A COUPLE vowed “aye, do” on Saturday, as they celebrated their wedding decked out in full pirate regalia.
But there was heartache behind the fun when medics Mik Ashfield, 46, and Vikki Ludlow, 35, tied the knot on Saturday.
The wedding went ahead even though the new Mrs Ashfield, a staff nurse at Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, where her husband also works, was diagnosed with breast cancer in May and is undergoing chemotherapy.
Since 2005, the Kidlington couple have raised money for Cancer Research UK by dressing as pirates on International Talk Like A Pirate Day every September.
But this year they rolled out the rum barrel even further, getting married in Clovelly, the picturesque Devon village once notorious as a smugglers’ haunt, using specially-written pirate vows, before setting sail in a wooden schooner.
All the guests at the ceremony came in pirate outfits, complete with cutlasses and muskets, and the Jolly Roger flew above the hotel.
Mr Ashfield said: “We visited Clovelly a few years ago and fell in love with the place. When we decided to get married, we thought it would be the perfect place.”
He added: “It was quite unique, and the locals loved it. The whole village has been talking about it. Everyone dressed up, and we got through an unbelievable amount of rum.”
Vikki added: “It was absolutely perfect.
“I can’t say I ever imagined I would get married dressed as a pirate, but the best bit was still the moment we were announced as husband and wife.”
Every year, the couple and friends dress up as characters from Disney’s Pirates Of The Caribbean films to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
On Saturday, Mr Ashfield, a senior operating department practitioner, was dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow – the part played by Johnny Depp in the films – and his bride as Elizabeth Swann, played by Keira Knightley.
At the end of the night, the newly-weds set sail on the Kathleen & May, the only surviving triple-masted wooden schooner in the country.
The couple had to cancel plans for a honeymoon after Mrs Ashfield learnt she had breast cancer.
She said: “I’m half way through the chemotherapy, but I am feeling fine, and the doctors have said I am doing really well.”