Real weddings and wedding ideas

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

Meant to be

Jordan and Craig met through a mutual friend during a night out in Cardiff. "There was an initial spark, but we only met briefly, so we didn't know each other's names," says Jordan. "A few days later, I received a friend request on Facebook from Craig. We were attracted to each other, but the beginning of our relationship was not what we had planned as I had just gone on holiday and ended up stranded in Gran Canaria as a result of the Ash Cloud.

Truly romantic

Lauren and Gaz met in the summer of 2017. "Gaz was volunteering at my cattle ranch in Wyoming," says Lauren. "We were just friends until he went to leave, and sparks began to fly. When Gaz returned to the UK, we stayed in touch and after a few days, he had already booked his flight back to the ranch. His second stay was a little more romantic, and by the end of it, I had decided to follow him over to Wales for the winter season while he got his degree."

Fly away with me

Amrit and Ash met during their second year of university. "We were put into a group together in one of our seminars and slowly got to know each other," says Amrit.

"We eventually started dating the following summer. We have the same sense of humour and connected through music. We would often give each other recommendations, and when I had a radio show at university, Ash would send requests in. Once we graduated, we saved up and went travelling around the world for four months. We knew we wanted to be with each other forever, so we decided to move in together. Ash is from North Wales and I'm from the Midlands, so we agreed that wherever one of us got a job, we would move there. Ash got a job in Cardiff, and the rest is history."

Autumn leaves

Katie and Shaun met online six years ago. "We had our first date at Ystradfellte Waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons and quickly became inseparable," says Katie. "Shaun is a very loving and kind person who puts me first, which was something I hadn't felt before and knew it was special. We moved in together after a year, which some may say was quick, but to us, it was so natural. We were on the same page, and I'm pretty sure I mentioned getting engaged within a few months of being together! Shaun put the reins on that for some time, but good things come to those who wait."

By the seaside

Rhian and Rory met on Tinder in 2014. "Rory was attracted to my smile, and I thought he looked cheeky and loved his curly hair," says Rhian. "We spoke via WhatsApp for a few weeks and eventually went on our first date. We knew from that first meet up that we had something special."

Rory proposed during a holiday to Venice. "It was the day before my 27th birthday, and it was a complete surprise," shares the bride. "I'm in charge of packing when we go on holiday, so I was shocked he had managed to keep the ring from me. He had asked my dad's permission before the trip, so my parents knew it was going to happen, however, they started to get a bit worried when days had passed, and there was no news. Rory wanted to find the perfect moment. He tried on a gondola but got told off for moving seats and making the weight uneven! He eventually found a lovely quiet spot on a bridge with no people around and asked me to be his wife."

Once upon a time

Zoe and Dan met on Bonfire Night in 2004. "A friend of mine asked Dan for his number," says Zoe. "Dan shouted asking for a pen and paper as everyone was leaving, and a lady handed it to him and said 'invite me to the wedding.' We didn't contact each other for nearly a year, but we've been inseparable ever since."

Dan proposed on Valentine's Day in 2018. "I wanted to get married before I was 30, so I told Dan he needed to pop the question soon," laughs the bride. "He asked me to be his wife while we were in bed with our three kids."

Finally, we do

Jess and Jamie met like most modern couples, online. "We both swiped right on Tinder more than six years ago," says Jess. "We talked for a few months before deciding to meet in Swansea, which was halfway between where we both lived. We instantly clicked and ended up taking for hours while we walked the length of Swansea marina and bay." Jamie popped the question on New Year's Day in 2019. "He had asked for my mother's blessing the summer before and had managed to keep it secret for a while," shares the bride.

Annabel and Gavin: The love of my life

Annabel and Gavin met at work 10 years ago. "We were in different departments, but Gavin asked me out on a date," says Annabel. "I wasn't sure at first about dating a coworker, but I decided to give him a chance and accepted the offer." Gavin proposed in September 2018. "We were enjoying a staycation in Bideford, Devon, with our beloved rescue dog," shares the bride. "On the final day, we walked the coastal path to Clovelly, and when we arrived at a beautiful beach called Mouthmill, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect."

Hold me close

Chelsea and Huw met in the most unexpected way. "We were in a Tesco car park when he accidentally knocked my wing mirror while reversing out of the space next to me," says Chelsea. "He waited until I returned to my car to make sure there was no damage. For his sake, luckily there wasn't, but he gave me his number just in case, and the rest is history." Huw proposed on his birthday in 2019. "We went to Edinburgh on a midweek break to celebrate as Huw is a huge scotch and whisky lover," shares the bride. "He managed to hide the ring in a pair of socks in his hand luggage. On the second day, we had a tour of Edinburgh Castle booked and while we were at the very top, enjoying the view, he tried to get down on one knee. As I'm quite shy, I asked him to get up as there was a huge group of students passing by! Two minutes later, the castle cannon was fired, and it felt as though it was meant for us. I was sort of expecting a proposal but never thought he would do it on his birthday! He told me I was the best birthday present he could have ever wished for."

Rustic romance with Leena and Neil

Leena and Neil met in 2012 at a music festival in Derbyshire. "It was the last night and I decided to enjoy a few drinks with some friends," says Leena. "In one of the tents, we saw three handsome guys and started talking to them. I was attracted to Neil's looks and the fact he paid attention when we had a chat together. He loved my red lips and Scandinavian looks."

Winter romance

Claire and Samuel met while studying music at Cardiff University. "We bonded over our mutual love of musical theatre and folk music," says Samuel. "I accompanied Claire to a lunchtime concert series, and we became good friends. We quickly fell for each other without even realising it." Samuel popped the question on New Year's Eve in front of Claire's family. "We looked at rings together earlier in December, but Claire didn't know when the proposal would be," shares the groom. "It was also a surprise for the rest of our friends and family."