Couple wed twice - in a month!

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 10:13 10 June 2010

MARRIED at last – Michelle and Sam with three-year-old Jaydan. Ref 4386-08.

MARRIED at last – Michelle and Sam with three-year-old Jaydan. Ref 4386-08.

NEWLY WEDS Sam and Michelle Marles were forced to walk down the aisle for a second time – after their first ceremony was ruled null and void due to a technicality.

MARRIED but not married! All smiles at wedding number one

'NEWLY WEDS' Sam and Michelle Marles were forced to walk down the aisle for a second time - after their first ceremony was ruled null and void due to a technicality.

So, one month later, Michelle Lawes, 30, pulled on her stunning ivory Monsoon gown and went through the entire ceremony once again to finally marry the man of her dreams.

Said Michelle: "I got married to the same man twice within a month - and I haven't even got divorced."

Blushing bride Michelle spent months dreaming of her special day - the flowers, the reception, the historic church and the dress.

But the couple, of Moorfield Road, Withycombe, Exmouth, had not counted on the registrar being ill - which meant their wedding vows were not legally binding.

The first 'marriage' took place in the 19th Century Point in View Church - in the grounds of the National Trust's 16-sided 18th Century A la Ronde.

Everything was fine until the big day.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Pat Clamp, who had been in the post for year - but had still to be approved as an authorised person by the registrar general. That meant she needed the support of a recognised registrar.

But the person authorised to officiate at the signing of the wedding certificate was taken ill with vertigo at the last minute.

The Revd Clamp said every last second leading up to the Marles' wedding ceremony had been spent trying to find a replacement.

"It's the first time it's happened to me. It's not common place, obviously," she said. "We had the wedding ceremony and they knew at the time it wasn't official - and they had to come back and do it again."

A month later, Michelle Lawes and 'husband' Sam Marles, 30, were walking back up the Point in View Church aisle for a second time. Out came Michelle's wedding dress again and Sam, who operates a plant hire service, was once more suited and booted.

Three of the four original bridesmaids, Alana and Emillia Haase, Ligaya Coatham and Millie Hope, pulled on their gowns, and family, friends and witnesses dutifully returned to the church.

The couple's son, three-year-old Jaydan, asked if the repeat wedding party would be returning for a second cream tea aboard Stuart Line's sea-going cruiser.

Michelle, a mental health administrator who is celebrating being pregnant with her second child, said: "At the first ceremony we did our vows, but there was a problem - there was no registrar. She was sick with vertigo. We weren't actually married!

"We had to wait four weeks and had to go back and register. We had to have another service. I don't know why - we had a video of the first one.

"It was quite funny. After the first wedding, I said to my husband, 'I have had a couple of days of being nearly married - and I am not going to do it again'. You should have seen his face!

"I got to wear my dress again, which was nice. It was lovely to get to say the vows once more. We weren't so nervous and really said them well the second time. It was definitely worth the wait."

Sam said: "I panicked when Pat said there was a problem. My first thought was that the whole day was going to be cancelled. For a split second I thought it wasn't going to happen. Then she said we could go ahead with the service, but it wouldn't be legal.

"I was worried how Michelle would take it.

"My friends all laugh at me. They say I am the only bloke they know who's married twice to the same woman within a month.

"It was a good excuse to get dressed up again and celebrate.

"Everyone asks which date we will celebrate now we have two wedding anniversaries. It'll be the first date because that was the proper day."

Michelle and Sam's second wedding ceremony took just 20 minutes - with the couple re-saying their vows and registering the wedding before heading off to The Farmhouse pub, Brixington, with their guests.

A month before, 180 guests had marked the pair "tying the knot" with an evening celebration at Exmouth Pavilion.


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