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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.

The light of my life

The light of my life

Chelsea and Ryan met at a family wedding. "In the evening, we both had a bit too much drink and kissed on the dancefloor in front of everyone," says Chelsea. "My dad came in between us, and the rest is history!"

Ryan popped the question at the Yosemite National Park in California. "We went on a road trip back in 2018," shares the bride. "Ryan insisted we visit the park, so we spent a couple of days there. We parked at the bottom of a mountain for a picnic. We walked up to the top, which was scary as we had to watch out for bears because of our food!

Happily ever after

Happily ever after

Carly and Vlad met like most modern couples online. "We went for drinks and didn't want the date to end," says Carly. "I think we ended up drinking seven glasses of Diet Coke each! I loved how kind he was, that we wanted the same things in life, how handsome he was and that we both liked travelling."

Vlad popped the question during a trip to Disneyland Paris. "I'm a big Disney fan, so we decided to go for my birthday," shares the bride.

Best day ever

Best day ever

James and Katy met through mutual friends and it became clear that they shared a strong connection after a few dates. Katy says, "We were confident in each other's company; every conversation was so effortless and full of laughter."

It was evident from the early stages of the relationship that they had found the one. Katy comments, "We've always had a way of making natural progressions throughout our relationship, without always thoroughly speaking about them beforehand."

In the country

In the country

Having both ended previous relationships Becci and Ed moved back in with their respective parents, who happened to live opposite each other. Becci's dad would often enjoy neighbourly chats with Ed in the front garden. One day, Becci's sister thought it would be hilarious to tell Ed that Becci fancied him, despite nothing of the sort ever being discussed. Mortified when she found out, she announced to Ed, having bumped into him on a night out, that it had all been a prank. Nevertheless, a few days later he asked her out for a drink and the rest is history. "Seven years, one wedding, three kids later and here we are," Becci says.

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...

Joe and Sophie love story started at university, where they met through mutual friends. After a night out, the pair spent hours walking around campus together in the cold. They ended up sitting on a bench and speaking about their shared interests. Sophie says, "As cheesy as it sounds, we both knew from the start that we were a perfect match."

Joe proposed to Sophie at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, right in front of Hogwarts. The location was very appropriate as they're both huge Harry Potter fans. She says, "It was such a surprise, even though we had spoken about getting married before."

Wedding march

Wedding march

Steven met Charlotte while in Chatham for a course in 2009. Their relationship met with early challenges however, when dance teacher Charlotte became wheelchair-bound after breaking her back; and paratrooper Steven was injured in a bomb blast in Afghanistan. "We stayed in contact the whole time and met up again a few years later. The rest is history – he's my lobster," Charlotte says. Steven decided to propose on Charlotte's birthday. She peeled off the wrapping paper of her last present and found a BeaverBrooks box inside.

A wild romance

A wild romance

Devon McDaniel and Rob Newman met while they both worked at the same company for many years. "When I relocated from the U.S. to London in 2014, we started working closely together and had an immediate connection," recalls Devon. "Our friendship developed easily over team lunches and after-work pub trips, and we began dating in 2015." Fast-forward three years later and Rob proposed while the couple were on holiday in Oslo, Norway in December, 2018.

The power of love

The power of love

Bethany and Adam's exciting journey started online on a dating site. After messaging back and forth, the pair realised they shared many mutual friends and couldn't believe they'd never met before. One Friday afternoon, Bethany and Adam decided to have drinks together in Newcastle and discovered that they shared a strong bond. Bethany says, "We were both single-parents and ended up visiting different soft plays with the boys, while getting to know each other better. After a few days out, the boys were inseparable and so were we!"

Finally, we do

Finally, we do

Jess and Jamie met like most modern couples, online. "We both swiped right on Tinder more than six years ago," says Jess. "We talked for a few months before deciding to meet in Swansea, which was halfway between where we both lived. We instantly clicked and ended up taking for hours while we walked the length of Swansea marina and bay." Jamie popped the question on New Year's Day in 2019. "He had asked for my mother's blessing the summer before and had managed to keep it secret for a while," shares the bride.

If music be the food of love... play on

If music be the food of love... play on

Hannah and Jon Alford met in July 2016 at a dinner not realising all along it was a set up! "We got on really well and had loads in common, particularly as we are both music teachers," shares Hannah. "Our first proper date was on 27th July to the Royal Albert Hall to watch one of the BBC Proms, and every year since we try to go around the same time for our anniversary, although in 2020 that wasn't possible!"

Match made in heaven

Match made in heaven

Dorreh Khatibi and Alex Hill met while working at a Young Offenders Institute, where Dorreh taught young men, and Alex worked as an officer. "The first time I met Alex, he was in a classroom with another teacher and was being cheeky, with an infectious smile and was laughing at his own jokes!" recalls Dorreh.

After a long dating process, with a few bumps in the road, they fell in love, found their dream home and dream jobs, and Dorreh had a ready-made family, "It's been a journey for me and Quinn, Alex's daughter, however we've made a very strong bond and she's the most adorable thing in my life and was my sweet flowergirl."

Love among the boughs

Love among the boughs

Danni and Rich met through a dating app; she liked his cheeky-chappy look, he fell for her smile and the rest, as they say, is history! Rich popped the question during a weekend away glamping. "While it was a very romantic setting, his timing wasn't particularly great as I was doing the washing up at the time!" laughs Danni. She said 'yes' though and to celebrate, they spent the day riding the rollercoasters at Alton Towers. They tied the knot at Careys Manor in the glorious New Forest on 3rd July this year. Read on for Danni's account of their big day...

A fine February day

A fine February day

Georgia and Alex met at university through a mutual friend. "We had briefly crossed paths during the first year at a birthday party and Alex felt a spark," Georgia tells us. "He told me that he found me funny and outgoing but I was in a relationship at the time. During our third year, I became single so Alex kept asking me out for several months until I gave in - it's the best thing I ever did! I was attracted to him because of his kindness and thoughtfulness but he's also daring and a lot braver than me at trying new adventures!"

Worth the wait

Worth the wait

Kim and Edward met while they were both working at Liverpool's Arena and Convention Centre. So, their paths naturally crossed day-to-day and they gradually got to know each other. One day Edward invited Kim to a work night out with a few colleagues from his team. However when she arrived, much to her surprise, herself and Edward were the only two to have turned up. It was then she discovered that in fact there never was a work night out planned, it was merely a ruse devised by Edward to ask her out on a date. "While devious isn't a characteristic most would look for in a husband, Ed does have many other qualities," Kim assures us. "He's kind, funny and perfect to me," she explains.

One fine day for Hannah and Harry

One fine day for Hannah and Harry

Hannah and Harry have known each other since they were children. "We went to primary school together and met again when we were 19," says Hannah. "After some persistence from Harry, I agreed to go on a date with him, and we've been inseparable ever since." Harry proposed during a holiday to Berlin. "We were on our way to a Liam Gallagher concert in March 2018," shares the bride. "It was in front of the cathedral and was wonderfully romantic."

Love is all around for Stuart and Cheryl

Love is all around for Stuart and Cheryl

Stuart and Cheryl found each other through mutual friends and got on really well from their first meeting. The pair shared the same sense-of-humour and everything seemed so natural together. Cheryl says, "Not long after we started going out, I knew I had found my soulmate. Stuart makes me feel special; he's so supportive and is always there for anyone who needs his support." During the lockdown, the couple were sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine and a glass of champagne when the idea of marriage came up.

Down by the river

Down by the river

Jodie and Michael first met more than ten years ago, becoming friends for a few years before they started dating. "We lost touch and then met up again in a pub a few years later and our relationship developed from there," Jodie tells us. The couple became engaged during a surprise proposal in Paris for Jodie's 27th birthday. "Michael proposed the night before my birthday on the Pont des Arts," Jodie says. "He had planned a surprise trip and the first I knew about it was when we arrived at the airport - it was a complete surprise, I had no idea!"

I do - at last!

I do - at last!

It was fourth time lucky for Becky and Max when they eventually tied the knot at Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk. After having to cancel three previous wedding dates due to Coronavirus, their big day finally came on 17th June this year – and what a day it was! Despite restrictions and disappointments along the way, including having to slash the guest list by almost half, they married in style and celebrated with a cool cocktail of soft pastel colours mixed with a dash of boho and Mediterranean vibes and a good measure of gin!

One fine day for Jade and Paul

One fine day for Jade and Paul

Jade and Paul met through mutual friends. "I think it's fair to say I was persistent," laughs Jade. "Over time our relationship blossomed, and in November 2018, Paul proposed. It was a total surprise to me! We were visiting Bermuda for my 30th birthday and were playing miniature golf and having a few cocktails when Paul popped the question. Following this, we went onto New York for a four-day stay before returning home for my birthday."

Time for love

Time for love

Kirsty and Ryan's love story began at a friend's New Year's Eve party back in 2010. She says, "Ryan was sat across the table from me and as cheesy as it sounds, I just knew there and then that I wanted to be with him. We instantly clicked and have rarely been apart since that first meeting." Three years later, Ryan proposed to Kirsty in front of their friends at another New Year's Eve party. He put the ring in a champagne glass, which Kirsty nearly drank, and got on one knee as midnight hit. She says, "I knew he was going to propose as we'd been ring shopping a few months earlier, but I had no idea when he would be asking and it was a huge surprise."

A spring romance

A spring romance

Tom and Elsa met in the mid-noughties' coolest way: on MySpace. "We spent two weeks 'dating' by going to the local bakery on our school lunch break!" Elsa remembers. She was attracted to Tom's honesty and happy energy, while Tom was drawn in by the mystery of the new girl at school. After discovering a strong connection and easy-flowing conversation, the pair made it official when Tom asked Elsa to be his girlfriend.

Our little big day

Our little big day

Jasmine and Stephen met through a mutual friend on a night out in Croydon. "It was far from love at first sight," says Jasmine. "In fact, Stephen thought I was a bit stuck up, and to be honest, I don't think I said two words to him that night, so it's no wonder his first impression wasn't a great one! We met again on New Year's Eve the following month, and again, there was no love story. We went out as part of a large group in Bournemouth and barely remembered saying hello or goodbye to each other. Less than a month later, we ended up on another night out together. I had dyed my hair back to brunette, which apparently made me Stephen's type. He spent most of the night trying to figure out how to make his move. We finally exchanged numbers and had our first date a week later, and the rest is history!"

Marry me!

Marry me!

Kelly and Tim met via an online dating app in 2015. "It was a picture of him wearing an Exeter Chief headpiece after watching them play rugby that did it for me!" Kelly tells us. Tim adds, "It was Kelly's dark hair and signature red lipstick that caught my eye." The couple became engaged during a surprise proposal in New York on Kelly's 30th birthday. "We were so excited to visit the city ahead of Christmas but I had no idea that he was going to propose," Kelly tells us. "My birthday fell on the last day of our trip and we had an evening ticket booked to visit the Empire State Building.

From this day forward

From this day forward

The spark between Charlotte and Josh was clear from the moment they met and it was obvious to friends looking on that they were witnessing love at first sight. Five years on, and by that time a couple, they'd quit their jobs to go travelling for seven months. Charlotte was quizzed before she left about whether Josh might propose, but she was adamant he wouldn't. Sri Lanka was the first stop on their travels and whilst there they made sure to visit a restaurant recommended by a friend. Charlotte tells us,

We belong together

We belong together

Niki and Jonny met on an evening out with friends in Liverpool. They exchanged numbers, but due to the long hours they both worked in the NHS they only managed to keep in touch via social media at first. But before long they discovered a shared sense of humour and outlook. "Jonny always made me laugh and smile whenever I was feeling down," Niki says. So, despite living some distance apart they began dating and further town the line Jonny moved in with Niki and her son Jakub, who'd really taken to him.