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Real weddings and wedding ideas

See how other couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from County Wedding Magazines' Real Weddings features.

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Snow stopper

Wendy and Andy met at a Blondie tribute night. "I had a run of personal losses, including my best friend, partner and dad," says Wendy. "I had left nursing and wanted to focus on taking over my bridal shop when I went to the tribute night. Andy and I turned out to have mutual friends and hit it off immediately. He was so understanding and compassionate, and I have never felt more cherished. After only a matter of weeks, he never went home. When you know, you know!"

Meant to be

Jordan and Craig met through a mutual friend during a night out in Cardiff. "There was an initial spark, but we only met briefly, so we didn't know each other's names," says Jordan. "A few days later, I received a friend request on Facebook from Craig. We were attracted to each other, but the beginning of our relationship was not what we had planned as I had just gone on holiday and ended up stranded in Gran Canaria as a result of the Ash Cloud.

Fantastically floral

Leah immediately knew that Lee was someone she wanted to be friends with when she met him while working in the restaurant at Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa. The friendship grew through mutual support and in time blossomed into a relationship.

The couple went to Nerja in Spain on holiday with best friends Riley and Ilona in September 2019 and while visiting The Balcon De Europa, which looks out onto the Med, Lee popped the question. "I had an inkling it might happen, but I was still overwhelmed when it did and I didn't answer him for a really long time!" Leah remembers.

From friends to newlyweds

Mariam and Charlie are both solicitors and have worked at the same firm since 2014. "We were great friends but that turned into something far more fantastic," say Mariam. So fantastic that eventually Charlie proposed. "He asked me to marry him on Tower Bridge on our anniversary," she says. "I wasn't too surprised to be honest. The first proposal attempt was aborted – Charlie thought he covered it well, but he didn't!" she recalls. "It was supposed to be by St Paul's Cathedral where we had our fi rst kiss, but the filming for a DC movie made it impossible."

The price is right

Caroline met Danny in the last place she ever expected to meet anyone – at work! "We worked on different floors and never crossed paths, until one day I was asked to take notes for a senior manager in a disciplinary meeting," she says. "When I walked onto their floor, I saw a gorgeous man walking towards me – then he opened his mouth and his Yorkshire accent finished me off! After the meeting Danny asked what my plans were for the weekend, and I got so flustered I waffled a lot of drivel. It couldn't have been that bad, though, as he asked me out the following week."

True love

Alex Covey and Alex Frances first met in college when they were both 16. They were studying animal care at the time and already knew they had a shared interest.

The pair were both extremely anxious and shy, which meant they found it very difficult to talk to one another. Due to the severity of their shyness, they didn't truly talk to each other for a long time. They we were both overcoming a bad school life that stifled their social capabilities. It took until April 2018 for them to finally get the chance to properly become friends when they unknowingly chose the same work experience placement at an animal rescue centre.

A dreamy day

Elisha and Adam met through mutual friends at school and have been a couple ever since. No matter how much time they spent together, they always managed to make each other laugh and have made so many amazing memories over the years.

Adam proposed on Christmas day after hiding a ring in a cracker to surprise Elisha – of course she said 'yes'. The pair set the wedding for July 25th 2021, and created a memorable day surrounded by loved ones.

New beginnings

Michelle and Chris met through mutual friends in June 2006. "We attended a group meal at Pizza Express in Salisbury where we couldn't stop looking at each other," Michelle tells us. "Chris proposed in August 2011 over dinner in Pizza Hut. He wanted to ask me in the same pizza restaurant where we had met but it was fully booked so he had to improvise! It was a complete surprise and I cried happy tears," Michelle says.

Bright & beautiful

After meeting online, the first time Joseph set eyes on Francesca, he knew straight away that she was the one. "Joseph says that as soon as I opened the door to him and smiled for the first time, he knew he was going to marry me, however I took a little longer to realise this," admits Francesca.

Floral fantasy

Molly and Oli first met on Tinder back in 2015. After messaging back and forth, Oli planned dinner at his and the pair cooked a delicious meal together. "We ate food, listened to our favourite music, played a game and chatted until the sun came up – we couldn't believe how quickly time flew by", says Molly.

Start spreding the news

Jo and John met while working at the same Liverpool law firm. At the time John was going through a difficult time due to the sad passing of his father and Jo, who was unaware of his struggles, asked him on a date – not once, but twice!

Take the stage

Charlotte and Olly met whilst Charlotte was running a board game event at the bookshop where she worked and their friendship was cemented that day over a game of Munchkin. "It's fair to say that board games are the thing that brought us together and have been a pivotal part of our relationship," Charlotte tells us. "Since meeting, we have attended many a game convention together and always remained a united front - except when competing across the table!"

A stylish affair

Daisy and Ed met in their final year at Loughborough University in 2016. "During our time at university, we had lived close by to one another and had heard of each other through mutual friends but did not meet properly until our final year," Daisy tells us. "When we did meet, we instantly hit it off as friends first, and then we started dating a few months later."

Come away with me

Heather and Chris' paths initially crossed through work. Once through a course they both attended and again two years later on the refresher. It was third time lucky though when they encountered each other once more on Guernsey where they were setting up a new retail store for the company they both worked for. During the short time Heather was there, they bantered as they strolled down to the shop, met for food and drinks in the evening and later went clubbing, where Chris treated her to his best dance moves.

You and me always

Melissa and David met in the summer of 2018. "We matched on a dating website," says Melissa. "We clicked right away, and after a few weeks of talking, we decided to meet for our first date. We went to a local restaurant and talked so much that every time our waitress came over, we still hadn't looked at the menu. Neither of us had much experience with online dating, so we weren't really sure what to expect, but the transition from talking online to meeting in person was easy, and we quickly became inseparable."

Picture perfect

Amelia and Dom met on a typical guys and gals holiday when they were young, free and single. And who says holiday romances don't last? Some eight years later, Dom got down on one knee whilst on holiday in Portofino, the picturesque fishing village on the Italian Riviera coastline.

Shelby and Chris: You were made for me

Shelby and Chris met through a mutual friend, when Chris was serving in the armed forces back in 2017. "It was an instant attraction," remembers Shelby. "We both knew straight away that we were soulmates. I messaged Chris via Facebook and the rest was history!

Truly romantic

Lauren and Gaz met in the summer of 2017. "Gaz was volunteering at my cattle ranch in Wyoming," says Lauren. "We were just friends until he went to leave, and sparks began to fly. When Gaz returned to the UK, we stayed in touch and after a few days, he had already booked his flight back to the ranch. His second stay was a little more romantic, and by the end of it, I had decided to follow him over to Wales for the winter season while he got his degree."

Eyes on the prize

Midwife Natalie met Mark when she became his mentor during a placement at Basildon University Hospital's maternity unit. "Mark was training to be a paramedic, and there was an instant attraction between us," says Natalie. "We saw more and more of each other, and soon began to realise we were meant to spend the rest of our lives together."

Love wins for Lizi and Jack

Lizi and Jack met during their third year of university, at one of the first social nights after the Christmas break. Lizi says, "I didn't take to him immediately, but he won me over when I realised we were both as socially awkward as each other! His Geordie accent was, and still is, a winner for me."

Love at first swipe

Both leading busy lives, Neda and Pedram didn't have much spare time to meet anyone – until they were introduced via the dating app Hinge. "Within a matter of days of being on the app, we matched, and the rest was history," says Neda. "What attracted me to Pedram was his charm, intellect, and great looks. He was a breath of fresh air. Not only did he tick every box, he brought the best out of me; a side of myself I never knew existed," she says.

Magic moments

Anya and Andy met at Anya's place of work when Andy started some building work at the offices. "We instantly got along and I looked forward to him coming in every day," Anya tells us. "I was attracted to his sense of humour because he always made me laugh. He tells me that he first noticed my smile and the sparkle in my eyes!" Andy adds, "Anya appeared to ignore me at first, missing my chat-up lines because she was wearing her headphones!"

The couple spent their first date enjoying an off-road drive in Andy's truck followed by lunch. "It wasn't long after the first date that we both realised that we had each found somebody special in one another and the spark was there," Anya says

I love you

Abbie and George first met online before going on a date in London, where they got to know each other better. There was a spark straight away and the pair headed for a romantic walk around Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Abbie loved how kind and friendly George was; he always managed to make her laugh. He says, "I first saw Abbie stood reading a book while she waited for me at the station as I was running late. It made me chuckle to see her innocently stood there reading amongst the chaos." He adds, "Once we got chatting, I knew she was someone that was going to be in my life forever."

Truly timeless

Pabs and Adam met online, deciding to go on a date shortly afterwards. They talked for hours over cocktails and, Pabs says, "There was an instant connection between us. We both felt like we'd known each other for a long time."

Pabs hadn't been home to Sri Lanka for five years, so the couple planned a trip so she could introduce Adam to her parents. "I was really excited for him to meet them and to show him my country... I never expected him to propose!" she tells us. They booked a hotel in Kandy, Pabs' home city, overlooking the mountains. Then after her birthday dinner he popped the question. It was incredibly special to Pabs that he'd chosen the city she grew up in as the setting for such an important moment.

A dreamy day

Catherine and Chris met at school. "Chris is a year older, so we didn't know each other, but we got talking on MSN and MySpace," says Catherine. "We hit it off straight away due to our shared sense of humour and love of watching movies."

Chris popped the question during a holiday to Somerset. "We had always talked about getting married, and although we weren't officially engaged, we had discussed 2022 as a potential date," shares the bride. "I was at university until 2021, so we always talked about getting engaged after that. I was surprised when he popped the question during a holiday in 2020. We booked the trip for my birthday and spent the week in a lodge near the town of Wells. We went for a walk to Ebbor Gorge, and overlooking the beautiful scenery, Chris got down on one knee!"

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Image credits: www.kateizakphotography.com

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