Real weddings and wedding ideas

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

Doughtnuts, about you!

Hayley and James met while working in their local department store as teenagers. Hayley would go to the restaurant for lunch where James worked and he'd give her a meal for free in the hopes she'd keep coming back!

"To me, Hayley was the most beautiful woman in the store. I was instantly drawn to what can only be described as the most unique laugh you can imagine! Paired with her beauty, kindness and smile, I was head over heels."

He finally gathered the courage to ask her out while giving away more free food, in this case a ring doughnut, which has since become a symbol of their relationship!

Ready, set, wed

Gabby worked with Ross' sister in his local, but they didn't exactly start out on the right foot – Gabby says, "I always thought he was quite rude and grumpy." But when the two bumped into each other on a night out she actually found him to be funny, entertaining and very charming. So, when he asked her out on a date she accepted and explains, "I think his demeanour in the pub was just shyness as he's the most caring, kind, polite, funny person you could ever wish to meet."

You're my world

Jade and Harry met at university. Harry played rugby and Jade was part of the cheerleading team. Romance blossomed when they spent 22 hours in each other's company on a coach trip through Europe on the university's annual sports holiday. They made the most of the long hours on the road discovering a common love of films, travelling and generally enjoying life. Jade says, "Our dates were full of laughter and we always seemed to accidentally have that extra bottle of wine! Travelling and exploring the world is something that we both absolutely love to do and we regularly find ourselves planning our next adventure together."

Modern sophistication

According to Jason, it was love at first sight when he met Jenny online. The pair went for a meal together in Weston-super-Mare and Jenny soon fell for Jason's sense of humour, "He makes me laugh every day," she tells us.

When a friend got ill and couldn't go to see the Stereophonics with Jenny, Jason stepped in. The couple stayed in a hotel that night and on the way back to Bristol stopped at Porthcawl.

Soulmates

Paris and Rees didn't speak much the first few times they met up on nights out with mutual friends. Even so, each had clearly caught the eye of the other as Paris would tell her friends how much she liked him, and before long, Rees asked her out on a date. "From then on we became inseparable, spending pretty much every day together. We knew we were made for each other and are best friends," Paris shares.

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.

Home is where the heart is

Jackie and Dan met at their local tennis club, but there was more than one love on the cards. "We embarked on a mixeddoubles losing streak, which we eventually broke," Jackie says. "Dan asked me out at the gates of the club after we played together a few times." They both had similar interests and a mutual attraction, so she agreed.

Happily ever after for Dan and Charlotte

When Dan moved to Minehead from Manchester it was only a matter of time before he crossed paths with Charlotte. "Minehead is a small town and we had mutual friends," Charlotte says. "It didn't take long to meet. We got on really well as friends and shared the same sense of humour – we just clicked! He's also the kindest person I know." The pair started dating in July 2017, and by December 2018 Dan was planning to ask that all-important question. "He proposed to me on the ice-skating rink outside Cribbs Causeway," Charlotte tells us. "It's one of my favourite places to go around Christmas time and we both love the festive period. I was definitely surprised!"

The game of love

Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. "We met through church and got to know each other really well," Jess says. "Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006." The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn't sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. "We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers," Jess remembers. "Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!" When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple's chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven's Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting. Like so many happy relationships, Jess and David were friends before they got together. "We met through church and got to know each other really well," Jess says. "Things started to blossom and David asked me to go out with him in June 2006."The pair started talking about getting married, but David wasn't sure what style of ring Jess would like, so they decided to go ring shopping together. "We found the perfect rose quartz ring in Jody Cory jewellers," Jess remembers. "Unfortunately, they had to order it in, so that meant another two weeks of waiting for the proposal!" When they went to collect it, a pricing issue meant it took longer than expected, by which point the couple's chosen proposal spot, Prior Park, had closed. Google came to the rescue and they headed to Heaven's Gate beauty spot near Longleat, where David got down on one knee just as the sun was setting.

A country-chic celebration in The West Country

When Krishna and Phil met on a beach in Croatia, they knew their lives were about to change. "We fell for each other straight away," Krishna says. Five years into their relationship, they planned an epic trip to Iceland to celebrate their anniversary. "I've always wanted to go there," Krishna says. "On the second day, Phil arranged for us to visit the Blue Lagoon at sunrise. He booked a private spa area, and with no one else around, he got down on one knee after carrying the ring around in his robe!"

Rustic romance for Charlotte and Tom

Despite taking the same physics course at Bath university, Charlotte and Tom actually met through mutual friends. "We hadn't crossed paths before because I was much better at attending lectures than Tom," Charlotte laughs. The pair soon became inseparable, and ten years later, Tom planned a surprise trip to Bath – the city where they met.

Tailored to perfection

We just adore this wedding, so we had to find out more about the couple behind it. Neil and Matt got together during their early twenties in 2003, but they didn't get engaged until 2018. "Despite the constant hints, Matt's proposal was a complete surprise!" Neil laughs. "We were spending Christmas and New Year on an amazing holiday in Japan; it was in the Japanese Alps on Christmas Day that Matt popped the question." But it wasn't a traditional proposal,..