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See how other couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from County Wedding Magazines' Real Weddings features.
Matthew and Luzio met on a beach in Rio de Janeiro. "Matthew was advising someone about his allergies, but the person didn't speak English," says Luzio. "I stepped in to translate, and we got talking. We had our first date later that evening and were instantly attracted to each other."
Rebecca and Justin were instantly attracted to each other. "I loved his handsome looks and easy-going ways," says Rebecca. "He proposed to me after making me climb Mount Snowdon in the rain! Apparently, he had planned to propose at the top, but the awful weather meant he had to wait until we got to the bottom. I was soaked through, and my hands were so cold he could barely get the ring on! It was perfect though, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was a total surprise and one of the most wonderful weekends of my life."
Paileen and Michael met through a mutual friend. "We got to know each other, and I was really attracted to his ability to make everyone laugh and his caring nature," says Paileen. "I had a feeling that he was interested in a relationship but wouldn't make the first move, so I took the plunge and asked him out to dinner where we officially became a couple."
Anna and Justin have known one another since they were 18 years old. "Justin is my best friend's brother," Anna tells us. "We lost contact and got back in touch at her wedding and our relationship developed from there."
Steffi and Richard met while they were out celebrating friends' birthdays and soon realised they shared a number of mutual pals. Steffi also recognised him from when their paths used to cross during their regular cycling commutes in different directions. They hit it off and the rest, as they say, is history.
Ashley and Daniel met at university in 2013. "We got chatting at a party and ended up talking for most of the night," the couple tell us. "The following day we went on a wonderful date where we enjoyed a walk along the beach followed by cocktails and a movie night. Our relationship developed from there."
After an introduction through mutual friends, it wasn't until nine years ago that Amber and Aaron really got to know each other at a local music festival. Amber says, "We were glued together all day; I loved how kind, caring and funny he was – we've been inseparable ever since." Back in June 2015, Aaron proposed during a trip away in Newcastle to celebrate Amber's birthday. She says, "I had no idea it was coming; he was nervous all day and then brought out a scrapbook with pictures from over the last few years. There was a photo on the last page of our, at the time, 10-month-old baby in a babygrow saying 'mummy – will you marry daddy?' It melted my heart and I immediately said yes!"
Lauren went for a new job interview back in 2012 where Sid saw her in the workplace and jokingly said to a colleague that she would be the future Mrs Walters; little did he know this would be the case eight years later! After three months of working together, Sid plucked up the courage to ask her out during a Christmas party. Lauren says, "His pick-up line was something about New Year's resolutions and his one being to take someone called Lauren out to dinner. It was cheesy but I couldn't resist."
When Dan moved to Minehead from Manchester it was only a matter of time before he crossed paths with Charlotte. "Minehead is a small town and we had mutual friends," Charlotte says. "It didn't take long to meet. We got on really well as friends and shared the same sense of humour – we just clicked! He's also the kindest person I know." The pair started dating in July 2017, and by December 2018 Dan was planning to ask that all-important question. "He proposed to me on the ice-skating rink outside Cribbs Causeway," Charlotte tells us. "It's one of my favourite places to go around Christmas time and we both love the festive period. I was definitely surprised!"
Emma and Joe met in Bali. Emma was travelling solo and Joe was on holiday with friends. They were staying in the same hostel and the evening before Joe was due to head back to the UK they had dinner together and danced all night. They exchanged numbers before he left and Emma continued on with her adventures through Indonesia and Australia. "We fell in love during those eight weeks," Emma says. Due to the time difference, the pair would wake up in the middle of the night to talk to each other. When Emma arrived home, they couldn't wait to be together again, and she drove to Catterick, where Joe was based as an army captain, the very next day. "We've been inseparable ever since. Within eight months we'd bought our first home and our cat, Martha," Emma tells us.
When Briony and Mark first met through mutual friends, sparks flew immediately. "We instantly clicked," Briony said. "I knew I'd be with him forever. It felt like we'd known each other for years and he soon became my best friend." So it was no surprise that one day Mark would be planning to pop the question. "For years we've gone on holiday to Cornwall with our beloved cocker spaniel, Charlie," Briony tells us. "2017 was no different, and we set off with our two good friends, Hayley and James." When they arrived, Mark explained that he had booked a lovely dinner at Lewennick Lodge in Newquay. After the meal, he asked Briony to join him on the balcony, which looks out across the ocean and an amazing sunset. "I refused to go out because it was too cold," Briony laughs.
Leena and Neil met in 2012 at a music festival in Derbyshire. "It was the last night and I decided to enjoy a few drinks with some friends," says Leena. "In one of the tents, we saw three handsome guys and started talking to them. I was attracted to Neil's looks and the fact he paid attention when we had a chat together. He loved my red lips and Scandinavian looks."
Kamron and Ami first met in 2011 during a placement working for Xerox in Greater London. She says, "I was attracted to Kam's cool hair, his wit and intelligence. We just clicked as soon as we met and I think we've always known we'd found the one." In September 2019 at Dancing Ledge in Swanage, Dorset, Kamron asked Ami to marry him. She says, "I came back from a half-day at work and Kam had made us a fancy picnic to take down to the coast – I should have guessed something was up at that point! During the picnic, he asked me to look over the cliff's edge (slightly concerning) and took the ring out of his backpack and popped the question!"
Stephanie and Toby met at work in Houston, Texas, where their friendship soon turned into a relationship – despite the fact that they knew it would soon become long-distance. "He was an offshore geophysicist, whereas I was onshore in Texas," Stephanie explains. "He would be at sea for five to eight weeks at a time, during which we would talk on the phone every night. The distance strengthened our relationship."
Ana and Stephen met at university in York. "We started talking online and then went on our first date which was a walk around the castle walls in the city centre," Stephen tells us. "We met up again the following day so it went well! Even my pasty addiction wasn't enough to put Ana off!" The couple became engaged during a trip to Cornwall. "We both love this part of the world and had enjoyed holidays there since we were children so this was the natural choice of location for me to propose in," Stephen tells us. "We had spent the morning at Dairyland Farm Park with our nephew (Ana had also secretly wanted to go!) and I had organised a surprise for her when we got back to the cottage where we were staying. It had a hot tub overlooking St Michael's Mount so I had asked mum and dad to leave out a bottle of champagne, chocolates and strawberries for us. After countless guesses as to when it was going to happen, she was completely surprised when it did!"
Sasha and Vaughan met while on the same course at Brighton University, but once they left they lost contact. It was when they were both working in London that they bumped into each other again. "A few times on the way to work the tube doors opened and Sasha was on the other side," Vaughan says. "One day, I was at the London Transport Museum with a friend when I saw Sasha acting in a video about buses. My friend encouraged me to get in contact, exclaiming how beautiful she was – and how single I was!"
Kelly and Andrew planned to have a spring wedding but when COVID struck they switched it to the autumn instead. They tweaked their original dusky pink colour scheme by including warm burgundy shades instead of white, slashed the guest list by 100 to just 15 family and friends and enjoyed an intimate wedding full of magical moments.
Christina and Andrew met in Berlin in 2016. Andrew was there on a business trip, and Christina, who is German, was on a weekend away celebrating her friend's birthday. Both were sitting with mates at neighbouring tables when the two groups got talking and the pair noticed each other straight away. "We had a really great night, dancing and laughing, and ended up swapping numbers," Christina says. At that point Andrew was living in Helsinki, Finland, and Christina in Frankfurt, so despite not being able to see each other for a few months, they managed to keep in touch. "Andrew was travelling a lot for his job and I'd meet him at some of the destinations where he was working at the weekends. So, our early days were spent on really cool city breaks, which we still love to do," Christina explains. Following several months of long-distance dating, during which time Andrew had moved back home, Christina got the opportunity with her job to relocate to the UK also, and so they lived happily ever after!
While Emma and Joe originally met through a mutual friend, they didn't start dating until a year later when they bumped into each other on a night out. Joe proposed during a country walk at Entwistle Reservoir in Lancashire early one Sunday morning. "He took me completely by surprise – I hadn't even done my make-up!" Emma says.
Shaughney and Adam met at work when they were both teenagers. "Adam has a fantastic sense of humour and I loved his jokes," Shaughney tells us. "We added each other on social media, swapped numbers and arranged to meet up outside of work and have been together ever since." The couple became engaged during a holiday to New York for Shaughney's birthday. "It was our first full day in the city and we were both jet-lagged so decided to explore Central Park," Shaughney tells us. "Adam had always planned to pop the question next to the fountain featured in the Home Alone movie but he got stage fright because there were so many people around! His second idea was to rent a rowing boat for a trip on the lake in Central Park. He would not let me have control of the oars and ended up rowing us into a hedge! He then started searching through his bag and said 'I can't get down on one knee but...' at which point I interrupted him.
David and Melissa first met during their teen years at an under 18s nightclub and began speaking over MSN. Over time they became best friends and the following year a couple – the rest is history! When it came to the proposal, David had a huge surprise waiting for Melissa. She says, "I had arranged a surprise night away for his birthday glamping in a cabin in the countryside. David had found out by mistake and without me knowing, drove two hours the day before to decorate the cabin ready to propose as soon as we arrived the next day – of course I said yes!" Here Melissa shares details about their special day...
Amanda and Phil were introduced when she moved to London. "We hit it off right away and proceeded to have a whirlwind romance with trips to the theatre, picnics in Hyde Park and weekends in the Lake District," says Amanda. "We started travelling the world making so many incredible memories together. Everything just fell into place perfectly."
Laena's first impression of Jonathan, on overhearing him converse fluently in another language at a mutual friend's birthday party, was that of an exotic Italian gentlemen. However, once she'd headed over to speak to him, it materialised that he wasn't Italian at all! Nonetheless, their connection was instantaneous, so much so he proposed to her that same night! It only took Laena seven years to say "yes."
Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. "We met through church and got to know each other really well," Jess says. "Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006." The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn't sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. "We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers," Jess remembers. "Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!" When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple's chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven's Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting. Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. "We met through church and got to know each other really well," Jess says. "Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006."The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn't sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. "We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers," Jess remembers. "Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!" When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple's chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven's Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting.
Penny-Jane and Samuel started messaging each other on a dating app in 2016. "We spoke constantly for around two weeks before meeting for our first date," says Penny-Jane. "We went to Covent Garden in London and hit it off straight away." Samuel asked Penny-Jane to be his wife in Las Vegas. "I surprised him by booking the trip as a Christmas present in 2018," shares the bride. "On the evening of our third anniversary, we were in a special restaurant when he proposed. It was a complete surprise, and we couldn't have been happier."