Real Weddings from Your North East Wedding

See how other local couples celebrated their big day with inspirational weddings and bridal stories from Real Weddings features in Your North East Wedding.

Real Weddings: Woodland Roamnce

Woodland Roamnce

Julianne and Shaun met on a dating website. "After talking for a week or two, we arranged our first date," says Julianne. "We played bowling and had dinner, and Shaun still mocks my poor bowling performance to this day!"


Real Weddings: My Dearest Love

My Dearest Love

Whitney and Shane met in a pub in Manchester. "My friend was travelling back to Greece for the summer and was hosting farewell drinks," says Whitney. "Shane was working there as a supervisor behind the bar. I went to order a pint and Shane had told me that there was a £5 minimum spend for card payments. I was taken aback as I didn't have cash on me, but Shane offered to put £5 through on the card and refund me the rest as cash. I took my pint, sat down at the table with my friends and couldn't stop saying how attractive he was, as I had always loved an Irish accent. My friend Beth kept urging me to go and speak to Shane, but I was far too shy, so she went up to the bar and told him I was interested. The next thing I know, Shane is following Beth back to the table. He told me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. That night, I added him on Facebook and we began chatting. We organised several dates and had to keep cancelling them until finally, in November 2018, we had our first date at a restaurant, followed by Shane getting us lost around the Christmas markets."


Real Weddings: Together Forever

Together Forever

Rachael and Andrew were high school sweethearts. "We were friends for a little while and eventually got together when we were 15," says Rachael. "It was all very high school; a kiss at a house party, a mutual friend asking if I would say yes if he asked me to be his girlfriend!"


Real Weddings: Childhood Sweethearts

Childhood Sweethearts

Jess and Ryan first met when they were 15 and 16 years old. "Ryan has never failed to make me laugh and has given me belly giggles since we met," says Jess. "We have been through every big life event together, such as first jobs and cars, and unlike many childhood sweethearts that sometimes grow apart, we grew up together and remained close."Ryan proposed on a mountain in Lake Garda in 2018. "He got it all on video and it was magical," shares the bride. "It was a complete surprise and Italy has since become our favourite destination."


Real Weddings: Back To Nature

Back To Nature

Charlotte and Matthew met on a spontaneous night out in Newcastle. "I spotted Matthew across the dancefloor and made an unsuspecting approach, wing-womaned by a friend," says Charlotte. "We hit it off and the rest is history."Matthew proposed to Charlotte on their five-year anniversary in Tynemouth, where they had their first date. "Matthew intended to propose at the end of the pier next to the priory, but when we got to the end, three fishermen drinking cans of beer killed the moment somewhat," shares the bride. "On our way back, Matthew spotted a quiet space on the pier and surprised me. An even bigger surprise was when we returned to Matthew's parent's house to celebrate and my parents were also there, having secretly travelled up from Cheshire."


Real Weddings: Classic Elegance

Classic Elegance

Ashleigh and Joe met by chance. "It all started with an encounter in Yates, Hartlepool, after I had been out in Newcastle for the day for my friend's birthday," says Ashleigh. "Joe had been out with his dad and they decided to have a cheeky stop in town before heading home. When one of the best mixes came on over the speakers, a dance off broke out with boys vs girls. Joe saw his chance to take the centre of the circle, but little did he know that I would break out into dance and steal the show. A few weeks after our chance encounter, we crossed paths again on Tinder, and as we recognised each other, we started talking and eventually organised our first date."


Real Weddings: Grand Designs

Grand Designs

Ruth met Scott through a mutual friend. "Lockdown hit, so we started FaceTiming as well as messaging," says Ruth. "Scott works offshore, so when he returned – and after restrictions were lifted – we went to the beach for our first date. We then met nearly every night to go for a walk and grab some food. We moved in together quickly, and there was no looking back!"


Real Weddings: Soulmates


Kay and Kenny met at a soul night. "On our first date, Kenny wanted an informal vibe, so we wined and dined me at our local Wetherspoons' curry night!" says Kay. "I knew then he was a keeper! He also makes me laugh and is an amazing cook, which was definitely the way to my heart."


Real Weddings: Look at the stars

Look at the stars

Hannah and Robs met on a dating app. "However, after six months we went our separate ways as it just wasn't the right time," says Hannah. "Two years, a pandemic and two break-ups later, I messaged Robs again – and that was it; I wasn't letting her get away! I'll never forget tipsily screaming, 'Will you be my girlfriend?' at Durham Pride in the rain, and she moved in five months later."


Real Weddings: Friends reunited

Friends reunited

Jules and Gary met at school, but there certainly wasn't an initial attraction! "Gary was loud, obnoxious and argued with the teachers," says Jules. "After sixth form we lost touch, not catching up until we found ourselves in the same school Facebook group nine years ago. By then I was a single parent, and Gary was married to his lovely wife. Tragically, she died of cancer a few years later, and our Facebook group rallied round to help Gary though this terrible time.


Real Weddings: Fire starter

Fire starter

Sarah met Andrew after her best friend, Alison, suggested she sign upto dating site Plenty of Fish. "I'd been on a couple of rubbish dates, before a message from Andrew popped up," says Sarah. "I checked out his profile and saw him standing in front of a fire engine, so that got my attention pretty much straight away! We had our first date in Corbridge back in 2012, sitting for a couple of hours in a coffee shop chatting away. We then went for lunch in a local pub and spent the afternoon getting to know each other more. To be totally honest, the minute I saw him I was smitten!"


Real Weddings: Puppy love

Puppy love

Simone met Jade while out walking their dogs. "Jade had two foxhounds, Marley and Cruiser, and I have two jackhuahuas, Rupert and Hugo," says the bride. "We often stopped to talk to each other, but it was a few years before we found ourselves single at the same time, arranging to take a walk along the beach for our first date.


Real Weddings: The price is right

The price is right

Caroline met Danny in the last place she ever expected to meet anyone – at work! "We worked on different floors and never crossed paths, until one day I was asked to take notes for a senior manager in a disciplinary meeting," she says. "When I walked onto their floor, I saw a gorgeous man walking towards me – then he opened his mouth and his Yorkshire accent finished me off! After the meeting Danny asked what my plans were for the weekend, and I got so flustered I waffled a lot of drivel. It couldn't have been that bad, though, as he asked me out the following week."


Real Weddings: Shelby and Chris: You were made for me

Shelby and Chris: You were made for me

Shelby and Chris met through a mutual friend, when Chris was serving in the armed forces back in 2017. "It was an instant attraction," remembers Shelby. "We both knew straight away that we were soulmates. I messaged Chris via Facebook and the rest was history!


Real Weddings: Going dutch

Going dutch

Gemma and Laurens met at a Salvation Army summer camp in the Netherlands. "Laurens had attended every summer for years, while I was there for the first time as a volunteer," remembers Gemma. "We sat next to each other at breakfast and chatted about our mutual appreciation for Geordie Shore – despite Laurens' broken English! We became friends, and over the next 12 months, Laurens WhatsApped his way into my heart. After a year as a long-distance couple, he moved to the North East to be with me."

Unbeknown to Gemma, Laurens had asked for her dad's blessing to marry her back in 2019. "It was right before we moved to Canada for a year for my work," continues the bride. "Unfortunately, the pandemic hit, all the jewellery shops closed, and Laurens' proposal was put on hold. With plenty of time to chat thanks to the stay-at-home rules, we discussed our future and Laurens revealed his thwarted proposal plans. When things started to reopen, we went to a jewellers in Ottawa and designed my diamond and sapphire engagement ring together. However, the proposal itself was a surprise; Laurens got down on one knee at a secluded spot overlooking Maligne Lake during a trip to the Canadian Rockies. It was eight years to the day since we first got together."

The couple set their wedding for the 16th October, 2021, choosing St Peter's Church in Croft-on-Tees for the ceremony, followed by a reception at Rockliffe Hall. Here, Gemma tells us more about their amazing nuptials...


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