Real weddings and wedding ideas

See how other local couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding Real Weddings features.

Take two

Tom and Jemma met through a mutual friend at an ice skating rink and hit it off immediately after Tom fell over. Jemma says, "The more we talked during the day, the more we wanted to see each other again. We exchanged numbers, and the rest is history!" In December 2020, Jemma and her mum went for a walk at Lulworth Cove, where they bumped into Tom's parents. Jemma comments, "I didn't think anything of it until I saw Tom waiting for me at the cliff side to propose! I was shaking and couldn't believe what was happening!"

My precious

Charlotte and Ben met on a dating app, and their sense of humour first attracted them to each other. The bride's strapline was 'looking for a gladiator', and Ben's opening line was 'will a spartan do?' It's safe to say they were the perfect match and ended up dating. In 2019, Ben proposed during a weekend away to Ilfracombe with their dog Max. On the last night of the trip, they had a lovely shellfish dinner before taking a stroll along the pier during a gorgeous sunset.

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.

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.

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."

Timeless elegance: Beth and Joe

Online dating has become extremely popular over the last few years, and happened to be where Beth and Joe first met. On their first date, the pair headed to a gin bar to get to know each other more. Beth comments, "We both felt so relaxed in each other's company – we just clicked! We would do and say certain things simultaneously; we really are the male and female version of each other."

The lovebirds were on holiday in Dubai when Joe proposed. While enjoying cocktails at Burj Al Arab, which held many sentimental memories for Beth, she ordered a Genie in a Bottle cocktail which came with three wishes. She says, "The waitress brought over a treasure chest, which I thought was snacks, until she slowly opened it. Inside was the ring, and Joe dropped to one knee." The whole thing was captured on camera to show their friends and family back home.

Lady in Red

Maddie and James first met when she moved to London for her first job as a junior doctor. "A mutual friend cunningly arranged for us to attend the same party knowing we were both newly single and had a shared love of art, nature and general goofiness," Maddie recalls. The matchmaking worked and they got together as a couple. However, when the time came for James to pop the question, things didn't quite go to plan. Three days into a two-week road trip in California he intended to surprise Maddie with a romantic proposal during a 5am hike in Joshua Tree National Park. The idea was to trek to the top of the highest rock and persuade her to pose for a photo looking out over the edge, to then find him down on one knee when she turned round. He hadn't counted on her being frozen to the spot with crippling vertigo though! "Poor James had to get back up to retrieve me. Luckily photo attempt two was more successful and we enjoyed a special moment together on top of the rock as the sun came up. I later had an image of the rock engraved on to a silver signet ring for James as a memento," adds Maddie.

Rain failed to stop play

A mutual friend set Emily and Nathan up on a blind date bowling and they proved to be the perfect match! Their competitive nature came out during the game and Nathan was bowled over by Emily's carefree character. Romance blossomed and when the time came to pop the question, Nathan's plan was thwarted by bad weather and he ended up asking her to marry him looking out to sea in his hometown in Wales. "As we're avid walkers I was originally going to propose at the top of the Pen y Fan mountain, however when the sunshine turned to torrential rain, I had to quickly reconsidered my options," he recalls. Emily was so shocked, that she left Nathan waiting for three minutes before giving him an answer! She said 'yes', of course, and they were married exactly 14 months to the day later.

Love at first sight

When Carli met Alex she knew instantly that he was the one. "I fell head over heels for his blue eyes. It maybe a very cliché thing to say, but as an American his British accent was like kryptonite to me," recalls Carli. "I then became entirely smitten as I discovered how caring, considerate and fun-loving he was. I was also terribly forward and told him the day after our first meeting that I'd fallen for him and he was very British and said, 'Oh, thank you," she laughs. Despite his natural reserve, he was feeling the love too and romance blossomed.

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 family affair for Zoë and Steve

After getting together as students at Bournemouth University in 2012, Zoë and Steve got engaged in New York six years later. The trip was a surprise for Zoë who was blindfolded at home in the kitchen before being whisked off to Heathrow Airport. "Steve revealed the destination under the departures board holding an apple with the word 'big' written on it," recalls Zoë. While they were there, Steve popped the question in Central Park, and the proposal was photographed by a passer-by walking their dog. "It was a complete shock as we'd just bought our first home together, a major renovation project which took us 10 months to complete before we could move in." adds Zoë.

A blooming good day

A two-week road trip around France in June 2019 turned into a happy ever after for Erin and Pete. During a stopover in Bergerac on the second night, while on a romantic pre-dinner walk down to the Dordogne River as the sun was setting, Pete popped the question. The proposal was a complete surprise to Erin who first met Pete in 2017 while they were both working for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. "I had no idea," she exclaims. "It turned out to be a very happy evening and an amazing holiday, taking in Toulon, Cannes, Nice and the Alps."