THIS happy couple have finally tied the knot at the age of 77 after the bride took a chance and proposed during the leap year of 2012.

The wedding of Michael Lister and Peggy Griffiths, who have been together for almost quarter of a century, was the first to take place at Saint Martin’s in Coney Street since the church was bombed during the Baedeker raids on York in 1942.

The big day, on December 29, saw the new Mrs Lister’s relatives fly in from Australia and South Africa to celebrate the occassion.

She said: “We have been together for 24 years. We had talked about getting married but there was no urgency, but when I knew February 29 was coming up, where a woman can propose, I put it in my diary.”

Mrs Lister said she waited for her husband to return home from walking their dog before surprising him by going down on one knee and popping the question.

“He told me to get up and stop being silly,” she said. “It took him two days to say yes.”

The couple, who live off Burton Stone Lane, are both members of the congregation at St Martin’s and were thrilled to have their ceremony there.

Mrs Lister said: “It was incredible. I had my cousin give me away and everyone turned round in the aisle when I walked in and there was an overwhelming feeling of joy in the church. The atmosphere was great with lots of laughter.

“I had my 17-year-old great niece from Australia as a bridesmaid.”

The Rev Jane Nattrass, who carried out the service, said: “It was wonderful to officiate at the wedding for a couple who have been together for such a a long time. The church was beautiful on the day. All the guests had a lovely time.”

Following the service, the couple and their guests had a reception dinner at a nearby restaurant, and are now looking forward to planning their honeymoon.