Arsenal themed wedding in Islington turns into four day 'CoyleFest' for loyal Gooners Danny and Alison
PUBLISHED: 20:23 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 20:28 18 July 2018
Two loyal Gooners tied the knot this week at Islington Town Hall before a open top bus took them down the Holloway Road in the shadows of the Emirates. Known as Grampian Gooner on Twitter read on for Danny Coyle's account of 'Coylefest' as he married his sweetheart Alison Hawke in an Arsenal-themed wedding including an open top bus decked out with Gunners flags with Piebury Corner delicacies for guests later on...
Coyle Fest started on Thursday evening with a gathering at my parents house in Totteridge for family that had travelled from as far away as New York and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Scotland and Ireland.
It ended up being a bit of a heavy one so I woke up on my wedding day feeling slightly worse for wear.
However, after a couple glasses of champagne I was in the zone again. My good friend Jason and my brother Patrick showed up and we started the process of getting our kilt wear on – underestimating how long it would take.
I had to dress the lads as they’d never worn a kilt outfit before.
We got ready just in time for our car arriving at 1pm and landed on Upper Street in plenty of time so we went to the Hope and and Anchor pub for pre-ceremony pints.
Alison my bride was at The Vineyard opposite Islington Town Hall with her friends and family.
The kick off time was 3pm as per the Clock End pin badges which my best men and I had pinned on our lapels.
The ceremony itself was beautiful and went as well as we could’ve hoped for.
The main council chamber at the town hall is an absolutely glorious setting. We were lucky to have talented friends Kirsty and Jeremy playing music and singing for us which added to the occasion.
As Alison and I exited the town hall we had a traditional Celtic hand fasting on the steps, orchestrated by my old man.
Our bagpiper started playing as Alison and I walked down the steps tied together and surrounded by our friends and family.
Alison had no idea about the bagpiper, who was a cousin of mine who’d flown in from New York.
Basking in the north London sunshine and after some more bubbles being served we started boarding our two vintage London routemasters.
Given the nod to an Arsenal theme our friends brought their own Arsenal banners to hang up along the top.
Alison and I have our own one hanging up which we got made to mark our engagement back in November, featuring our names surrounded by our favourite classic Arsenal motifs, including the famous clock knowing we’d be getting married at 3pm.
Our two buses departed the town hall, making their way up Holloway Road in a classic Arsenal trophy parade style.
We arrived at Totteridge green and my bagpiper cousin led Alison and I, followed by our guests, in traditional procession style to Totteridge cricket club.
The speeches were soon done with a few choice mentions of Arsenal by my new father in law myself and my best men.
When describing Alison I referred to the fact that while shes a discerning woman who appreciates opera and the fine arts, she also loves nothing better than going Tottenham away and letting them know how much she hates them – with some colourful language might I add.
Which is one of the reasons why I feel like the luckiest man in the world.
The party soon got started. Paul Campbell from Piebury Corner, a special North London institution to my new wife and I, started to spin out classics on his decks with DJ Kingpin.
After a few hours drinking and dancing the arrival of 80 late night Piebury legend pies went down like a treat with all the guests – including a solid spine of the ‘Tony Adams’, the ‘Patrick Vieira’tarian’ and a ‘Dennis Bergkamp’ on offer.
As everyone was enjoying it so much ‘CoyleFest’ progressed into a whole weekend with family and friends.
I’d like to thank Islington Town Hall for providing the basis for such a beautiful ceremony and all of our guests and those involved for adding to the occasion and the reception after.
We now embark on a tour by train along the United states east coast for our honeymoon from Miami to Boston, with a few stops in between.
I’m hoping it will be more enjoyable than some of the long and eventful train journeys Ali and I have been on following the Arsenal away from Scotland last season.
We’re both looking forward to rounding off our honeymoon by coming back in time for Man City at home next month. UTA.
Follow Danny on Twitter @GrampianGooner.