Essex: Trains ran on time for couple’s big day

MOST couples leave their wedding venue in a limousine, or even a horse-drawn carriage – but there was only one way an Ipswich couple wanted to travel from their wedding to reception . . . on the local train!

Aisha Allarakhia and Ben Howells were married at the Electric Palace at Harwich and travelled to their reception at Manningtree on the Greater Anglia train service on Sunday.

Aisha and Ben’s wedding guests travelled on the noon Greater Anglia train service from Manningtree to Harwich, for the wedding service at the Electric Palace, Harwich. The wedding had a vintage theme, with the bride in a stylish 1950s gown.

The bride and groom joined their guests for the return journey on the 14.28 Greater Anglia service from Harwich Town to Manningtree, on which cake and sparkling wine were served by way of a celebration, en route to the wedding reception, a garden party in Manningtree.

The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership was on hand to decorate a carriage especially for the wedding party, continuing the vintage theme with decorations inspired by second-hand books and vintage cards.


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Ben, who is a regular commuter on Greater Anglia services, asked about the possibility of a wedding train after he has seen reports of the event trains organised by the Community Rail Partnership.

Lucy Ainger of the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership: “We were delighted when Aisha and Ben decided to travel on the Mayflower line from their wedding to their reception.

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“We decorated a carriage especially for them and did everything we could to make their day as special as possible. We wish them every happiness in their life together.”

Aisha said: “Aside from actually getting married, it’s one of the parts of the day that I was most looking forward to, it is unique to us.”

Though wedding trains happen from time to time on heritage railways, it is unusual to find them on a commuter rail line.

James Steward Greater Anglia Area Customer Service Manager said “We were very pleased that Aisha and Ben chose to travel with us today and we wish them many happy years together.”

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