A BRIDLINGTON bride was swept away to New York – for a surprise wedding she knew nothing about.
It was a real-life ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ for Savannah Machen, 21, who thought she was heading off for a normal holiday to the Big Apple with her fiance Craig Richtering, 24 – but found out she would actually tie the knot through an announcement on their flight.
The couple exchanged vows at their wedding of a lifetime in Central Park last Thursday, and a delighted Savannah said: “I was just shocked, but totally amazed at what Craig had done. I was totally unaware of anything and it was a huge surprise.”
Craig had enlisted the help of his mum Julie, of Driffield, and Savannah’s mum Glenda in planning for the wedding – packing a secret case with a wedding dress, flowers and other essentials for the ceremony.
Craig, who is a Lance Corporal in the Royal Engineers and recently completed a seven month tour of Afghanistan, said: “It was hard keeping everything a secret but I am so pleased it worked out and all went to plan.”
The holiday had been a surprise 21st birthday present for Savannah from Craig.
They had talked about the possibility of marrying while on holiday, after getting engaged in December last year, but Craig double-bluffed the bride-to-be and said he didn’t have time to make the arrangements.
Secretly, he was putting the finishing touches to their dream nuptials.
He had packed a case with Savannah’s wedding attire and told her it was full of his own clothes – he had actually sneaked them into a small bag carried as hand luggage.
An announcment was then made to passengers on the plane after three hours of the couple’s flight to New York, with a member of the air crew bringing them celebratory champagne.
Savannah’s mum Glenda, of Lamplugh Road, paid tribute to her “amazing” new son-in-law and said: “We are all so impressed with what Craig managed to do, and they now have memories that last a lifetime.
“I obviously didn’t want to miss my daughter’s wedding, but this was Savannah’s dream and you can’t deny anyone the amazing memories that they will have.
“I am so happy for them both – if they had married in Bridlington it would have been the town hall then a reception somewhere local, this is something completely different.”
Glenda had already been wedding dress shopping with Savannah before the holiday, as the pair planned to get married soon after their return.
“I knew what dress she liked and what flowers she would have wanted, so we knew she would be happy with it,” she continued.
The marriage at Central Park, which was held just a week before Valentine’s Day, was witnessed by Savannah’s uncle Glyn Machen – who by pure coincidence was holidaying in the area at the same time.
The pair jetted off to Jamaica after their marriage for their honeymoon, and will return to Britain at the end of the week.
The new Mr and Mrs Richtering will then get set for a move to Newbury, where Craig is based, next month, where they will set up their first marital home.
Savannah currently works at Bridlington’s Leisure World and occasionally at Bridlington Spa.
She went to Martongate and Bridlington Schools, and lived with Glenda and her dad Peter, and has an elder sister.
Craig’s mum Julie lives in Driffield and dad Rob lives in Hornsea.
He was born in Bridlington, before later moving to Driffield and he has a younger brother.