For the past three months HuffPost UK has followed six couples from around the country who also happened to pick 19 May as their wedding day. Our series, Not The Royal Wedding, has followed the highs and lows of real-life romance and what it takes to plan a wedding, from break ups and proposals to dress fittings and hen dos. The result, we hope, is a refreshing look at love across Britain - one that doesn’t resemble a fairytale, but is all the better for it.
If you’ve finally hit Windsor fatigue, these guys are the perfect down-to-earth antidote. Here’s how each of their big days went.
Monica Chauhan, 33, and Shailesh Patel, 35, enjoyed their first of two wedding ceremonies this weekend - while Saturday was all about an English white wedding, they’ll have a larger Indian wedding later this summer. After saying their vows in a country house in Oxfordshire, they sat down for traditional afternoon tea with guests. After trying on a whopping 40 dresses, we think Monica found the perfect one with this sweetheart neckline number.
Shailesh’s brother, Deepesh, told us the day went off without a hitch. “It was a really lovely day, we were so lucky with the weather,” he said. “I don’t think the day could’ve gone any better.”
Jo Want, 33, and Will Tarran, 35, enjoyed a humanist, festival-inspired ceremony in a tipi in Cambridge. After saying their vows they celebrated with food from a selection of food trucks, dancing and homemade lawn games, such as the giant noughts and crosses created by Jo’s dad. We particulalry loved the bouquet, which she tied joyful yellow balloons to after the ceremony finished.
The couple’s wedding planner April Moores told us: “The day went amazingly - beautiful sunshine, a gin drinks reception, beautiful gelato and ALL the colour”.
Emma Tretton, 26, and Rachel Sutton, 27, said their vows in front of friends and family in a hotel in Bradford on Saturday. Both brides were walked down the aisle by their mums and by chance, each of them picked white dresses with corset backs (and looked absolutely stunning!). Rachel opted for a strapless sweetheart neckline while Emma’s was a chic ruched v-neck with embellished back details.
Emma’s maid of honour and cousin Clare sent this beautiful photo, saying: “It was a perfect day with lots of laughter and tears. It was also the anniversary of our nan’s death, so it was really emotional, but she would have been so proud to see what a beautiful brides they both made.”
Julie Spencer, 48, and Gary Miller, married in front of 60 guests at a country house in Cheshire. Walking down the aisle accompanied by her father was a particularly emotional moment for Julie, as he was unable to do this at her first wedding due to ill health and is currently undergoing cancer treatment.
Julie’s sister-in-law Heather Spencer sent this wonderful snap of the pair, telling us it was an “amazing day”. “The bride and groom are so happy. Everything was perfect, just like the couple,” she said.
Dafydd Thomas, 23, and Ceri Evans, 22, had an intimate ceremony on Saturday, saying their vows to one another in Welsh. Ceri looked beyond elegant with a simple strapless number with her hair in loose curls. We’re also big fans of Dafydd’s dapper suit with floral details. And look at those smiles!
The groom told us the day couldn’t have gone any better. “I had a fantastic wedding with my beautiful wife,” he said. “Everything was perfect: The weather was perfect and we’re now looking forward to a relaxing honeymoon and life together.”
Alexia Zetty, 27, and Michael Yunus, 31, met at Notting Hill carnival in 2013, so it felt right to get married in the city their romance first started. They celebrated with a fun ceremony in a London hotel on Saturday complete with drums (a nod to Michael’s Eritrean roots), followed by baklava cake (made by Alexia’s mum who is Greek). The couple were dressed for a traditional “English white wedding”, then donned traditional, handmade gowns for a smaller Eritrean gathering on Sunday.
Alexia’s bridesmaid Laura Pryce told us the weekend was spectacular, saying: “It was an experience off a lifetime, with Mike’s traditional roots, the breath-taking moments and amazing entertainment. I loved it all.”
Congratulations to all of the happy couples!