A COUPLE have said their wedding was worth the decades-long wait as they tied the knot in front of their nearest and dearest.

The owners of Houghton Stores & Post Office, Craig Hughes and Vikki Birtwhistle, both 46 years old, first met at school but did not begin a romantic relationship until they joined their friends on a holiday to Greece. 

Years later, the pair decided to step up their relationship when Craig proposed in Paris.

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Reflecting on the day, Vikki said: "It was Valentine’s Day 1996.

"Craig planned to propose at the summit of Eiffel Tower in Paris but only managed the first level, as he is no good with heights.

"Looking back on how long it has taken us to get married - it's probably been one of the longest engagements on record.

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"We did start to plan it a couple of times over the years but life kind of got in the way, such as redundancies and other obstacles.

"Then July last year, after both suffering health issues, we were sat in the local pub beer garden and Craig just said: 'How do you feel about getting wed?!'

"The next day we bought the rings!"

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After 30 years, the pair tied the knot at Runa Farm, Barnard Castle on Saturday, February 18 with a theme of 'Finally!' - a running joke between family and friends.

"We have been together for 30 years this July. So, for us it was more of a celebration rather than a traditional wedding,” Vikki said.

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"We wanted something that reflected us and not necessarily traditional. We loved Runa Farm's slogan is Boho, Earthy, Honest. 

"It's a fairly new venue which was first licensed for weddings July 2022. It's a stunning earthy deco with a beautiful chapel and outdoor seating with firepits and waterfall. A perfect venue for us.

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"The day itself was full of love and happiness all-round and everyone sang along to our chosen songs. One was the Stevie Wonder song 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered'.

"We had gorgeous appetisers, stunning food and a room full of people so happy to celebrate us finally becoming husband and wife.

"After the wedding, we had a day off then straight back to work but we do plan to go to Split, Croatia in June."

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People who helped make the day special

Hair - Zoe Pearson - Carlisle Wedding Hair
Make up - Liv Wrigley MUA
Flowers - Abbi - The Flower Hut, Crosby - On - Eden
Videography - Taylors film and photo
Photographs - Andy and Jenny Coleman
Live Band - The Distance
DJ - Provided by AMV
Lisa - Carlisle Dance Academy
Cake - Hot 'n' Sweet Temptations/Cafe Isabella's Tea Room, Carlisle
All the staff at Runa Farm

Our Wedding Album page is our chance to showcase your nuptials and also to shine a light on the people and businesses who helped make them special. If you wish to feature, contact us at news.carlisle@cnmedia.co.uk.