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See how other couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from County Wedding Magazines' Real Weddings features.
As if it were a romantic fairytale, Faye and Paul's nuptials were classic and elegant. Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected and can take you completely by surprise, that's what happened when Paul confessed his love to Faye. The pair had known of each other through friends and on a night out, Paul let his feeling known. Faye says, "I wasn't attracted to him at first, but agreed to meet up again without alcohol this time, and we both felt there was chemistry between us. We realised we have a lot in common and fell in love."
One fine day: Emma and Suraj's wedding was a bright, bold and beautiful day. Emma and Suraj's romance started when the couple first met at work after Emma received her nursing qualification and started working at a new hospital. Little did she know one doctor called Suraj would make a huge impact on her life and become her future. The pair instantly clicked and from that moment their love grew and blossomed into a beautiful relationship.
Jessica and Maria chose a venue that meant to world to them, and enjoyed a wedding day packed with fun and laughter. "Maria asked her friend about me the moment she first saw me. Despite being told I wasn't looking to date anyone at the time, she then went on to wager a crate of wine that she'd be able to charm me," Jessica says of the pair's initial encounter on a night out with mutual friends. We're pleased to report that after several months Maria's charms did indeed win Jessica over, "combined with her humour, intelligence, obvious beauty, and dance moves," she recalls.
The Kingscote Barn offered a magical winter vibe for Lizzie and Tim's celebrations. Lizzie and Tim met at primary school and remained good friends throughout their teenage years. "We finally started dating in our early twenties," Lizzie tells us, "and after 22 years of knowing one another, we decided to tie the knot."The couple became engaged on holiday in Lombok, Indonesia. "It was a lovely surprise when Tim asked me to marry him after watching a beautiful sunset together," Lizzie explains, "although I did have a slight inclination that he might because he was carrying a bag around with him on the holiday that clearly showed what appeared to be a square-shaped box inside!"
Love is in the air: Christina and Shane shared their day with loved ones at Luton Hoo. Christina caught Shane's eye whilst cruising at 35,000 feet. "Shane was working as an air steward and I was a passenger on his flight travelling with my family," says Christina. "Making a first move isn't something that we both typically do but we ended up talking throughout the whole journey. Let's just say Shane didn't work at all during that flight."
Arnos Vale provided a fabulous backdrop for Georgina and Arthur's big day. Georgina and Arthur's relationship didn't start out like a fairytale. "We met 12 years ago at work," Georgina tells us. "We didn't get on at first and took great pleasure in antagonising each other!" Somewhere along the line they realised that maybe they didn't dislike each other at all – although they still like to wind each other up!
Rebecca and Stuart tied the knot with a vibrant wedding at Twickenham Rowing Club. Rebecca and Stuart were close friends until their relationship slowly grew into something more. "We met at work," says Rebecca. "We got on really well and just clicked."Stuart popped the question during a day trip to London. "We walked along the South Bank and had a drink outside the Royal Festival Hall," shares the bride. "We were enjoying ourselves when he asked me to marry him. It was the biggest and best surprise ever."
Neil and Daniella held a wonderfully intimate celebration at the Roman Baths. Daniella was extremely shy when she first started her job, so it took five years before she eventually got chatting to Neil. "Once we started talking, the rest was history," she tells us.In March 2018, the pair had planned a weekend in Florence, but due to heavy snow the flight was cancelled. Although Daniella was unaware why, Neil was intent on going away that weekend. "He managed to change our flights," she remembers. "We went from a different airport to Marrakesh. I had no idea he was planning to pop the question!"
A touch of sparkle: Leanne and Michael had a bling-themed celebration at the stunning Rivington Hall Barn. Leanne and Michael have been together 16 years. "We met in a local pub where I was a waitress," says Leanne. "Michael gave me a letter asking me to go on a date with him and we've been madly in love ever since."Michael surprised Leanne by proposing on Valentine's Day. "It was a big surprise," shares the bride. "He put the ring inside a balloon, and when I realised it was in there, I said yes and we couldn't have been happier."
All you need is love: What started as a game of pool for Bill and Becky developed into something beautiful. Bill and Becky's adventure started when they first met at University and from there, the connection grew between the two over games of pool. Becky says, "We found each other to be genuine and we share a lot of the same values. We both like to have our interests and take that time for ourselves but we also make a great team."
Rachel and James' wedding took place at Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel. Rachel and James met in Southampton. "We were introduced by mutual sailing friends," says Rachel. "He was tall and handsome, and we shared lots of the same hobbies." James popped the question in the New Forest in 2016. "We went for a walk near Buckler's Hard," shares the bride. "It was witnessed by our daughter, who was a newborn and was oblivious to it all. We enjoyed a special celebratory meal and a drink afterwards at Lime Wood."
Amy and Matt filled their wedding with personal touches. Amy's first memory of Matt was when he was questioning her taste in music at a jukebox! "Over time, we seemed to come in and out of each other's lives," Amy says. "We would always gravitate towards each other." In 2013, they met at a music festival, but this time things seemed different. It was only when their mutual friend got involved that they realised they were right for each other.
Danielle and Andrew were the first couple to have their wedding at Belle Vue Speedway. Danielle and Andrew's friendship slowly grew into something more. "We were working at a motorbike dealership," says Danielle. "At a Christmas party, we started talking and realised how much we had in common and soon became best friends."Andrew surprised Danielle by proposing during a holiday to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. "I knew we were having a meal, but I wasn't suspicious until Andrew started nervously coughing," shares the bride. "After our main course, the waitress presented us with a glass slipper, and Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. It was amazing, and we watched the fireworks together afterwards."
Carley and David had a relaxed celebration at the picturesque Brockholes Nature Reserve. Carley and David had been engaged for two-and-a-half years before finally tying the knot. "We wanted a natural and relaxed vibe to our day," says Carley. "I stumbled across our reception venue by accident. One of my bridesmaids took me to a wedding fair at Brockholes Nature Reserve, and it was love at first sight. It looks beautiful in all seasons, and we loved that we could visit before and after the wedding."
Pretty in pink: Jade and Kyle's gorgeous nuptials took place at Brooklands Hotel. Jade and Kyle were childhood sweethearts. "We met in high school," says Jade. "I was 15 and Kyle was 14. We fell madly in love and have been together ever since."Kyle proposed on their six-year anniversary. "We were at Bognor Regis Beach," shares the bride. "It's one of our favourite places, and the proposal was a massive surprise." Here she shares some of her favourite moments from their big day...
Jump on board for a magical winter wedding. After meeting online, Hillary and Dev got together in September 2016. "I was attracted to him because he has such a gentle soul and I'd never met anyone as thoughtful, and he fell for my sense of adventure. Originally from Australia, I'd just moved to London from Hong Kong and when we first started dating we spent a lot of time visiting many of the city's attractions. I think Dev really liked getting to know London again through fresh eyes."
Winter warmer: Rebecca and Jake's rustic wedding included a festive nod to Christmas. Rebecca and Jake met online and the attraction was instant. "We both love the outdoors and travel and our common interests made conversation easy," recalls Rebecca. After getting together as a couple, Jake popped the question on a beautiful spring evening in the bluebell woods at Itteringham, near Norwich. "It's one of my favourite places," says Rebecca. "We'd planned to take our dog Willow for a walk there, which we've done every year since we've been together, as the wood is covered in a carpet of bluebells.
Jo and Ben's winter wedding was a cosy country affair. Jo and Ben met at the Waveney House Hotel in Beccles where they both worked. She started out as a waitress and went on to run weddings at the hotel, while Ben was, and still is, a chef there. "One of my colleagues suggested asking for his number, I chickened out though, so she asked for me," reveals Jo. Although she says, it 'felt like forever' before she got a ring on her finger, after some persistent nudging, Ben popped the question on December 18th, 2016 while they were out for a walk in Snape.
The Compasses at Pattiswick was the perfect backdrop for Hannah and Sam's classically styled big day. Hannah and Sam are both spontaneous souls with a zest for life. "It's definitely what attracted us to each other when we first met in a gym class," Hannah tells us. "We're also very family-orientated, which is so important to both of us."
Josephine and Sean's decadent wedding unveiled a rich colour scheme with seasonal touches
When a Stormtrooper gatecrashed the wedding Janice and Karl's guests knew they were in for a surprise