PICTURE GALLERY: 1940s wedding for couple from Raunds who share a love for the past

The guard of honour for Ria and Jonathan
The guard of honour for Ria and Jonathan

A couple who have a shared love of history went back to the 1940s for their big day.

Ria Chambers, who runs Ria’s Rosy Lee Tearoom in Wellingborough, tied the knot with Jonathan Jefferies on Saturday.

Not only did they look the part, they tried to include as many elements as possible from a wedding in the 1930s or 1940s, with many family and friends embracing the vintage dress code.

Members of the Northamptonshire Home Guard group, which Jonathan is a member of, formed a guard of honour to welcome the newly married couple to the Bede House in Higham Ferrers after the ceremony at Harrold Church.

Speaking ahead of the big day, Ria said: “I always knew the type of wedding that I wanted.

“There was talk of waiting but we said we wanted to get married and knew exactly what wedding we wanted and where to get it so we said ‘let’s just do it.’

“My dress is a replica of the dress that Wallis Simpson wore in 1937.”

Jonathan wore a suit made by a London firm which uses patterns for the suits worn by Edward VIII.

And it was through the couple’s love of history that they met when Ria invited the Home Guard to her tearoom to say thank you for all the hard work they do at events around the county.

The Northants Telegraph went along to get pictures on the day and captured the moment that Jonathan first spotted Ria.

It wasn’t long before Jonathan got in touch and the rest is history, with the couple getting engaged just six months ago.

But Ria said six months was plenty of time to get ready for their big day, especially as many wartime weddings were organised quickly to coincide with soldiers’ leave from the forces.

And the pair’s interest in history is not just a pastime or a business for Ria, their house in Raunds has many items from back in the day and Jonathan drove his new bride to the reception in their Austin 8 1939 car.

The invites were also in the style of a telegram.

The reception included an 18-piece big band, barrels of beer from the Hart Family Brewery in Wellingborough and flowers by Rockabilly Rose in Wellingborough.

Entertainment included dancing from the time and wartime games, such as flip the kipper.

Guests were given goodie bags which came in a jar, to represent Jonathan And Ria, along with seeds, teabags made to a special recipe and a postcard of the Bede House in the 1920s.

And anyone who wanted to get a gift for the couple was asked for vouchers towards a trip on the Orient Express.

Ria said: “Our friends and family have embraced it and said where can I get my clothes and get my hair done.

“Jonathan was always close to his grandparents and liked going round there and hearing family stories about the war, so he was quite like me.”

Even the date of March 12 was chosen for a specific reason, as Ria explained: “We met on April 12 and got engaged on September 12 so we had to get married on the twelfth of something.”

The month of March is also special as it is the month their grandparents got married.

And now that Ria has had her vintage wedding, she is planning on sharing her experience with others when Red Rose Vintage Events, the business she runs with Sarah Anscombe, holds a vintage wedding fair in May.