Staff at a Belper wedding venue had an Olympic-sized surprise at a recent wedding when golden girl Jessica Ennis was a guest.
The heptathlon gold medallist was at Shottle Hall, in Belper, for the wedding of her soft tissue therapist Derry Suter and his bride Sonya Freeston.
The London 2012 star was not the only big name on their guest list – the couple were also joined by two time World Squash Champion and double Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nick Matthews, of Duffield.
Barnsley footballer Bobby Hassell and the new performance director of UK Athletics Neil Black were also at the venue to see Derry marry Sonya.
Derry, 46, has been part of Team Jennis, the group of dedicated professionals who keep Jessica Ennis in top form, for 10 years. Although he proposed to long-standing girlfriend Sonya, 43, two years ago the couple couldn’t tie the knot until after London 2012.
Derry said: “Both Nick and Jess are getting married next year and they both said our wedding was fabulous – I think they have picked up some tips for their own big days.
“Some friends and family were a bit star struck about some of our guests, but to me they are just lovely people I work with. We also had the British track and field medical team so if anyone had got injured at the wedding they would have been well looked after.
“We put a brief description on the back of everyone’s name cards on the table, explaining what they do or how we know them. On the back of Jess’s card we just wrote ‘Jess Ennis lookalike’, which got a few laughs.”
So that Jessica Ennis could relax and enjoy Derry’s big day she provided signed books and photographs for the children attending the ceremony.
James Davis, Shottle Hall’s marketing manager, said: “We were delighted to welcome some of the country’s most dedicated athletes to Shottle Hall on Sonya and Derry’s wedding day.
“We have had a number of famous guests over the years – from Prince William to Colin Firth - and we pride ourselves on being discreet and professional.”
“But there was undoubtedly a ripple of excitement among the staff members when they spotted Jessica Ennis.”