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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.

Enchanted romance

Amanda and Mark started talking online. "To this day, we still don't know who swiped first," laughs Amanda. "Our relationship blossomed, and Mark asked me to be his wife in 2018 while we were in Egypt on an island called Mahmya. I had no idea that he was going to propose, and the whole trip was paradise."

Carla and Paul: The one for me

Carla and Paul met in 2016 at a Manchester City vs Aston Villa football game. "We vaguely knew of each other as we are from the same area but had never spoken," says Carla. "We started talking as the day went on and hit it off. The next day Paul asked me out on a date which we went on a couple of weeks later.

After that, we were inseparable and moved in together nine months later." Paul popped the question at the couple's wedding venue, Crow Wood Hotel & Spa Resort. "We were getting ready for dinner when all of a sudden Paul was down on one knee asking me to marry him," shares the bride. "It was a complete surprise! We had dinner and champagne and were on cloud nine."

You give me butterflies

Kayleigh and Haden met while working as prison officers.Together, they built a strong friendship, then further down the line this naturally blossomed into a relationship. Haden proposed at home one day. He came into their bedroom, where Kayleigh was sitting at the time, with her daughters – Immi, three,and Leila, five. Her youngest gave Kayleigh a ring box and asked, "Will you marry Haden?" Kayleigh remembers, "It was a massive surprise and completely perfect to involve the children."

The perfect day

After meeting through a mutual friend, Alex and Jojo hit it off straight away with plenty of laughter. After spending more time together, the pair slowly fell in love. Alex proposed on a boulder perched between two rocks 1,000meters in the air at Kjeragbolten in Norway; Jojo realised what was happening once they got to the top and, of course, said 'yes'! The pair set the wedding for 25th June 2022 and created a beautiful day with family and friends.

A new adventure

Kimberley and Phillip met online after Kim relocated for a job from Yorkshire to Essex as a single parent. "We have been together eight-and-a-half years and share a love of music and travelling; we've been to Canada, America, Europe and love new adventures!" shares Kim.

Phil proposed in New York on 31st May, 2019, with a bespoke engagement ring he'd had made. That wasn't there only news at the time, "We had just found out we were pregnant, too!" adds Kim. The big date was set, 23rd July 2022, with Willow Grange Farm, Norfolk, setting the scene.

Winter loving

Amy and Lewis first met at a christening in 2011 and immediately hit it off. The pair were both in attendance as godparents and, despite knowing both parents for several years, they'd never crossed paths before – the rest is history! Lewis popped the question on December 12th 2017, which led the couple to exchange vows precisely four years later surrounded by loved ones.

Summer lovin'

Paris and Elijah met at her sister's wedding in 2018. "We haven't gone a day without speaking since," Paris tells us. Elijah proposed on his 21st birthday. "After he asked me to marry him, we headed to his home to surprise our families with the news and celebrate - it was a big surprise for everybody!"

Love at first swipe

Caroline and Rob first met six years ago on an online dating app and their first date was in London where they met up for a drink and enjoyed a walk by Tower Bridge. "Rob proposed to me on the 17th of October 2020 on top of Mam Tor, one of the highest points in the Peak District," Caroline tells us. "We have been to the Peak District many times together before including our first time away together six years ago, so it's a very special place to us. After a three-hour hike, Rob asked me to take a picture of myself looking into the distance and as I turned backaround, he was on one knee which was such a surprise! He was so nervous that I had to remind him to put the ring on my finger!"

Burgandy bliss

Abi and Tom met online and talked for a few months before taking the plunge and meeting up for a first date. They soon discovered much common ground such as playing sport, their taste in music and a love for travel. Abi says, "I was attracted to Tom's great sense of humour, his positive outlook on life and his outgoing personality." Meanwhile, Tom tells us, "Abi immediately caught my eye with her warm smile and deep green eyes. I fell in love with her sense of adventure, kind and caring nature and passion for the outdoors. We complement each other in so many ways and she makes me a better person every day."

Country Romance

Holly and Matt met over a decade ago. "Matt saw me dancing the night away in Cardiff while he was studying at university, and the rest is history," says Holly. "Matt popped the question during a holiday to Sri Lanka to visit his family. On the second day, Matt and I went for a walk on the beach, and while I was busy taking photos of the sea, Matt got down on one knee! I was so shocked, I just kept asking: 'are you serious?'. I obviously agreed and he put the most beautiful ring on my finger.

The name's Wilks, Mr & Mrs Wilks

Jemma and Jack met on Tinder. As Jemma recalls, "We wish we could give a more romantic story, but a modern-day Tinder romance it is. I was actually sat with one of my close friends having a coffee and she was looking through the app on my phone and found Jack – Jack is actually her cousin! So, she swiped right, it was a match. The rest is history." Jemma and Jack married on 17th June, 2022 at Wharfedale Grange. Here, Jemma tells us more about their day...

Puppy love

Simone met Jade while out walking their dogs. "Jade had two foxhounds, Marley and Cruiser, and I have two jackhuahuas, Rupert and Hugo," says the bride. "We often stopped to talk to each other, but it was a few years before we found ourselves single at the same time, arranging to take a walk along the beach for our first date.

Like no other

Rebecca and David met in a local bar on Christmas Eve, so a seasonal wedding was always on the cards for them. "Linking our day to that time of the year was very special to us," Rebecca says. "David was like no man I'd met before. We took the time to get to know each other and found that we were both attracted to what we wanted from life and how we were going to get there, and we share the same sense of humour, which helps!" she says.

It was always you

Chloe and Jamie were 16 and 17 respectively when they met, having been introduced by a mutual friend. Chloe found Jamie funny despite his shyness and the fact he only managed to give her one-word answers during the entirety of their first conversation. However, by their second meeting he'd come out of his shell and that's when they really hit it off. "Even to this day, almost nine years later, no one makes me laugh like he does," Chloe shares.

Seasonal splendour

Sean and Kirstie's adventure began more than 10 years ago after their friendship blossomed into something beautiful. The pair became inseparable and created many amazing memories together over the years, which led Sean to ask a very important question. Back in 2019, Sean originally planned to take Kirstie for a picnic in Burley at sunset but the motorway was closed. Kirstie says, "He had told me we were going out and to get ready but didn't say where. I was getting ready when he said we must go now as the motorway had opened much earlier than expected.

Summer lovin'

Helen Jayne Parkin, 31, married Phillip Arthur Daniels, 50, on 16th July 2022 at the Church of St John the Baptist, East Down in North Devon. This was followed by a marquee reception held at their home farm in Combe Martin.

A new year, a new beginning

Victoria and Christopher met on a blind date at the Manchester Christmas markets, having been set up by their friends. Three years later, and now a couple, they moved to Dubai and that's where they still live, happily ever after.

Christopher proposed at Pier Chic in Dubai. He'd taken Victoria to brunch there and afterwards surprised her with all of her closest friends looking on. They chose Mottram Hall to host their big day. The location,stunning grounds and new Champneys Spa sealed the deal for them.The day after the wedding, they enjoyed massages in the Spa with their close family and friends. The gents in the wedding party even got to make the most of it the night before.

Here, the bride shares her memories of the wedding day, New Year's Eve, 2021...

Great scot

Louise met Dewar at an Annie Mac gig when they were there with mutual friends.

"My dad owned a motorbike shop, and after chatting we realised Dewar had bought his first bike there before we even knew each other!" says Louise.

"I loved that Dewar was confident, but not cocky, and he made me laugh all the time – plus he's very easy on the eye! He says it was my hairstyle at the time that attracted him to me –which was red and shaved down one side! – as well as my quirky personality."

Let it snow

Jessica and Hayden met at university. "Even though we are both from the Telford area, we actually met whilst at Leeds university," says Jessica. "I was working in a nightclub when Hayden came in for a night out and a colleague of mine introduced us. We got talking and hit it off right away. After we fi nished university, we moved home together and are best friends, we get on really well and are always laughing and being silly."

Something blue

Having moved with his family down to Sussex from London, Harry joined the local sixth form, which Zoe already attended. He was soon cajoled into a night out by his new friend Duncan, and that's where he met Zoe. "One thing lead to another and now, 10 years later, we're married," she says. "We've always just enjoyed each other's company and we often say to each other that we just love doing life together."

The one for me

Karen and Danny met in the waiting room of a car garage. "Danny was waiting for a tyre to be changed, and I was there having a puncture repaired," says Karen. "Our eyes met across the room, and I gave Danny a cheeky grin, and it was fireworks from there. It was his unshaven, rugged look and the glint in his eyes that attracted me to him. For Danny, it was the cheeky but innocent look that I gave him."

The dream day

Natasha first met Eric at Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk after she decided to take up gliding and he was the instructor. They quickly became friends before becoming inseparable. After two years Natasha started to think that perhaps they could be more than friends, even though Eric told her they should be together sooner and are meant for one another – the rest is history! Eric proposed on Natasha's 28th birthday in London with Tower Bridge in the background. She says, "I certainly had my suspicions on the day when he put my 'present' in my handbag and told me I could have it later on in the day. We'd talked about getting married before, but I didn't know when the proposal would come." Here Natasha shares details about their special day...

Opposites attract

Chris and Angela met online. "Not very exciting, but I guess it's the modern way of dating," Angela laughs. Perhaps so, but there is nevertheless a funny story behind how they were matched. While Chris was on holiday in Sweden he'd accidentally set his Tinder account to Singapore, where Angela was working as a nurse at the time! Three months after they started talking, Chris decided to travel to Singapore to meet Angela. "It definitely wasn't love at first sight," she says. "Chris and I are totally different apart from our love of travel. We don't have any common interests at all, but we enjoyed learning a lot from each other. I think that's what excites us, there's never a boring day."

Flower power

Childhood sweethearts Ella and Ben met at school and became best friends, hanging out together and chatting online most evenings. By the age of 14, they were boyfriend and girlfriend and have been together ever since. "Ben has always made me laugh and I adore him for that," says Ella.

Moments that matter

Sophie and Will were both living in London when they first met on Tinder and happened to only be a five-minute walk from each other. After they both swiped right and had a brief chat on the app, they decided to meet up and go on a date – the rest is history!

Will proposed to Sophie while on a trip travelling through Belize and Mexico for two weeks. She says, "It was the last day of our holiday when he popped the question on the balcony at our hotel in Tulum. He'd been trying to do it the whole trip but could never find the right moment or pluck up the courage!"