Married with a royal nudge

Pictured are Ben Smith & Sioned Tym-Crowther who are to get married on the same day as the Royal Wedding
Pictured are Ben Smith & Sioned Tym-Crowther who are to get married on the same day as the Royal Wedding

A SHEFFIELD couple have set their wedding date with a little prompting from William and Kate.

Ben Smith and Sioned Tym-Crowther decided to get married at the register office in the town hall on Friday, April 29, on the same day that the nation will watch another ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

“We knew it was going to be the day of the royal wedding, that’s one the reasons we picked it,” said Ben. “Everybody will get a day off and it will be nice to get married on the same day as the future king and queen. And at the end of April it should be a nice day.”

But there was a jolt to preparations when the Sheffield couple suddenly had to switch the venue for their reception from Damhouse restaurant in Crookes Valley Park to Whirlowbrook Hall.

Damhouse had closed. “They rang us, were very apologetic and we got back our deposit,” said Ben, aged 31, who works in IT for HSBC bank. “And we managed to get Whirlowbrook Hall.”

Ben and Sioned, aged 26, who works for Aviva Insurance, have been together eight years and have been engaged for three. When they heard about the royal wedding, it spurred them into action.

“The family wanted to plan for next year but we went to the register office and said ‘What about April 29?’ and they said the date was free,” said Ben. “Not a lot of people have booked it. Sioned said it was perfect.”

So preparations are being made for a ceremony for around 80 guests on the same day that Prince William marries Kate Middleton.

Ben and Sioned do not yet know where they are going on honeymoon – it will be a surprise courtesy of Ben’s dad.

Meanwhile, their choice of wedding date has inevitably led to then having their legs pulled. “My missus is a Unitedite and I’m a Wednesdayite, so there have been comments about red and blue blood!” said Ben.

At least one other Sheffield couple is getting married on April 29. But Chris Gurr and Alison Clark, of Arbourthorne, chose the date before the royal wedding was announced.

Once run by the council, Damhouse restaurant overlooks the lake in Crookes Valley Park and is reached off Mushroom Lane, near Weston Park Museum. It passed into private hands, and was closed for 11 years after a fire in 1996. An email response to the Telegraph was: “Damhouse has closed until further notice.”