Owl and fairy godmother in Manchester’s Afflecks first wedding – BBC.com

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Rumeana Jahangir,Anna Jameson

SH Comms Sean Berry and his partner Millie tied the knotSH Comms

An owl and dog bearing rings, pink carpet spread in front of indie music posters and a fairy godmother – the first wedding at Manchester’s landmark Afflecks emporium was never going to be conventional.

Sean Berry and his partner Millie said it was “an honour and a privilege” to be the first couple to tie the knot at the independent venue.

A rite of passage for generations of teenagers and music fans, the self-styled “disruptive and trailblazing” site secured a licence to host weddings recently.

Mr Berry, who has been selling posters at the venue for about 38 years, said he wanted to marry there because Afflecks had been in his “heart, soul and DNA”.

imageSH Comms the couple with the owlSH Comms

He told BBC Radio Manchester: “I’ve been there so long now that I’m serving the children and grandchildren of people that I was first serving so it’s a generational thing, which I think is fabulous for the city.

“It is an iconic – a word I don’t like using very much – institution and part of Manchester’s cultural heritage.”

Mr Berry said it was love at first sight when he met his wife in the 1990s, however he admitted they chose to tie the knot due to “some very boring reasons like inheritance and tax”.

“But we are very much in love and we thought that, after 31 years, we may as well confirm it and make our commitments to each other,” Mr Berry said.

imageSH Comms Sean Berry and wife MillieSH Comms

His wife Millie, who was escorted by a friend dressed as a fairy godmother, said she was “a little overwhelmed” in the run up to the wedding.

The couple swapped their vows in a ceremony in front of the venue’s eye-catching poster wall “because it’s where Sean’s place is situated and it’s an amazing backdrop”, she added.

Their cocker spaniel Willow was joined by a fellow trader’s owl named Aurora for the ring-bearing custom.

A venue spokeswoman described the wedding as being as “independently spirited as Afflecks itself”.

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