THE country pub where they had their first date has provided the inspiration for a soon-to-be-wed Poole couple choosing a new married name.
Sarah Harrison, 29, and Claire Arnold, 33, who are getting married on Saturday toyed with the idea of combining their names at first – but after rejecting ‘Harrinold’ and ‘Arson’, they finally settled on Bankes, after The Bankes Arms in Studland where they had their first date.
Sarah, a production editor at a publishers, said after going round in circles it was her mum who came up with the idea to make up a completely new name.
“We thought of words that meant something to us, and the name of the place where we had our first date seemed like a nice one,” she added.
“Friends have asked why we haven't chosen something more exotic, but we wanted something meaningful and the Bankes Arms has a special place in our hearts.”
The couple, who met on a night out with friends, had their first proper date at The Bankes Arms in Studland in March 2011, and found they had a lot in common straight away – even ordering the same meal.
But they couldn’t have guessed that three years later, following a change in the law, they would be marrying each other.
Being a same sex couple they are celebrating not being bound by the same traditions as most marriages, added Sarah: “It’s nice to have this opportunity. I’m not a real fan of tradition, and I like the fact that we have the freedom to choose something a bit different.”
Not eschewing tradition altogether the brides will be married in traditional white wedding dresses before family and friends at Poole’s Harbour Heights Hotel on Saturday where they will become Mrs and Mrs Bankes.
Rebecca Summers, manager at The Bankes Arms, said: “What a delightful compliment. We wish them all the best for their married life and look forward to welcoming them back here soon.”