Sussex

West Sussex couple in Monty Python-themed wedding

Dead Norwegian Blue parrot Image copyright Hy Money
Image caption John Wood and Gemma Harris had a dead parrot (Norwegian blue of course) as their table centrepiece

To mark the 50th anniversary of Monty Python's first broadcast, superfans John Wood and his bride Gemma Harris decided to theme their wedding on the classic comedy.

As well as references to various Monty Python scenes and films they performed their own recreation of the Buying a Bed sketch at the ceremony in West Sussex.

Hand of God Image copyright Hy Money

Mr Wood said the wedding had taken two years to plan.

"Most people" at the wedding had "no idea who Monty Python is, and they don't understand it at all," he said.

"Only a very small number of people will understand these little details and jokes."

The surreal comedy group was formed by John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, and Michael Palin, and created long-running TV sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and several films.

Leg and wedding cake Image copyright Hy Money
Image caption The leg made an appearance with the couple's wedding cake
I'm a lumberjack cake toppers Image copyright Dave Randle
Image caption The couple's cake with topped with the pair dressed as lumberjacks

Even the menu followed the Monty Python theme, the East Grinstead couple said.

"The salmon mousse is a reference to the salmon mousse which kills everybody at the end of The Meaning of Life," John said.

"And of course we had to have spam," said Gemma.

Spam menu Image copyright John Wood

John said he proposed to Gemma in front of Palin and Gilliam at a fundraising event.

Palin sent them a special wedding message saying: "I hope their marriage lasts as long as Monty Python, and is just as silly. Good wishes, Michael."

John said Python actress Carol Cleveland had asked why she had not been invited "to which I replied 'If you'd like to come, you'd be extremely welcome. We would be honoured'".

"She replied, thanking me but saying she couldn't come. The next thing I know, she was there to my utter shock - mind blown!"

"Gemma, who is a graphic designer, has created all sorts of amazing things. It's like a Monty Python universe," John said.

Carole Cleveland eating spam Image copyright John Wood
Image caption Carol Cleveland made a surprise appearance at the wedding and even tried spam for the very first time
Silly walks zone sign Image copyright John Wood

The wedding ceremony took place on Saturday in Sharpthorne in West Sussex with about 80 guests.

Gemma walked down the aisle to the Python theme music, including the fart noise ending.

"Then, we signed the register to the intermission music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail," John said.

Albatross Image copyright Hy Money

"I loved the fact it takes the serious side of life and a lot of the sketches look normal... but there's some ridiculous aspect of it that makes you question or think about life in a slightly different way," he added.

"Once you've seen it, you can't not see it any more."

Upper Class First Class Twit of the Year Image copyright John Wood

The couple are planning to honeymoon at Doune Castle in Scotland, which featured in the Monty Python film, the Holy Grail.

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