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Ship to create bridal love heart

Brides are helping Brunel’s ss Great Britain to help create a giant heart shape on board ship on April 23 (St George’s Day), to celebrate the royal wedding.

A photographer will capture the event, with the best image used to make a unique ‘ship-made’ wedding card for Prince William and Kate Middleton, who marry later this month (April 29).

Brunel’s ss Great Britain will welcome brides from Bristol and beyond for this once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot – including those who were married or held their reception on board the historic ship at the heart of Bristol’s stunning harbour.

It does not matter when and where the brides were married, so long as they are in wedding dresses. Event organisers will guide brides into a romantic heart on the ship’s wooden Weather Deck (Top Deck) from 9.15am on April 23 before the attraction opens to the public. The shot, taken from a distance, should be reminiscent of a timeless and romantic love heart carved into a tree.

Photographer Paul Blakemore has been given special permission by Linden Homes to use one of the apartments overlooking the ss Great Britain to capture the shot – before contracts are exchanged and its new owners move in. Each bride will be given a copy of the photograph as a memento or to use on Facebook.

The historic ship, which is now at the centre of a multi award-winning museum attraction, provides the stunning backdrop to weddings and receptions. Weddings, as well as private and corporate venue hire, generate income to care for the ss Great Britain, which is a charity and receives no funding from central or local government.

The ss Great Britain has long-standing links to royalty. Prince Albert launched the ship in 1843; Queen Victoria visited the ss Great Britain in 1845; Prince Philip was on board ship when she returned to her Dry Dock in 1970 and was the ss Great Britain Project’s Patron; Prince William and Harry both visited as children; Prince William’s uncle Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is the ss Great Britain Trust’s current Patron.

Events Manager for Brunel’s ss Great Britain, Bronwen Rolls, commented: “We are asking brides from Bristol and beyond to contact us if they want to help the ss Great Britain Trust create a stunning image. This will be used to make a wedding card for the royal couple, wishing them all the very best for their future lives together. 

“Brides don’t need to have been married or had their reception on board Brunel’s ss Great Britain to be involved, they just need to be in their wedding dresses.”

Capacity for the prestigious Bristol wedding venue is 140 guests – substantially less than the 1,900 invited to attend Prince William’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in London. 

Had the royal couple opted for a more intimate wedding on board Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol, they would have benefited from award-winning customer service on the world’s first great ocean liner. The wedding team at Brunel’s ss Great Britain have received EnjoyEngland Excellence Awards 2009 for ‘outstanding customer service’ and in 2010 silver for ‘business tourism’ which covers weddings, private and corporate venue hire. Brunel’s ss Great Britain hosts 30 wedding ceremonies and 45 wedding receptions per year on average. 

A second card will also be made, using the image, for the next royal couple to marry this year, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall.

Event organisers are keeping their fingers crossed for sunshine on the ‘big day’.

Brides should call 07968 411350 if they want to take part.