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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Cumbrian woman's 'Cinderella' wedding features 36 bridesmaids

When Shirel Crossley decided to tie the knot, the dilemma she faced was who to choose as her bridesmaids.

Shirel Crossley wedding photo
Shirel Crossley and groom Michael Hayton with some of the bridesmaids

The coach of the Carlisle Heroes cheerleading group didn’t pick one or two of her friends but 36 girls who had been cheerleaders since the group started five years ago.

Shirel, 24, tied the knot with Michael Hayton, in a Cinderella winter-themed wedding on Saturday.

And the bridesmaids – aged from eight to in their 20s – wore matching red princess dresses and tiaras. Some of the boys, who attend Heroes classes, were page boys and ushers.

Shirel’s dad Sean Crossley said: “It really was a magical day to remember.

“The atmosphere was electric and the church and reception were buzzing.”

Shirel arrived in a Cinderella carriage at St Michael’s Church in Dalston at 2pm on Saturday – wearing her mum Shirley’s wedding dress from 30 years ago. All eyes were on the beautiful bride as she made her way into the church flanked by her doting dad.

Sean said: “It was very emotional. There were nearly 300 guests there and Shirel had quite a dilemma choosing her bridesmaids with Heroes being one big family. After much thought we decided the only fair way was to invite the girls who had been with Heroes Cheerleading from the start – that narrowed it down to 36 bridesmaids.

“Shirel wanted to wear her mum’s dress, which was another emotional moment as she had tried it on when she was little.

“Shirley is a bit taller than Shirel but she wore high shoes so she could get away with it.”

The couple, who met through mutual friends, held their wedding reception at the Crown and Mitre Hotel in Carlisle – where Sean and Shirley got married. At the reception, the bridesmaids entertained guests on stage by performing a special dance. They were then joined by some of their mums to another choreographed dance to the sound of Mr Swings 18-piece dance orchestra.

There was also an ice sculpture with entwined hearts and a 5ft tall Cinderella’s castle wedding cake with six tiers.

Sean said: “It really was a magical day to remember. I had been working on my speech for ages as I wanted to get it right and do Shirel proud. It was very emotional and a very proud moment.”

Shirel and Michael, 27, who owns a tyre business – will jet off on their honeymoon to Tenerife on Christmas Day.

Sean said: “We have always really celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve with a big family meal so Shirel and Michael will be there for that and then they will jet off the day after. They’re both back at work today so I’m sure they will be glad of the break when it comes around.”

On Saturday, Heroes had been open for five years.

They have performed in numerous demonstrations and events, cheerleading for Carlisle United and Workington Town Rugby Club.

They have also performed in nine shows at the Sands Centre and Richard Rose Morton Academy raising money for charities. In total they’ve won 393 trophies.

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