Real weddings and wedding ideas

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

Drink it all in

Sara and Luke met in 2012 on Twitter. "Following our online friendship, we started writing letters to each other, and one day, we decided to meet up," says Sara. "We didn't live near each other, so we never thought anything of our relationship other than a friendship. However, once we met, we were inseparable, and Luke asked me to be his girlfriend. From 2012 until 2018, we had a long-distance relationship whilst we completed our studies. We would travel by train to see each other, spending our weekends and school holidays together. Once we started our careers, we moved in with my parents while we saved for our house, which we bought in 2019. Over the years, we have grown together as a couple and become a team. A lot has changed in the past 10 years, but our friendship and love for each other has been consistent and grown stronger."

Luke proposed in April 2020. "It was a spontaneous moment," shares the bride. "He said that he had been thinking about it for a while, and one day he just went for it. He proposed during the first national lockdown at home. We were in bed, and he just randomly asked me. I was shocked, and it was a complete surprise! We had a Zoom party that evening with our family, and we shared the news with them and celebrated virtually. Because of COVID-19, we were reluctant to start wedding plans, however, in May 2021, we started the search and booked our wedding for later in the year."

A modern fairytale

Lisa and Paul met through a mutual friend. "I was 16 and Paul was 19," says Lisa. "We got on really well and have done ever since. We've been together for 17 years and have two beautiful children together."

Paul popped the question after 16 years together. "It was a complete surprise," shares the bride. "He asked me at my 30th birthday party in front of all our friends and family. He put the ring in a gorgeous balloon, and I had to pop it and find it beneath rose gold feathers."

In the meadow

Jen and Jack met in high school. "We were in the same classes and became good friends when we both started attending a badminton club," says Jen. "Over the next year, we grew closer, and that summer whilst on a family holiday, I used my one hour of internet allowance a day to message Jack. One day he confided in me that he liked someone and didn't know what to do. I asked who it was, but he wouldn't say. I went through all the girls in our year until he finally said 'it's you.' That was when my internet time ran out! When we next spoke we agreed that we weren't going to do anything about it as we didn't want to ruin our friendship, so that was that. Six months later, Jack spontaneously held my hand, and I got butterflies. I didn't know he still liked me as we'd not spoken about it since summer, nor had I told him that I'd developed feelings for him too. That night we spoke, and I said 'let's give it a go, and if it goes wrong, then we'll pretend it never happened and stay friends.' Well, it never went wrong, and 10 years on, we're finally married."

The light of my life with Charlotte and Steve

Charlotte and Steve met at work. "He came in for a job interview at the insurance broker I worked for," says Charlotte. "Steve said that I was the first thing he saw when he walked into the office. He successfully joined the company, and we hit it off straight away."

Steve proposed during a Caribbean cruise. "We booked it for January 2019 to celebrate our 10th anniversary," shares the bride. "We'd docked in St Thomas on the morning of our anniversary and had gone to get some breakfast whilst we sat on the deck enjoying the view.

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."

The love of my life

Emili and Ben met online. "We started talking on a Christian dating site," says Emili. "We had similar interests and seemed to talk for ages! On our first date, Ben took me to three different restaurants, one for each course. It was very well thought out, and we had a lovely time. Ben asked me to marry him on 29th July, 2019 at Aira Force in the Lake District. We had been pragmatic about the subject of marriage, however, the day itself was a lovely surprise!"

Summer loving for Rebecca and Justin

Rebecca and Justin were instantly attracted to each other. "I loved his handsome looks and easy-going ways," says Rebecca. "He proposed to me after making me climb Mount Snowdon in the rain! Apparently, he had planned to propose at the top, but the awful weather meant he had to wait until we got to the bottom. I was soaked through, and my hands were so cold he could barely get the ring on! It was perfect though, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was a total surprise and one of the most wonderful weekends of my life."

Once upon a time for Amanda and Phil

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."

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."

Show of affection

Rhiannon and Mark met while working on a performance of The King and I. "Our musical director ended up being one of Mark's groomsmen and a witness for our marriage." Mark proposed during a romantic trip to Paris. "We spent the day visiting the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum and the banks of Seine, but it was blisteringly hot," shares the bride. "Once we arrived back at our hotel, Mark offered to let me take a cold shower to cool down first, which I gratefully did. Little did I know, he was getting the ring ready and started playing the song Perfect Day from my favourite film, Legally Blonde. I burst into the room dancing to the track and was greeted by Mark on one knee!

High School sweethearts

Charlotte and Jack met at high school. "We were always good friends, but as the years went by we started to get closer," says Charlotte. "Jack finally plucked up the courage to ask me out, and we've been inseparable ever since. He makes me laugh and is my best friend." Jack popped the question on their 10th anniversary. "He had lots of little surprises planned for me," shares the bride. "He created a memory book of our relationship and made little notes of things he'd planned for us to do throughout the day.