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First virtual anvil blessing takes place

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GRETNA Green’s World Famous Blacksmith’s Shop hosted its first ever virtual blessing on Thursday to help a couple mark their 30th wedding anniversary.

Dianne and David Bushnell were married at Gretna Green on May 21 1990, and had hoped to return to Scotland’s wedding capital to mark their pearl anniversary. But with lockdown restrictions still in force, the Gretna Green team and local minister Graeme Murray harnessed the power of video call to perform the historic venue’s first ever virtual anvil blessing for the couple.

An anvil blessing is a vow renewal celebration unique to Gretna Green, where couples celebrate their eternal love during a ceremony which includes the traditional hammering of the anvil. For yesterday’s virtual blessing, minister Graeme hosted the ceremony over the famous anvil at the Blacksmith’s Shop, while Dianne and David recited their vows at their home in Rugby, Warwickshire. Friends and family from all over the world were able to tune into the live stream and help the couple celebrate their marriage milestone.

FLASHBACK . . . Dianne and David Bushnell on their wedding day in 1990

Speaking ahead of the service, minister Graeme said: “At this present time it is so good to have the opportunity to celebrate something positive. Although we obviously cannot perform face-to-face marriage and blessing services in the way that we usually would, we have still been able to work together with David and Dianne in producing a very personal service, and we are thankful for the technology that is going to enable us to celebrate their special occasion with them and their family and friends.”

Although the World Famous Blacksmith’s Shop is closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, Gretna Green Ltd chairman Alasdair Houston MBE said he hoped the virtual service would bring some Gretna Green magic to the couple’s special anniversary.

He said: “We are delighted to be part of David and Dianne’s milestone pearl anniversary. All of us involved wish that the occasion was happening in person here at the home of romance, but we are excited to offer a Gretna Green ‘first virtual’ ceremony. We hope that the special atmosphere of Gretna Green shines through to make it an emotional and special day.

“From all of us in Team Gretna Green, we send our love and congratulations to Dianne and David and our best wishes for many more happy years of marriage.”

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