Bride surprises groom with £10,000 Harry Potter themed wedding

The ceremony featured an owl as the ring-bearer

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The happy couple

A couple in Burton-on-Trent tied the knot this weekend in a Harry Potter-themed wedding - despite the fact that the groom has never read the books or seen the films.

Leah Parker, 37, and Dax Rice, 38, married at the National Brewery Centre, because the steam engine outside looks like the Hogwarts Express.

The ceremony featured an owl as ring bearer, and bridesmaids on broomsticks wearing the Hogwarts house colours. Leah's sister was dressed as Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore, and a 'sorting hat' was used for the seating plan.

"I've been mad about Harry Potter since the books came out. I just think it's a bit magic, and I started collecting Harry Potter items a few years ago. I have all the books, films, games, stationary sets, wands and merchandise," Leah tells the Derby Telegraph.

"I've seen people having themed weddings and I thought 'I could do that'. I want a wedding to remember. Dax agreed as long as he had nothing to do with it. When he saw the decorations he was a bit shocked."

The wedding party

But Dax drew the line when it came to a honeymoon: while Leah wanted to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida, Dax persuaded her to go for Mexico instead.

The wedding cost the couple just under £10,000, with Leah doing much of the preparation herself.

Birdcages, quidditch sets and potion bottles were used as table centre-pieces, and wedding bouquets and buttonholes were made of flowers crafted from pages of the books.

The couple will live together with Leah's two children, ten-year-old Honie and three-year-old Oliver, along with their dog Snape.

Over the past few years, Harry Potter-themed weddings have become very popular. One of the most extravagant, between Texas couple Stephanie Dodd, 26, and Samuel Goetsch, 25, cost a whopping £45,000 earlier this year.

It involved turning the venue, the Bell Tower in Houston, into Hogwarts' Forbidden Forest, complete with trees and lanterns; the reception was held in a room decked out to resemble the Great Hall from Hogwarts.

While most couples still feel that spending the rest of your life together is enough of a wedding theme in itself, many look for inspiration elsewhere.

According to a survey from wedding site Confetti.com, 14% of couples went for a vintage theme last year. Seven per cent chose a rustic vibe, while 2% each went for shabby chic or a woodland theme.



£20,983 wedding: where the money goes

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Loved the epic Harry Potter wedding? Here's the video!