A 78-year-old groom said ‘I do’ – but this was no ordinary wedding.

The light-hearted ceremony was a mock marriage involving members of the community taking on all the roles.

The fake Village Wedding saw septuagenarian Olympic torchbearer Colin Cooper and Julie Hopkinson named husband and wife, with ward councillor Ken Moss presiding as vicar.

Another dozen people played characters throughout the wedding and fake reception, with everyone donning fancy dress for the occasion.

The ceremony was held at the People’s Centre in Rishton. Coun Moss said the idea was based on an old Accrington tradition and everybody had a great day of fun.

Colin Cooper and Julie Hopkinson cut the cake
Colin Cooper and Julie Hopkinson cut the cake
 

He said: “It was a lovely day and there was plenty of people there. It went really well. It was supposed to be an old-style wedding from the early period of the last century but it ended up just being a modern one.

“We all wrote tongue-in-cheek speeches which made it very light-hearted and there was speeches from the top table too.

“Some of the roles were picked out of a hat. Colin was requested to come in his Olympic gear and Julie is well-known in amateur dramatics so she certainly enjoyed it.”

Mr Cooper, 78, said he was taken ‘completely by surprise’ when asked to participate. He said: “It was a good bit of fun and that was all it was meant to be. I had my arm gently twisted to get involved.

“The idea was to make it as amusing as possible and the ladies enjoyed dressing up with their bonnets.”

The event raised funds for The People’s Centre and included a Jacob’s Join – where people bring and share food – and a wedding cake donated by a local hairdresser.