Free wedding if HE says yes on leap year day

Romantic businesses in the Lake District are offering to foot the wedding bill if a lass proposes to her lad on the town’s Victoria Bridge next Monday, leap year day.

The wedding shower of goodies on offer to the lucky couple now includes a free wedding ceremony in the town of Kendal.

The lovers will also be given a post-proposal romantic dinner, a makeover for the bride and bridesmaids, engagement ring discount, and free wedding accessories if he says “yes” to her on the iconic bridge.

Tradition says that in a leap year a woman may propose to a man on the leap year day itself, February 29.

Now a business group in Kendal which encouraged love’s young dreamers to take the chance has been inundated with offers. And there’s a chance that the couple will be featured on national television.

The Victoria Bridge was named after the Queen whose union with Prince Albert is one of the greatest love stories in history. It’s also a happy place today, recently re-opened with stronger foundations after being damaged during the December floods.

“We love our Victoria Bridge, and we love a good love story,” says Daniel Morley, director of the Kendal Business Improvement District.

“We don’t mind where the couple come from – visitors and locals are equally welcome to pop the question.”


He added: “We are thrilled by the response from local businesses to this idea. They are making very generous offers that will help an engaged couple plan the wedding of their dreams.”

The offers are:

  • A free civil ceremony in one of Castle Green Hotel’s suites or in their romantic gazebo in the grounds, including room hire, flowers for the ceremony table, pianist to set the scene and accompany you down the aisle, chair covers and bows. Or for those preferring a church wedding there’s £500 off their Classic Wedding Reception Package. (T&C: Minimum 60 adults, new bookings only)
  • A make-over for Bride and Bridesmaids at Beales store on Finkle Street
  • A Post-proposal romantic meal for two in the Riverside Hotel Tannery Bar & Bistro
  • Peter George Banks Jewellers offer 15% discount and a glass of champagne to celebrate.
  • And if the bride orders a dress from A Family Affair- she will be given £100 worth of free accessories and 10% off of menswear hire

The leap year tradition dates back to the 13th century and was said to be the one day of the year when women are ‘allowed’ to get down on bended knee and propose to their boyfriends – a chance that only comes around once every 1,461 days.

It’s also believed that if he says no, he has to buy the woman a dress, as allegedly decreed by Queen Margaret of Scotland.

When they married in 1840, Victoria was a 20-year-old young woman who had just become Queen in 1837. She was most pleased with her new husband and wrote to her uncle Leopold thanking him for “the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to give me in the person of dear Albert.  He possesses every quality that can be desired to make me perfectly happy.” They were together for 21 years and had a family of nine children before his untimely death plunged her into grief.

The Victoria Bridge is one of five road bridges over the River Kent in Kendal and was erected to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887.

Any lasses who need a little prompting to ask the big question should contact the Kendal BID manager Sarah Williams :


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