it down. Not in a month on Sunday! We told her to try and we laughed so much it hurt. “

The couple's guests had no idea what to expect

The couple’s guests had no idea what to expect

He added, “We were enjoying fairground treats with the pudding and bellies we caught up with them all and they all wanted to play with our new phones. I don’t think I saw my new phone until Tuesday.

“The evening was everything we wanted. We had around 150 friends and family moving back and forth between the champagne and oyster bar downstairs, where DJ Fitz played club classics, and the main bar, which had an amazing mix of soul and funk.

“Everyone was dancing and it was a spectacular end to our perfect crazy wedding.”

The two have been enjoying their honeymoon in their holiday home in the UK since the big day.

John added, “We’re not quite ready to go abroad due to the pandemic, but we have a second home in Hunstanton, Norfolk, which is perfect for our honeymoon.

“We just wanted the whole wedding day to be fun, which I think all of our family and friends were looking forward to after such difficult years.”

He added, “We didn’t want the pressures of a traditional wedding and as a gay couple we realized that there are no rules anyway.

“Our day matched our personalities exactly, so it was perfect for us.

“Just a fun day full of love and laughter.”

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