Wedding party reunites 60 years on as husband and wife renew their vows


Last updated at 22:00 29 February 2008

After 60 years of marriage, Jack and Joan Ivey have seen a world of change.

But for their diamond anniversary celebrations, at least, one thing was exactly the same.

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Wedding party 60

Then and now: Jack Ivey, 89, and wife Joan, 80, strike the same pose 60 years apart

Mr Ivey's best man, now a lively 83, and his wife's bridesmaids, 78 and 80, joined them as they renewed their wedding vows.

The reunited wedding party walked down the aisle at St George's Church, in Trotton, West Sussex, just as they did six decades ago.

The Iveys, who have five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, renewed their vows, exchanged rings, and knelt before the altar for a blessing, as Ted Tupper, Ellen Ivey and Peggy Conder looked on.

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Wedding party 60

Deja vu: Joan and Jack Ivey with (from left) their best man Ted Tupper, 83, and bridesmaids Ellen Ivey and Peggy Conder, now 78 and 80 years old, 60 years after the wedding

"Sixty years ago it was so cold that the anemones the bridesmaids were carrying went from full bloom to completely closed," Mrs Ivey, 80, said.

"There was rationing and Jack brought all the food over from America because he was chief officer steward on the Queen Mary.

"At the reception there were only 22 people and we had fruit cocktail which we had never seen, tinned ham and real butter. I can't even remember what we had to drink."

Mr Ivey, 89, said: "All I can remember is that by the time the honeymoon was over I only had £1 left in my pocket."

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Wedding party 60

The same wedding line-up in 1948

The surprise celebrations on Thursday were organised by the couple's daughters, Pauline and Bridget, with their son Tony flying in from the US to join the party.

The bride and groom travelled by limousine from their home in Southampton and went on to a reception at the Elsted Inn, venue for their wedding breakfast 60 years ago.

This time, instead of rationed ham, there was steak and kidney pie all round.

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