A big surprise for happy couple

Mark and Kristen Dyson were wowed by their music festival surprise.
Mark and Kristen Dyson were wowed by their music festival surprise.

Alnwick International Music Festival helped organise a special wedding-day surprise for a loved-up couple who first met at the event a few years ago.

Mark and Kristen Dyson, from the town, tied the knot at Alnwick Register Office on Saturday – the final day of this year’s music festival.

The pair are huge festival fans, having attended each day of the 2017 extravaganza and first getting to know each other at a previous year’s event.

To help give them a day to remember, their friend Jackie McDougall, of the town’s Blue Bell Inn, approached the music festival to see if the committee could do something to mark the occasion.

And the organisers duly obliged! Chairman Jonathan Justice said: “We organised to get their friends down to the Northumberland Hall to surprise them.

“Mark and Kristen were then met by our bagpiper, Derek Johnson, who piped them across the Market Place and up the stairs to discover their friends and the Orlyk Ukrainian Cossacks waiting there for them. Orlyk sang a traditional Ukrainian wedding song to them and led them through a Cossack dance.

“It was such a wonderful way to end the festival and do something good for two of the nicest people in Alnwick.

“The looks of surprise and delight on their faces warmed the hearts of everyone there and gave them something extra to remember on their special day. I am so glad we were able to play a part in their wedding and give something to two ardent festival fans.”

Jackie was delighted with the outcome. She praised the music festival for its support, as well as Fiona Nicholl, from Purple Pomegranate Photography Studios, who took photographs, and Dominic, from the local car wash who collected the flower bouquets.

She thanked everyone who helped in some way to make the day special for them and said it was an example of the community spirit which is alive and kicking in Alnwick.

After the surprise in the Northumberland Hall, Mark and Kristen had their reception at the Blue Bell.