Watch as attractive objection to couple's marriage during wedding vows leaves guests slack-jawed
It's the part of a wedding where everyone holds their breath - when the minister asks if anyone objects to the marriage.
And guests at the wedding of Mark Whiteley and Joanne Green were left gobsmacked when their nuptials were interrupted.
The couple, from Rawtenstall in Lancashire, surprised friends and family with the choreographed stunt, which delivered a dramatic ‘twist in the tale’, the Rossendale Free Press reported .
The pair decided to stage their nuptials for loved ones after they had already wed in secret while on holiday at Rhinestone Wedding Chapel in Nashville, Tennessee, in March.
They kept their marriage to themselves until the ‘big reveal’ at the St James the Less Parish Hall service three months later.
Both the officiant David Crowley and the best man Dan Hoffman-Gill were actors from Mark’s drama company, Hard Graft Theatre, while it was left up to another actor Celia Perkins to startle the congregation by ‘objecting’ to the union on the grounds that both were already married...to each other!
Mark, 50, explained they had to rehearse their dramatic timing as this intervention was designed to take guests’ eyes off the ceremony, where the bride and groom were making way for a video screening of their legal wedding ceremony in the States.
Mark, of Hardman Avenue, said: “We didn’t set out to do anything different but once the seed was sown we had the recipe for an amazing (possibly terrible) day.
"We hedged our bets that it would work out. We just wanted to do something a bit theatrical, we’ve got a flair for a drama.”
He added: “We were worried about people being upset because it’s extremely sneaky to have been married three months and not even told our children.
"We hadn’t worn rings until the ceremony and we thought that was really important.
“But it has taught us how important marriage is and how important the sharing of your love with your family and friends is, and it was amazing to exchange rings.”
After finally revealing the truth to their guests, the cheeky ‘newlyweds’ went ahead with a celebratory and long overdue wedding reception.
GP receptionist and nurse Joanne, 49, admitted they only felt properly married once they had made the declaration public.
She said: “We decided it would be much more fun to get married in America, so we hatched a plan. We were so nervous, we didn’t know if it was going to work.
"Most people kind of expected something unusual because of who we are.
“It was a mix of nerves and excitement knowing we were going to really shock everybody, but they all thought it was brilliant. That day really felt like the wedding - not Nashville.”
The ceremony in the USA was attended and videoed by Mark’s nephew Dylan Williams.