Wedding with bare essentials for Chippenham naturist couple
Updated 5:57pm Wednesday 28th May 2014 in By Julie Armstrong, Senior reporter
For most brides the choice of dress is a huge decision, but for Helen Mills the only natural way to marry was in her birthday suit.
She and John Donson, who live in Chippenham, are naturists and got married on Saturday wearing only a smile.
The couple had a pagan handfasting in a Gloucestershire wood. All 25 of their guests were members of the Pines Naturist Club based in the Forest of Dean.
But only five of the wedding party braved the elements because of the very cold weather.
Mr Donson, 61, said: “We wanted to do it in a way that reflected our beliefs, not somewhere that the next 200 people will also say the same words. It’s very calming there.”
Mr Donson is always fully clothed for his assistant safety manager job developing aircraft with Airbus, but he strips off as soon as he gets home to Danvers Mead, Pewsham.
Ms Mills, 48, introduced her beau to naturism three years ago.
“I chucked him in at the deep end from the first day and he said, okay, we’ll give it a go,” she said.
He said: “It was a bit daunting driving to the [naturist] club the first time. But everyone else was so relaxed, within the hour I just thought, why not?
“I’m a middle-aged bloke, I’m not a toned Adonis, but I feel comfortable in my skin.”
Ms Mills, who works for a domestic cleaning company in Chippenham, said: “I’ve always hated wearing clothes.
"As a girl but I always used to run around the house naked and my mum would say, 'put some clothes on'.”
For Priest David Abel it was the first naked ceremony he had conducted, though he has about 80 Pagan weddings booked this year.
The couple had their hands tied together with ribbon and had to work together to free themselves of the tie without undoing the knot, symbolising that they can work through difficult times together.
Since Pagan weddings are not recognised in law, the pair will legally marry in May next year at Swindon Register Office, to which they will wear clothes and invite their families.
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