First Lady And Husband Return To Washington Wedding Venue Forty Years On

October 31, 2019

A COUPLE who became the first to hold their wedding at the newly opened George Washington Hotel in 1979 have returned 40 years on to celebrate their Ruby Wedding Anniversary.

Jacqueline and John Quinn, who now live in Manchester made the trip back with her sisters Gillian and Carolyn, who also live in Manchester, and were her bridesmaids and the hotel rolled out the red carpet for them with surprise gifts of Prosecco and flowers, upgrades and other treats to mark a special day.

The goodies, which included a photographic session recreating scenes from their wedding, were organised as part of a surprise welcome by Jaqueline’s sisters.

Gillian said: “It was lovely the way the George Washington made a fuss of them and they had a great time.

“There was another wedding on at the weekend – an Indian one, beautifully colourful – and the new couple were thrilled when Jacqueline and John introduced themselves and offered their best wishes. They ended up getting photographs taken together.”

Jaqueline and John became the first couple to have their wedding day at the hotel as a result of a moment of family inspiration. The sister’s father, Tony Bourke, ran the engineering company Washington Tool on the Crowther Industrial Estate and was good friends with the original part-owner of the hotel, Vin Wilson.

Jacqueline said: “We were only 20 at the time we were married and were looking around for venues when dad suggested the George, even though it was barely finished.

“We suddenly realised what a good idea it was because we lived on the JFK estate in Washington Village just down the road and so it was perfect for everyone to get there.

“It also felt a bit special knowing we would be the first to have our wedding there.”

“My father spoke to Vin and he made the arrangements and it was a great day at the hotel – hard to believe that’s now 40 years ago”

Hotel manager Ian Gray, said: “We’re planning to have a special night soon to properly mark the hotel’s 40th-anniversary and it was great to add the memories of Jacqueline and John to add to that celebration.

“They’re a lovely couple and it was a pleasure to welcome them back.

“The hotel has grown enormously since 1979 and has been extended and modernised with all sorts of new facilities but we hope that our welcome and hospitality today is just as warm and wonderful as it clearly was back then on their big day.”


We’re grateful to the Sunderland Echo for covering this story.

October 31, 2019


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