TT wedding couple pay tribute to Isle of Man

Newly-weds Philip and Lorraine Nelms outside the Civil Registry, in Douglas

Newly-weds Philip and Lorraine Nelms outside the Civil Registry, in Douglas

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Visiting bikers Philip and Lorraine Nelms had the TT wedding of their dreams thanks to support from the island’s community.

The couple, who live in Clapham, in Bedford, tied the knot at the Civil Registry in Douglas on Thursday, in front of a handful of friends and family, as well as about 40 bikers, many of whom they had never met.

The TT Week marriage of Philip Helms & Lorraine Graves

The TT Week marriage of Philip Helms & Lorraine Graves

They originally intended to have just five guests at the service and wait until they get home to hold their reception.

But after word spread of their plans they were inundated with offers for everything from a reception venue and entertainment to a wedding car and driver.

Philip said: ‘It was the biker wedding we wanted.

‘We have been overwhelmed with what’s gone on and we’d like to say a big thank you to the Isle of Man.’

The couple didn’t think twice about extending the invitation to bikers.

‘If you’re a biker then you’re part of a family. We have done a lot of bike rallies at home, and always meet new people.’

The couple arrived in mid-May and had only booked the Civil Registry.

Philip explained: ‘I’m a great believer that if you make a plan it can go wrong, so don’t make one and go with the flow.’

On the day, Sue France, of Douglas Snooker Club, had the role of matron of honour, while her husband Graham drove Lorraine to the ceremony in his Jeep.

In true biker style Philip – along with about 90 per cent of the guests – were in their leathers.

Outside the Civil Registry, members of the Moddey Dhoo Motorcycle Club lined up with their bikes.

The couple then had wedding pictures taken at locations across the island, including next to the Steve Hislop memorial statue at Onchan Head, and at Bushy’s beer tent in Douglas.

In the evening, the Trevelyan Hotel, in Queens Promenade, Douglas – where the couple have always stayed – laid on a buffet and karaoke.

This was attended by many of the bikers staying at the hotel. And in fact hotel director Delia McGuire was a witness at the wedding.

Philip has been coming to the TT since 1992 and has talked about getting married in the island for many years.

‘Every time we visited Delia used to joke about dusting off her hat for the wedding,’ he said.

‘She was wearing her hat – that created a bit of a laugh.’

Since then, they have been stopped in the street by people wanting to congratulate the couple – and they were invited to Murray’s Motorcycle Museum, at Santon, to sign TT memorabilia.

Race week is the couple’s honeymoon, and Delia has let them stay at the Trevelyan for free.

For their honeymoon to run perfectly too, they would like to see John McGuinness win the Senior race, and Guy Martin win a race too.

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