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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.

A fine romance

A fine romance

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.

Time for love

Time for love

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...

Once upon a time

Once upon a time

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."

Teal death do us part

Teal death do us part

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."

Plan B.eautiful

Plan B.eautiful

It was love at first sight for Sophie and Chris. After chatting online for while they decided to meet face-to-face and the rest, as they say, is history. "I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true," confirms Sophie. "We had our first date in Ipswich town centre at a little coffee shop and ended up talking for hours. We hit it off straight away as we had so much in common and we both wanted to meet again. After that it didn't take long for us to feel like we'd known each other for years!"

A day to remember

A day to remember

Joseph and Angela's adventure together first started when they crossed paths at work. After three years of just being friends/colleagues, one night changed everything. During a night shift, the pair started chatting more and realised how well they got on and shared the same sense of humour. Angela says, "I think pretty early on we both knew it was special as we're very well suited. Joe always describes me as 'The Laurel to his Hardy', I love that as we're meant to be together."

The game of love

The game of love

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.

All I need is you

All I need is you

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."

Nothing can tear us apart

Nothing can tear us apart

Gill and Simon first met in Bognor Regis in 2001. "Simon was visiting for work," says Gill. "He was staying at my local pub, and we got chatting over a game of pool. He was only due to stay for one more night, so we made plans to go into town that evening. The next day instead of heading home, he decided to stay. We remained in contact for several months over the phone, and in December of that year, a bunch of beautiful lilies were delivered to the travel agency where I worked. I realised then that he'd been thinking of me and how kind and thoughtful he was. We continued to have a long-distance romance for the next three years, travelling 160 miles either way at every opportunity we had. We quite often got up at 4:30am on a Monday morning to travel home for work so we could have a few more hours together. I decided to move to Warwick in 2005, and we've since moved to Leamington."

Small and chic

Small and chic

Georgina and Sami met at secondary school when they were 17. "Every weekend there used to be parties where we'd see each other, however, we didn't get on back then!" Georgina tells us. "He asked for my number once and I said no but he got it from a mutual friend anyway. We started talking and the rest, as they say, is history!"

Just the two of us with Jess and Ted

Just the two of us with Jess and Ted

Jess and Ted met at university. "Ted joined the mixed netball team where I was already a member and our relationship blossomed from there!" Jess tells us. "We're now usually found playing or coaching dodgeball across the country, and we run a dodgeball club together." The couple became engaged during an intimate proposal at home. "We had talked about getting married but wanted to wait until we could afford a wedding before getting engaged," Jess tells us. "Ted ordered a ring that he thought would arrive in time for a trip that we were taking to South Africa last year but it didn't so he asked me to marry him at home instead."

Autumn delights

Autumn delights

Katherine and Sam shared two big things in common: their profession and their sense of humour. "We're both teachers and we met while working in the same school," Katherine tells us. "We just got on really well; I laughed at his jokes and he loved my smile." It wasn't long before Sam was thinking about popping the question. "Sam proposed while we were on holiday in Sri Lanka," Katherine says. "It was after dinner one evening when we were walking along a deserted beach, while under a clear sky with twinkling stars." Katherine admits it wasn't a total surprise. "We had talked about getting married prior to the holiday!" she says. Back in the UK, the two began planning their perfect wedding, and set the date for 19th October, 2019. We caught up with Katherine to find out more...

Timeless elegance with Rebecca and Reece

Timeless elegance with Rebecca and Reece

Rebecca and Reece were first introduced through a friend and the rest is history! Overtime it became apparent that the two had something special and they shared so many lovely moments, celebrations and dreams together. Rebecca says, "I started to feel like without Reece I wouldn't be me, he's such an inspiring person and makes my life so much better. We slowly morphed into a team and started to achieve things we never thought we would and reached most of our life goals at such a young age – you can't do that with just anyone."

From Liverpool with love

From Liverpool with love

Hannah met Mike on a night out with friends and thought he was good looking as soon as she clapped eyes on him. "We got chatting after too many double vodka and Diet Cokes and ended up exchanging numbers. The rest is history," she tells us. "Mike and I are polar opposites in personality, but we just seem to work well together," she continues. The pair began to discuss the topic of marriage in earnest around six years later and within a couple of months were looking for engagement rings. "I chose the ring so that Mike could go back later to buy it once he'd decided how and when to propose," she explains. He opted for Ladies Day at Aintree races, already one of Hannah's favourite annual events. The first race came and went and Hannah was determined to quickly get some food before the next. "Kudos to Mike for instead persuading me to have our photo taken on the balcony of our stand overlooking the winning post," she says. It was here that he popped the question. "It was the best win I had that day," Hannah laughs.

Tale as old as time

Tale as old as time

Kendall and Rob met when they were just 17 years old, after catching each other's eye at college. Over the next 11 years, they were lucky enough to grow up together. "We've shared incredible experiences together," Rob says. "Tying the knot was definitely long overdue! She is my best friend and I'm so happy to have married her." When it came to proposing, Rob pulled out all the stops. "We were in New York just before Christmas," Kendall tells us. "It had been our dream holiday for years! He popped the question in Central Park – it was the most wonderful surprise. Afterwards we went for an amazing meal and watched the Saks Christmas light show. The whole experience was magical."

Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures

Katie and Ed met at work but nothing happened between them until sometime later, even though they worked on the same floor. "Ed runs the IT department and I'm a nurse and even though Ed claims he hadn't noticed me until about a year after I started there, I was instantly attracted to him," says Katie. "It helps that he's the tall, dark, handsome type and is always smiling, which lights up his whole face. Ed was won over by my big eyes and magnetic personality apparently," she laughs.

A fairytale romance

A fairytale romance

Sandra and Lyndon met online three years ago where they discovered a mutual love of cooking, walking, keeping fit and dogs. By 2019 the pair were discussing marriage plans and became engaged on Sandra's birthday that year. Dreams of a fairytale castle wedding started to become a reality when they booked Lympne Castle for the big day. "Dating back to the 12th century, it has a delightful great hall with panelling, beams and Medieval windows. It was ideal for us," Sandra says.

A London love story

A London love story

Fabienne and Tony both work in the classical music business – Fabienne as a marketing professional and Tony as a percussionist. It was while they were both working for the world-famous London Symphony Orchestra that they met. And yes, it was at the work Christmas party! Fabienne tells us, "I remember looking across the room and thinking, 'Who is that?' I was so drawn to his good looks and magnetism. Tony says he was taken by my big smile, flirtatious nature and intelligence."

Winter romance

Winter romance

Claire and Samuel met while studying music at Cardiff University. "We bonded over our mutual love of musical theatre and folk music," says Samuel. "I accompanied Claire to a lunchtime concert series, and we became good friends. We quickly fell for each other without even realising it." Samuel popped the question on New Year's Eve in front of Claire's family. "We looked at rings together earlier in December, but Claire didn't know when the proposal would be," shares the groom. "It was also a surprise for the rest of our friends and family."

Lights, camera, action

Lights, camera, action

Melissa was 15 minutes late for her first date with Jim, leading him to believe he'd been stood up and mistaking a speaker for a seat in his distress. "He quickly realised though that a quarter of an hour is practically early for me," Melissa laughs. Despite her time keeping and his seating incident, they both had a wonderful time and set their second date for Valentine's just a few days later. "Jim met me off the tube with a rose and a bag of dolly mixtures," Melissa explains. That's true love for you!

Anything goes

Anything goes

The fact that this cute couple had the song Never Been Loved Like This Before as one of their First Dance songs highlight this true, classic romance of finding your soul mate. "Paul is, hands down, the kindest and most hard working man I have ever met (apart from my daddy!)," shares Holly. "We have the same sense of humour. We were friends before we became a couple because I never dreamed he saw me as anything more.

Against all odds

Against all odds

Bethany and Lee met in 2008 during a night out. "We met through mutual friends," says Bethany. "We dated for a few months and then parted ways. In this time I travelled the world and went to university in Sheffield while Lee stayed in Carlisle pursuing his engineering career. We reconnected in 2017 and as they say, the rest is history."

True love for Michael and Rebekah

True love for Michael and Rebekah

Michael and Rebekah first discovered each other online and decided to go on a date to the cinema. "I can remember talking on the first night where we clicked so quickly," says Rebekah. "I invited him round to cook together and watch The X Factor for our third date. I felt so comfortable in my environment with this man I felt so connected to!

A country-chic celebration in The West Country

A country-chic celebration in The West Country

When Krishna and Phil met on a beach in Croatia, they knew their lives were about to change. "We fell for each other straight away," Krishna says. Five years into their relationship, they planned an epic trip to Iceland to celebrate their anniversary. "I've always wanted to go there," Krishna says. "On the second day, Phil arranged for us to visit the Blue Lagoon at sunrise. He booked a private spa area, and with no one else around, he got down on one knee after carrying the ring around in his robe!"

A helluva hoedown

A helluva hoedown

When Shona and Dan met online they quickly discovered that they had plenty in common. "Dan tested my knowledge of country music and apparently I passed the test! We went for drinks and dinner for our first date followed by a trip to Skegness the next day and then the day after that Dan took me out on his Harley-Davidson motorbike, and that was that," recalls Shona.