Game, set, matrimony! Kettering couple’s tennis-themed wedding

L-R: Ed Petrie, James, Thomas, Sandy, Toby and Naomi Wilkinson.
L-R: Ed Petrie, James, Thomas, Sandy, Toby and Naomi Wilkinson.

Two Kettering boys served their parents a surprise by organising a tennis-themed wedding for them.

James Donington and Sandy Schloesser, both 43, tied the knot at Corby Tennis Centre after agreeing to appear on CBBC show Marrying Mum and Dad.

James and Sandy at Corby Tennis Centre.

James and Sandy at Corby Tennis Centre.

Their sons Thomas, 10, and Toby, nine, designed their parents’ big day with the help of presenters Ed Petrie and Naomi Wilkinson.

But their mum and dad no idea what they would be wearing or what they would be doing.

James, a commercial manager, said: “I can’t stand traditional weddings.

“I’ve been to so many of them over the years and it’s just such a long day.

The show is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

The show is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

“The service goes on forever, you’re really hungry and you have to drive to get from the church to get to the venue.

“I just don’t like the pomp and ceremony and this certainly wasn’t that - I was quietly pleased on the big reveal.”

The couple got married in April with the show airing on August 31.

Thomas and Toby, who both go to Hawthorn Primary School, applied to be on the show without success two years ago.

Undeterred, they applied again and after making it to the final 30, James and Sandy were chosen as one of 14 couples to be on the latest series.

Both Thomas and Toby are tennis-mad with Toby a junior champion at Kettering Tennis Club.

On the show they promised to create the “most energetic wedding mankind has ever seen” - and they didn’t disappoint.

The traditional wedding transport was swapped for zorbing, the normal wedding attire was swapped for funky tennis costumes, their cake was tennis ‘balls’ and the entertainment was an extreme tennis championship with Paralympian Louise Hunt.

The brothers also had control of the wedding food, opting for pizza, chips and garlic bread.

Sandy, a wholesale co-ordinator at Joules, said she had an inkling as to what was going on as she could smell tennis balls - but James initially thought his grass-like trousers were a gorilla costume.

In true Wimbledon fashion it rained on the day and the 50 guests made use of the centre’s indoor dome.

Sandy said: “I had a dream wedding in my mind and this certainly wasn’t that!

“I’d waited 12 years for it and it was a great day.”