Worrying about a bus turning up on time isn’t usually top of the list for couples concerned about their wedding day going smoothly.
But on Tuesday, bridegroom Simon Arnold hopped on the 12.11pm 265 bus at the Town Bridge in Bradford on Avon, and 12 minutes later it arrived in Tyning Road, Winsley, where his bride-to-be Gillian Hall was waiting – just as she has often been during their courtship.
The happy couple were joined by scores of passengers on the 265 First bus for their journey to Bath, where members of their families were waiting to greet them and walk them to the ceremony at the Guildhall.
The new Mrs Arnold, who until now had lived in Lyddieth Court, Winsley, said: “We decided on the bus because we have done a lot of courting on the bus. We often go into Bath on it because Simon was an architect and the city’s full of architecture.
“We had a lot of offers to take us into Bath for the wedding, but we wanted to go on the bus. We find it a big adventure going on it.”
Grandfather-of-two Mr Arnold said: “It is slightly unusual, but it is what we wanted. It is the way we usually get to Bath and it is the most convenient way to get to the Guildhall. We are always using our bus passes.”
The couple, both 68, met in December 2010 when Mrs Arnold was the manager of Abbeyfield House in Bradford on Avon.
Mr Arnold, who had only just moved to the town, knocked on the door about Christmas time, offering to play the piano to entertain the residents.
“He said would we like some music on Christmas Day?” she said. “I was worrying about the cost, but he said it would cost just a Christmas dinner.”
She accepted his offer, and the couple met again a few days later while walking to a service at Holy Trintiy Church, where Mr Arnold is a member of the choir.
They became friends, often phoning or emailing each other.
Mr Arnold, who was born in Bath, spent over 20 years living in Zimbabwe during his architectural career. He returned to the UK in 2000 and lived in Canterbury, and retired to Bradford on Avon to be near his roots, settling in The Maltings, off Frome Road.
Grandmother-of-five Mrs Arnold said she thought she was the most relaxed bride ever, as her only worries were making sure her husband-to-be got on the bus and that they both had their bus passes.
They have both been married before: Mrs Arnold has two daughters and five grandchildren, while Mr Arnold has a daughter and two grandchildren.
Their reception was held at the Bath Bun, and they spent their wedding night at the Villa Magdala nearby.
They are now planning to have a wedding blessing in St Nicholas Church, Winsley, on September 7.