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Railway wedding for Aisha and Ben

Making your Wedding Day memorable is important and Ben Howells’ idea of taking the train to and from the nuptials achieved just that.

Aisha Allarakhia and Ben Howells of Ipswich together with family and friends travelled on the 1200 Greater Anglia Sunday service from Manningtree to Harwich, for their wedding service at the Electric Palace, Harwich.

The bride and groom joined their guests for the return journey on the 1428 service on which cake and sparkling wine were served. The main reception was held at a garden party in Manningtree. Volunteers from the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership were on hand to decorate a carriage especially for the wedding party.

The driver, Graham Philpin sprinkled the happy couple with confetti. Ben, who is a regular commuter on Greater Anglia services, had seen reports of special event trains organised by the Community Rail Partnership and wondered if a similar exercise would be possible.

Though wedding trains happen from time to time on heritage railways, it is unusual to find them on a commuter rail line, but on the day the Community Rail Partnership and Greater Anglia worked together to make the day as special as possible for Aisha and Ben.

Says 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. 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.’

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