Le Tour clash for wedding couple's big day in Skipton

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bride to be Samantha Grayston Bride to be Samantha Grayston

WHEN bride-to-be Sam Grayston booked her wedding day in Skipton more than two years ago, she was not expecting thousands of people to be thronging the town centre on her big day.

But then she and her future husband Liam Duckett did not know that they had inadvertently picked a time when thousands of cycling fans would be making it the biggest sporting day in Skipton's history.

And with the Tour De France in town, Sam, 27, might have to walk from her wedding at Christ Church to the reception at Herriots Hotel on Saturday, July 5.

The couple have been warned by Craven Council that road closures in and around Skipton mean that the cars they have booked might well not be able to get to the church to carry them from the 2pm ceremony.

And such is the expected disruption that Liam - and up to 45 guests - could have to travel from his home in Silsden into Skipton by train before the wedding.

Sam, also of Silsden, and manager of Berries Florists in Keighley Road, said she and Liam, who is in the Army and based at Catterick Garrison, were putting a brave face on it.

She said: "Obviously we didn't know the Tour was going to be here when we decided on July 5, but now we're thinking at least there will be a huge buzz about the town. If the weather is good it will be great - if it's not we're going to need a lot of umbrellas!"

Sam said she had decided to stay in Herriots Hotel on the night before the wedding, so she will only be about half-a-mile from the church. Again, if the weather is good, she, family and friends intend to walk along the canal towpath to the ceremony. About 50 guests will be at the afternoon reception, with about 100 expected in the evening.

Sam said: "We're hoping that most guests will be able to cope, though there are several elderly people and one person in a wheelchair - we can only do what we can now and hope that it all works out . At least there will be a huge party atmosphere."

Sam added that both Craven Council staff and Herriots Hotel management had been extremely helpful when she and Liam realised the problems they would have.

"Everyone's been great and helped as far as they possibly can," Sam said. "Now all we can do is hope for the best."

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