Couple forget their own wedding

IT'S not a date many people would easily forget.

Richard Cornwell

IT'S not a date many people would easily forget.

Most couples spend months meticulously preparing and planning for their big day - but for one Suffolk couple their upcoming wedding completely slipped their mind.

In fact, Caroline Page and Patrick Gillard actually accepted an invitation to the marriage of some friends on the very day when they should have been saying “I do” at their own wedding ceremony.

Now the pair have decided to shelve their wedding for a year and use their “honeymoon” to do something a little different - by taking part in a fundraising cycle ride from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Caroline, a governor at Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge said: “We set the date for July 12 a long while ago, then Patrick got a new job away from home and we got so busy with other things we just forgot about it.

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“Then we looked on the calendar and saw the date and realised it was just three weeks away and we hadn't done anything about it at all - not even booked a venue to get married!

“We then realised we had even accepted an invitation to another wedding on the day it was supposed to be ours!

“It's quite funny really.

“We have now decided it's probably best not to worry too much about it - we are still going to get married but not until next year when we will definitely put a little bit more effort into things.”

Caroline, a writer who lives in Woodbridge, said she and Patrick, of Ipswich, a lexicographer with the Oxford University Press, had decided to use their summer break for a marathon cycle ride.

They are currently on the 600-mile plus trip from Land's End to John O'Groats and are hoping to complete it in two weeks to raise money for Epilepsy Action. So far they have raised £3,000.

Caroline said: “My 15-year-old daughter Emma has had severe epilepsy for eight years. Some people have the condition mildly and others can be extraordinarily ill - she is at the extreme end of the scale and often needs hospital treatment and is very brave.

“Although she spent much of last autumn in Ipswich hospital, she is studying for GCSEs at Farlingaye and trying to lead as normal a life as possible.

“She is keen on sport - she ran the Woodbridge 10k road race in May. Without support and understanding many aspects of her life would not be possible and Epilepsy Action helps make this kind of support and understanding available to everyone in her situation.”

- To sponsor Caroline and Patrick visit

FASTFACTS: Caroline and Patrick's “wedding” day

- 8am . . . Got up, breakfasted, but didn't put on the wedding dress and top hat and tails.

- 10am . . . Hair stylist, meet photographer, check on venue? No, set off for a day's cycling.

- 1pm . . . Not get me to the church on time - just about right for a spot of refuelling before putting in a few more miles on the bikes.

- 5pm . . . Ah, a wedding reception - but not their own as they set off for a friend's wedding party.

- Midnight . . . And so to bed, having danced the night away celebrating another couple's happy day.