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Events6th September 2023

Goin’ to the [Dockyard] and We’re Gonna Get Married…

At this year’s Salute to the 40s, love is in the air.

For the very first time in the event’s history, we are hosting a wedding blessing.

Mark and Stéphanie first met in front of Commissioner’s House during Salute to the 40s weekend back in 2016. We asked Stephanie a few questions about what Salute to the 40s means to them and the significance of their nuptials taking place here.

Salute to the ’40s played a significant part in the start of your relationship. Please can you tell us more?

Mark has been visiting Salute to the 40s since the 2011 event, whereas my first visit was not until 2015 ( a year before we met). In 2016, we met for the first time outside of the Commissioner’s House during a group photo shoot with the Facebook group 1940’s World, created by Lee Grimsey who will be best man at the wedding. The second time we met each other was 6 months later at the Vera Lynn’s 100th celebration concert at the London Palladium and six weeks after that we became a couple.

Please Tell us more about your interest in 1940s reenactment.

We do several 1940s events every year as reenactors, both as walking civilians, military personnel and with static military displays focusing on the American forces during the Second World War.

WHat was the Pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns like for you both?

During Covid-19, we were separated first for 4 months and then 6 months without being able to see each other and not knowing when we were going to be able to, was the hardest part.

When we eventually did see each other, we sat in quarantine for 2 weeks at home and had our own little 3-day Second World War event in the back garden. We were pitching up two military tents and camping out there.

WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO GET MARRIED DURING SALUTE TO THE ’40S?

Well, first of all – can you imagine a more romantic place to become husband and wife than the place where you first met 7 years ago?

Over the years we’ve had so many people following us on social media and our vintage long distance love story, both through our regular routine with video calls, constant flying and 1940’s events but also through the tough time during lockdown and Covid-19, and we’ve been told that our relationship has given people back their trust in love. And what is so wonderful about getting married at the event is that anyone that wants to come along to our special day can do so! We want to celebrate the love!

Also Salute to the ’40’s was our first gateway into the wonderful world of vintage events and the 1940’s community, so in a way we get to say “Thank you” to The Historic Dockyard Chatham too.

Will THIS BE THE ONLY WEDDING THAT YOU HAVE?

There will be a small ceremony in Sweden 2 days before the wedding so that the entire Swedish family can take part in the wedding, as some are having trouble with travelling. It also makes sense to have parts of the wedding in Sweden and parts in England as we’re a bi-national couple and will continue to be after the big day.

After the wedding, will you move to england?

Mark lives in Westcliff-On-Sea, Essex UK while I live in Jonsered (next to Gothenburg), Sweden and have done so all throughout the relationship. My 10-year-old son is the reason to stay in Switzerland but he will take part in the wedding. As will my father, who is also flying in from Sweden to walk me down the aisle. Being bi-national is important to us, my ring is from England while Mark’s ring is from Sweden.

You are cordially invited to join the congregation for the celebration of Mark and Stéphanie’s marriage on Saturday 9 September. The blessing will take place on the lawn in front of Commissioner’s House at 12pm.

Book your tickets to Salute to the ’40s online to save a few pounds on the door price.

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