Kate Cunningham, 34, married an elder tree in the Chaffers Field section of Rimrose Valley Park in Litherland. She also vowed to change her name to Kate Rose ‘Elder’, taking on the name of the specific species of tree that she is now wed to.
Many guests were in attendance at the wedding, including Cunningham’s family and friends, who all supported her decision. Her ex-boyfriend was also supportive, as he helped organize the ceremony, which was overseen by local musician and poet Davy Edge.
Don’t expect any saplings any time soon. Cunningham acknowledged that she has no plans to start a family with the wooden giant, as she has at least one child already – a son. Nonetheless, the wedding is something she takes seriously. She initially got the idea as a form of protest against a proposed bypass that is planned to be built through the park.
“This is particularly close to my heart. My mum died of an asthma attack and I suffer from a lung condition called bronchiectasis which means that my own lungs are prone to infection.” she explained. “Plans to bulldoze this beautiful place for yet another busy road makes no sense and are an attack on our health.”
Other inspirations for the ceremony were Mexican women who participated in their own tree weddings to raise awareness of deforestation.
“I want people to engage with the campaign and raise questions about the destruction of our greenspace. There are plenty of local people who aren’t even aware of what is happening.”
Cunningham isn’t alone in her marriage to an inanimate object. Recently, a spate of men in Japan and Korea have also resorted to marrying body pillows of anime characters. However, their reasons are often less philanthropic.
In a similar unconventional wedding, a woman in Taiwan married herself in 2010, although she said she would consider divorcing herself if the right man came along.