See how other local couples celebrated their big day with wedding stories and ideas from Your East Anglian Wedding Real Weddings features.
A shared loved of the countryside and laid-back lifestyle helped cement the bond between Charlotte and James. They'd known each other for years and had been in the same friendship group since going to Kesgrave High School together. They kept in touch through mutual friends and met up socially, but it wasn't until after Charlotte graduated from university and moved back to Suffolk, that they started dating.
Although Ella and Hamish both grew up in Haverhill and knew each other through mutual friends and parties, it wasn't until after Ella moved away to university in Wolverhampton that they actually began talking. "It started with a text from Hamish wishing me a happy New Year," remembers Ella. Romance blossomed and after a year working away, on and off, Hamish booked a sunshine holiday in the Maldives for the two of them. "Despite many of my friends saying that he must be planning to propose, I was in complete denial," says Ella. So, as they headed out for dinner one evening, when Hamish stopped to take a sunset photo and got down on one knee to ask her to marry him, it came as a complete surprise. "We spent the rest of the evening FaceTiming, calling and messaging our friends and family before sitting down and writing out our guest list!"
Growing up in the same town, Ellie and James already knew of each other but it wasn't until Ellie posted a Game of Thrones photo up online that they actually started talking and the spark was lit. "As we were chatting we realised we had both moved back to Norfolk after being away at university so we went for a drink that night and got on so well it just went from there," Ellie reveals.
James proposed to Ellie in New York
Summer love turned into forever after for Alex and Charlie. They met when they were both 19 while working as waiting staff during the summer holidays in the restaurant at Norfolk's Dunston Hall Hotel. "We had lots in common and it felt like our paths should have crossed may times before," says Alex. It was meant to be and after nine years together Charlie asked her to marry him at the same place where they shared their first kiss.
It was fourth time lucky for Becky and Max when they eventually tied the knot at Hintlesham Hall in Suffolk. After having to cancel three previous wedding dates due to Coronavirus, their big day finally came on 17th June this year – and what a day it was! Despite restrictions and disappointments along the way, including having to slash the guest list by almost half, they married in style and celebrated with a cool cocktail of soft pastel colours mixed with a dash of boho and Mediterranean vibes and a good measure of gin!
Julie and Craig didn't let distance get in the way of romance even though, when they first met online, they were living a three-hour drive away from each other. He was based in London and she was in Nottingham and after getting to know each other over the phone they spent the next two years alternating between their homes every weekend before finally settling down together in Grantham.
Steffi and Richard met while they were out celebrating friends' birthdays and soon realised they shared a number of mutual pals. Steffi also recognised him from when their paths used to cross during their regular cycling commutes in different directions. They hit it off and the rest, as they say, is history.
It was love at first sight for Sophie and Chris. After chatting online for while they decided to meet face-to-face and the rest, as they say, is history. "I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true," confirms Sophie. "We had our first date in Ipswich town centre at a little coffee shop and ended up talking for hours. We hit it off straight away as we had so much in common and we both wanted to meet again. After that it didn't take long for us to feel like we'd known each other for years!"
When Shona and Dan met online they quickly discovered that they had plenty in common. "Dan tested my knowledge of country music and apparently I passed the test! We went for drinks and dinner for our first date followed by a trip to Skegness the next day and then the day after that Dan took me out on his Harley-Davidson motorbike, and that was that," recalls Shona.
University mates Amber and Ben first bonded over a shared love of cake and custard. Romance blossomed on their first date when Ben won her over with a bottle of wine he'd brought back from Tuscany and a three-course Italian meal before snuggling up to watch a Disney film, which Amber chose – another step in the right direction!Fast forward to the proposal and Ben popped the question on top of a mountain in Tuscany, during a last-minute holiday.
Emma's job as a teacher proved to be an added bonus when it came to dating. After qualifying she relocated from Birmingham to London and Miguel moved there in April 2013 from his home country of Venezuela. He'd just completed his studies to become an IT engineer and, despite not speaking any English, quickly found a job in a kitchen before embarking on his career. As newcomers to the city, they both joined an online dating service where they met.