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History is made as couple say ‘I do’ at Wymondham College chapel

PUBLISHED: 09:28 19 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:28 19 August 2013

Nadine Donelan and Ian Bird are to marry in the chapel at Wymondham College, the only surviving Nissen hut on campus.  Photo: Bill Smith

Nadine Donelan and Ian Bird are to marry in the chapel at Wymondham College, the only surviving Nissen hut on campus. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2013

While most schools are silent with the summer holidays in full swing, a south Norfolk school was alive with the sound of laughter and music and there was only one item on the timetable: a wedding.

History was made as Nadine Donelan and Ian Bird said their vows at Wymondham College on Saturday.

The service was held in the school chapel – the last remaining Nissen hut on site, which is also a listed building.

Special dispensation was granted to the couple and the ceremony was performed by the head of RE and college chaplain, the Rev Ian Jones.

Mrs Donelan-Bird, who works as a matron in one of the boarding houses, said: “It has been fantastic.

“I have had so much support from the teachers and pupils at the school.”

The bride arrived in a vintage Volkswagen campervan with her dad, Terry, and despite her unique venue choice, she wore a traditional dress and was accompanied by five bridesmaids and a flower girl.

About 70 guests from across the country travelled to the school and the school principal, matrons and teachers also joined the party.

After the ceremony, guests retreated to Mrs Donelan-Bird’s former school house, Cavell, where they had a wedding breakfast and cupcakes.

A further 80 guests joined them in the evening where entertainment including a bouncy castle and an ice cream van was held on the school field while the common rooms housed roulette and blackjack tables.

They also had a pink Reliant Robin to raise money for cancer charities in memory of a former matron who passed away.

Mrs Donelan-Bird, who was a boarder at the school from 1981 until 1986, said she chose to marry at her former school because it had played a huge part in her life.

“It all came together. It was a really good day and everyone enjoyed themselves.

“The service was absolutely brilliant. Everything was great and the day went so quickly.

“If we had our time again, we wouldn’t do anything different. It was all well worth it.”

Mr Bird, 48, who works as a welder, added: “The rev was brilliant. He was chuffed because he has a big certificate from the Archbishop of Canterbury and they are rare.”

Guests slept in the dormitories which had been decorated.

The couple, who live in East Harling, got engaged on New Year’s Eve.

“I never thought I would get married, it wasn’t something I wanted to do. I am quite easy going,” Mrs Donelan-Bird, 42, said.

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