A wedding couple from Sheffield say their big day was made all the more memorable - by a protest taking place outside their chosen venue.
Chloe Devey, aged 25, and Abbas Arezoo, 30, from Chapeltown, tied the knot at Sheffield Town Hall on Saturday, at the same time that hundreds of pro-Gaza protesters gathered outside the venue to take part in a demonstration.
But rather than the drum-beating and chanting detracting from their ceremony, Abbas said the protesters helped turn it into even more of a celebration.
And the couple’s big day soon went global after images taken by passers-by of Chloe arriving at the Town Hall were posted on Twitter and Facebook and shared around the world, reaching people as far away as New Zealand, plus relatives in Yemen and Tokyo.
“We’ve been shocked at the amount of attention it’s attracted but I suppose it’s not every day a wedding brings a protest to a halt,” laughed Abbas.
Weekly protests have been taking place outside the Town Hall each Saturday since Israel began a bombing campaign against Gaza.
Abbas said he was alerted to the unexpected situation by concerned guests arriving at the venue.
“When we arrived we saw the massive protest for ourselves - it was quite noisy so a staff member from the Town Hall and my best man went out to ask if they could stop, or at least move aside for Chloe arriving,” he said.
“But they went one better by cheering, applauding and banging drums as Chloe made her way into the Town Hall with her aunty and her dad.
“She was a little embarrassed by the attention at first but enjoyed making quite an entrance - it certainly made the day all the more memorable.
“Regardless of why they were there, the protesters were very respectful of our wedding and remained quiet throughout our ceremony.”
Following their ceremony, the couple enjoyed a lively reception with 150 guests at Whirlow Hall Farm.