The days before a wedding ceremony can be very stressful – the seating plan, checking the suppliers are briefed, making the table decorations, watching the weather forecast ( hourly ) – it can be a long list of things to get anxious about. But then add to the mix perhaps the worry as to whether the groom will be able to make it? Or will the UK Border agency kick him out of the country?
It can seem like an innocent question that they ask you at the immigration desk at Heathrow airport, the one about the ‘nature of your visit’ to the UK?
But replying, “I’m getting married” is not advisable for a New Zealander without a specific visa. Escorted to a side room and held for hours by humourless officials and with the threat of a plane back to the Far East – it took the efforts of his bride Julie to get him released, with the order to return to Terminal 3 on the Monday evening to be flown back out of the country. It then took the efforts of lawyers and a High Court Injunction to get this order overturned and even then only once Ian had got back to the airport. All this was extra added stress for a bride due to give birth to their daughter in six weeks time.
The humanist wedding ceremony was held last Friday in the front garden of Julie’s parents’ house near Hawkhurst in Kent and the sun did occasionally shine. Here are a few images from the day…