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Northumberland couple tie the knot during Beast from the East

Jemma Swainston-Rainford and Steve Lucock braved the Beast from the East to tie the knot at Alnwick Treehouse.
Jemma Swainston-Rainford and Steve Lucock braved the Beast from the East to tie the knot at Alnwick Treehouse.

A Northumberland couple braved the Beast from the East blizzards to tie the knot at a snowy Alnwick Treehouse.

The adverse weather conditions might have caused wide-spread disruption yesterday, but there was no way that Steve Lucock, 51, and Jemma Swainston-Rainford, 31, were missing their wedding day.

Mind, they almost didn’t make it, but for a helping hand from Treehouse staff and the local community, who rallied round to make sure the happy couple and their guests had a day to remember.

Strangers and farmers gave lifts to guests, while a taxi firm stepped in last minute to help.

One farmer, who gave the father-of-the-groom a lift all the way from Doxford Hall, had his wheel fall off en route and ended up getting the Alnwick farming community to help out.

Even the registrar, Sarah Mills, walked 40 minutes to get to the venue!

Meanwhile, Jemma managed to find an 11th-hour make-up artist after her planned beautician cancelled because of the weather.

It all meant that the wedding did go ahead, albeit the evening reception ended early at 8pm.

And the Blyth couple – who run a programme called Saviours Haven Sanctuary, caring for animals in need of a loving home – are grateful to everyone who helped out and attended.

Steve said: “The Treehouse staff were amazing and if it wasn’t for them I don’t think we would have had a wedding. They had snow ploughs out and were constantly sweeping.

“But it went beyond the staff at the Treehouse, because the local community were fantastic.

“We are also grateful to our friends and family who managed to celebrate the day with us.

“At the time, when we saw the snow, we thought ‘why us’. But actually, reflecting on the day, it made us realise how special our family and friends are for braving the snow to share our special day with us. And even those who couldn’t make it, they tried so hard to get here.”

While the hours leading up to the 2pm ceremony were dramatic, the snow made for a picture-postcard wedding. And Sean Elliott Photography, based at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, captured some stunning shots.

Sean said: “Despite the formidable weather, they had a wonderfully exciting day. There was so much camaraderie around people being there.

“Apparently, according the registrar, it was one of the only weddings to actually happen yesterday in Northumberland.

“The Beast from the East was no match for the determination of the couple and the love that they share. The Treehouse was a beautiful setting for an unforgettable wedding!”

Alnwick Treehouse staff were only too happy to help Steve and Jemma.

“We were delighted to be able to deliver Steve and Jemma’s wedding in such extreme weather conditions,” said Karen Larkin, Treehouse coordinator at The Alnwick Garden.

“While some members of the Treehouse staff were snowed in and unable to get into Alnwick, myself included, the rest rallied round and pulled out all the stops to make sure the day went ahead. I am so proud of all of them.

“The Garden team also did a fantastic job clearing snow to maintain access for the wedding party.

“It never crossed my mind that we might have to abandon the wedding, allowing the happy couple to have such a memorable day, in more ways than one!

“It is a wedding we at the Treehouse will not forget in a hurry and we would like to wish Steve and Jemma every happiness for the future.”