See how other local couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from Your West Midlands Wedding Real Weddings features.
Catherine and Chris met at school. "Chris is a year older, so we didn't know each other, but we got talking on MSN and MySpace," says Catherine. "We hit it off straight away due to our shared sense of humour and love of watching movies."
Chris popped the question during a holiday to Somerset. "We had always talked about getting married, and although we weren't officially engaged, we had discussed 2022 as a potential date," shares the bride. "I was at university until 2021, so we always talked about getting engaged after that. I was surprised when he popped the question during a holiday in 2020. We booked the trip for my birthday and spent the week in a lodge near the town of Wells. We went for a walk to Ebbor Gorge, and overlooking the beautiful scenery, Chris got down on one knee!"
Grace and Ben met at a birthday party. "I'd just returned from Las Vegas, and Ben was travelling there in a few months, so we were chatting about things to do and places to go for the majority of the barbecue," says Grace. "After the party, I added Ben on Facebook. After several attempts and last-minute cancellations, we finally went on our first date 18 months later. The thing that attracted me to Ben was his sense of humour. I left the date with my jaw aching from how much I'd smiled and laughed the entire evening."
Alexandra and Darryl met when they were children. "I was friends with his sister," says Alexandra. "We then met later at a mutual friend's engagement party. We share a love of Formula 1 and have lots of mutual interests."
Darryl popped the question on Christmas Day. "He wrote it on a card and woke me up early as he was so impatient," shares the bride. "He thoughtfully sought the permission of my dad before proposing, and it was wonderful being able to share the day with family. It was definitely a surprise, and I didn't even believe him when I read it!"
Carly and Vlad met like most modern couples online. "We went for drinks and didn't want the date to end," says Carly. "I think we ended up drinking seven glasses of Diet Coke each! I loved how kind he was, that we wanted the same things in life, how handsome he was and that we both liked travelling."
Vlad popped the question during a trip to Disneyland Paris. "I'm a big Disney fan, so we decided to go for my birthday," shares the bride.
Jade and Paul met through mutual friends. "I think it's fair to say I was persistent," laughs Jade. "Over time our relationship blossomed, and in November 2018, Paul proposed. It was a total surprise to me! We were visiting Bermuda for my 30th birthday and were playing miniature golf and having a few cocktails when Paul popped the question. Following this, we went onto New York for a four-day stay before returning home for my birthday."
Beth and James met at a bar in London. "I was studying at university, and James had recently moved there for a graduate scheme," says Beth. "We started chatting to each other, exchanged numbers and then met a week later in Covent Garden. That was in 2013, and we've been together ever since!" James popped the question during a camping trip in May 2018. "We went to the New Forest, and after setting up our tent, we went for a walk in the countryside," shares the bride.
Matthew and Luzio met on a beach in Rio de Janeiro. "Matthew was advising someone about his allergies, but the person didn't speak English," says Luzio. "I stepped in to translate, and we got talking. We had our first date later that evening and were instantly attracted to each other."
Gill and Simon first met in Bognor Regis in 2001. "Simon was visiting for work," says Gill. "He was staying at my local pub, and we got chatting over a game of pool. He was only due to stay for one more night, so we made plans to go into town that evening. The next day instead of heading home, he decided to stay. We remained in contact for several months over the phone, and in December of that year, a bunch of beautiful lilies were delivered to the travel agency where I worked. I realised then that he'd been thinking of me and how kind and thoughtful he was. We continued to have a long-distance romance for the next three years, travelling 160 miles either way at every opportunity we had. We quite often got up at 4:30am on a Monday morning to travel home for work so we could have a few more hours together. I decided to move to Warwick in 2005, and we've since moved to Leamington."
Martha and Daniel met at a pub in Meriden. "Since that first meeting, we've been inseparable," says Martha. "We met up every day following our first date and found we had lots in common. We love rugby, with Dan supporting Wasps RFC and me supporting Exeter Chiefs, so we spent our third date at a local game." Daniel popped the question during a trip to Rhodes for Martha's birthday. "The day before my birthday we went quad biking and planned to drive down to Lindos, but it was so hot, and the bike was quite slow, so we didn't make it," shares the bride. "Dan then suggested we go back out in the evening, which I thought was strange but went along with it.
Romilly and James met through a mutual friend at a party. "James was flying to Thailand in the early hours so apart from a quick introduction we didn't really have time to talk," says Romilly. "We met again on a night out and eventually had our first date four months later. We liked each other straight away, and it felt right being together."