By Katy-Rose Meaney
A wedding couple gave their guests food for thought when they were faced with a table plan with a mathematical twist.
In order to find out where they would be sitting for the wedding breakfast, guests had to solve the maths challenge next to their name.
The groom behind the numbers game was James Sherred – a secondary school maths teacher, who decided to test the brains of his hungry nearest and dearest.
Newly weds James and his wife Gemma, both 32, from Shrewsbury, tied the knot on August 21st at Stanford Farm in Shropshire.
The couple celebrated with 80 day guests who were left scratching their head in order to find their seats.
James said: “I absolutely love maths, it was always my favourite subject and when we were thinking of ways to make the wedding unique to us, Gemma remembered a table plan she has seen at a wedding in Canada 10 years before and it seems a great way to add a maths test into our day.”
He added: “It started off as a joke but then we realised it was a fun idea that would hopefully get people talking.” .
A calculator was provided and those given the hardest questions were given a heads up to revise ahead of the big day.
James said: “The people with really tricky problems I gave them a clue in advance.
“I told a friend from university to revise differentiation and told my sister she needed to brush up on trigonometry.”
James was sure to put a few easier maths problems in for other guests and his brother had to tackle 1+1 to find his seat.
James said: “As a joke I gave my brother the easiest question, even my four year old nephew had to work out 2+2.
“Of course I gave another maths teacher one of the hardest ones and a really tricky problem to a friend who works as an accountant.”
Gemma’s brother is a big Liverpool fan so James set a question based on a player’s shirt number.
The couple do have friends who really hate maths and said the only thing they regret is not seeing their faces when they saw the table plan ahead of the wedding speeches.
The groom added: “We were sad to not see people’s reactions when they saw it but people talked about it all night and it provided a great laugh.
“Friends and family really loved it. We were told there was an initial panic – people were saying, oh no not maths but they soon worked it all out and nobody went hungry.”
Gemma, a nurse added: “We had a very chilled wedding, we camped on the site that night and it’s a really cool venue.
“The dance floor was full all night. I loved our day and just wish we could do it again.”
It was third time lucky for the couple who originally planned to get hitched in August 2020.
Their rescheduled date for April 1st was also cancelled but they finally got to say ‘I do’ last month.
The newlyweds have been together eight years and have been engaged since January 2018.
Despite the exotic location, James miscalculated the weather and it wasn’t the most romantic of proposals for unsuspecting Gemma.
Laughing he said: “I proposed while we were living in New Zealand.
“We had climbed a volcanic mountain, it had been a beautiful day and I decided this was the day and place, but suddenly the weather changed.
“The wind was howling and we had to shout to hear each other speak.”
As Gemma saw her boyfriend get down on one knee, she said ‘Oh no, now?’
Despite the uncertain weather, the newly weds braved honeymooning in Scotland ahead of the new school term starting and James said: “I really enjoy teaching, especially kids who maybe don’t like maths, I like to be able to help those who need an extra push.”