Tags: Norfolk

Bride Forced to Hitch-hike to Church in Wedding (Near) Disaster

13 Jul 2015

It is the bride’s prerogative to be late for her own wedding, but Teresa Hewitt was perhaps taking it a bit far when she kept her guests waiting for 20 minutes.

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Image gallery

Rather than nerves delaying her arrival, the 37-year-old was forced to hitchhike her way across Norwich on Saturday after her own wedding transport broke down shortly after leaving her home in Trowse.

She said: “We have a family friend who spent two years restoring this car and it was beautiful. But a minute after we set off, it just conked out.

“I was panicking and it was so hot outside. There were so many people driving past and just gawping at us as I was doing the hitchhiker sign - people must have thought I was mental.”

Mrs Hewitt, along with her 83-year-old father, Richard, were due to arrive at St John’s Cathedral in Norwich in a vintage Austin Rose. But when the car gave up on them, the Liftshare employee had no choice but to share a lift with anyone who would take them. And despite standing in a wedding dress, nobody stopped to help Mrs Hewitt for the first five minutes of her ordeal.

She added: “I didn’t know who to call because I didn’t have a phone on me. At one point I even thought about knocking on the fire station door for a lift, but we decided against that.”

A cyclist initially pulled up to offer his assistance, but she opted out of jumping on the back of his bike. Then, at 2pm, just as the wedding was due to begin, 51-year-old Jackie Geary came to the rescue and offered the pair a lift in her Ford B-Max (pictured below).

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Twenty minutes later, Mrs Hewitt and her father arrived at the church to a very concerned groom. “Jackie helped me out of the car and helped me with my dress. She saved my wedding,” she adds. Nervously standing at the alter was Mr Hewitt, who began to wonder if something had gone wrong as the minutes passed 2pm.

The 35-year-old said: “It got to five minutes and I thought, ‘okay, fashionably late,’ then after 15 minutes I thought, ‘this is starting to take the mickey’. At 20 minutes I thought something had gone very wrong. I thought it had to be the car, because it is very old. Then I heard all of this commotion at the back of church and the priest came over and said she had arrived. I was very relieved.”

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Since the wedding, the pair have been in touch with Mrs Geary and are hoping to give her a gift to say thanks. The nurse had been travelling out of the city when she first noticed the bride, but it was on her way back that she stopped to help.

“As I came back I saw the same little car and the bride stood on the side looking upset,” says Mrs Geary. “I got to the roundabout and thought ‘that doesn’t look right’, so I went back and asked if there was anything I could do. I would like to think that people would help me out, especially if I was standing on the side of the road in a wedding dress!”

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