Newlyweds got a bit more than they bargained for on their wedding day when they were photo bombed by 200 Vikings.
Sam and Anna Shepherd thought they would pop up to a Lancashire beauty spot for their photo shoot.
But when they reached the Pigeon Tower at Rivington Pike they were taken by surprise when a horn sounded and over 200 Nordic seafarers came running towards them.
“It’s not everyday that you get married, go up Rivington and have your picture taken with 200 Vikings,” said Anna who swapped her maiden name Slowinski for Shepherd.
“We got married at Ridgemont House in Horwich. Rivington is such a beautiful place and we’re so lucky to have it on our doorstep, so we thought the Pike would be a great place to have our photo taken.”
Anna, 32, told the Post how she and Sam, 34, had had a few pictures taken in the Chinese gardens and the Pigeon Tower when they heard someone blowing a horn.
“And 200 Vikings came running down to us,” she said. “We all decided to get our photo taken together. Everyone was so friendly and polite.
“Then somebody shouting something, blew the horn again and they all just ran off.
“After they’d gone, I asked Sam ‘did that just really happen?’ I don’t think many people will have a wedding photo like ours and everyone has been talking about it ever since.”
The unexpected guests were taking part in a Viking March from Liverpool Castle up through the Terraced Gardens to Rivington Pike. It was one of a series of events organised by Rivington Heritage Trust to encourage more families to visit and enjoy the iconic landmark.
“We honestly didn’t know anything about the event until we saw Vikings running towards us,” said Anna, a teaching assistant at Anderton Primary School.
Andrew Suter, Groundwork’s heritage project manager, said: “It’s a great photo that not only captures the fun and spirit of the event, but also demonstrates the special place that Rivington continues to occupy in peoples’ lives. It includes people who have travelled from all over the country to show their children a place that’s still really important to them and a couple who wanted Rivington to be part of their wedding day.”
Fancy dress was a bit of a theme at the Shepherd’s wedding.
The couple, who have been together for 10 years, had a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for their wedding in the theme of Alice and Wonderland.
Guests to their wedding were able to enjoy Tweedledum and Tweedledee picture boards, an Alice in Wonderland cake and even croquet in the lawn, complete with flamingo mallets.
The loved-up duo also surprised their four year old daughter Niamh with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who announced a family honeymoon at Disneyland Paris.
The Viking March was so successful that it has already been scheduled to take place again next year. And newlyweds Sam and Anna, from Adlington, have already put their names down to take part.