Steve from Colchester tied the knot to Victoria from Blackwood, at Fairyhill on Gower earlier this month with an Idyllic ceremony in the K Room.
How did you first meet?
It was a Tinder love story, my friends were nagging me to go on it (and so were Steves), and we started talking from day one!
Our first date was a local pub, and I specifically chose this pub as I knew it had four different exits just in case he catfished me. 7 years later, here we are.
Our friends call us the real-life Gavin and Stacey.
How did he propose?
Steve is the romantic one out of the two of us. He proposed on the cliffs at Rhosilli Bay.
Steve is very traditional, and he wanted to ask my dad beforehand, but doing so proved difficult. My dad, Barry, is terrible at keeping secrets so Steve wanted to wait until the last minute to ask him.
The first time he tried to ask him he suggested a walk with my dad and the dogs, but my mum wanted to join. The second time he was about to ask, and my sister came home drunk, so he missed that opportunity…
The morning of the engagement, Steve suggested him, and my dad go for a run (my dad is a keen runner) Steve said I didn’t have to go, but my dad guilt tripped me into going… Steve had to chase my dad up the mountain just to catch up with him and ask!
When Steve did propose, he gave his phone to my dad who recorded the whole thing.
Where did you get married?
Fairyhill by Oldwalls
How did your dress make you feel?
I cried when I tried on the dress, I thought I’d go for something fitted and figure hugging but when I tried this Princess gown on, I felt amazing, I just knew it would be my dress.
How did you feel when you first saw him at the altar?
The register was amazing! She told Steve to turn when she nodded, because it would make for a better photo and experience.
When I got to the top of the altar, Steve turned around and doubled over. It was so cute.
He was worried because he knew people were expecting an emotional reaction from him.
When we got to the end, my dad gave us both a bug hug. I was so happy to see him.
Tell us about your bridesmaids, who were they?
I had 6 bridesmaids. My older sister, Elly who was my maid of honour, my little sister, Layla, Steve best friend Josie, Georgia who used to be my boss, Natasha who I study a lot with, and Charlotte who’s my craziest friend.
What was your best memory of the ceremony?
Steve stumbling over ‘I solemnly declare’, it was the best! For me it took all the pressure away and broke the ice.
What was your wedding day experience like?
It was utter perfection; the whole day was gorgeous from start to finish. Seamless.
Tom was looking after us on the day and he was amazing. There was no stress at all, and everything happened on time.
Steve had arranged Morriston Orpheus Choir as a surprise. So, when we came out of the ceremony, Tom ushered us into the Rose Lounge and gave us celebratory drink, whilst everyone (to my knowledge) lined up for the confetti shot. I had no idea the choir was there until we walked outside, and they started signing.
My great grandfather sung in the choir, so it was sentimental. We were all in tears.
You were raising money for Parkinson’s UK, what’s the story?
Steve’s dad, Derek was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Before his diagnosis he frequently gave blood and when this was no longer an option, he started to raise money for charities instead. He volunteered for door-to-door donations, shaved his head at a fundraiser and sailed around the isle of white raising thousands for Parkinson’s UK in the process.
He was later diagnosed with Dementia and was unfortunately too ill to come to the wedding, so Steve’s uncle, Brian represented him on the top table.
As his dad couldn’t be part of his big day, we wanted to do something to honour him and to raise money for charity.
Steve is very precious of his hair, so when I suggested shaving it for charity on our wedding day, I thought he’d say no, but he loved the idea, so we decided we’d do it just before the first dance.
A week before the wedding, we had a scare as the hospital called and said we needed to visit Steve’s dad, so we all went there to say our goodbyes, so it was very emotional in the lead up to the wedding. Thankfully he’s now out of hospital and back in his care home, but it made the moment more poignant for Stephen.
How much have they raised to date and how can people donate?
We’ve reached almost £1,500 and we’d love to hit the target of £2,000.
We understand that times are tight with the cost-of-living crisis, but we’d love to raise as money as we can for the charity.
You can donate via just giving: Steve Clarke is fundraising for Parkinson’s UK (justgiving.com)
What was your first dance song?
Whirlwind by Sam Ryder.
We also had an unofficial 2nd dance too. The DJ played Belter by Jerry Cinnamon, and Steve and I were dancing so much and everyone on the dancefloor just slowly backed away watching.
How did you entertain your guests?
We had a harpist for the ceremony, Katie Bayliss and a live painter, Layla’s Art.
What was the cake like?
We had a 3-tier cake. Chocolate on the bottom, Victoria Sponge in the middle and the top tier was Lotus and Bischoff. We also had vegan Oreo brownies.
How did you feel on the day?
On top of the world. I was on cloud 9 for the whole day, it was so perfect. I have the wedding blues.
Everyone says how fast the days goes by, so I tried my best to be present. I breathed in every single moment of the day.
What’s your recommendation to future couples getting married?
My dad gave me some advice during his speech, which was a quote from Dylan Thomas’ poem ‘Do not go gentle into that good night, rage, rage against the dying of the light’ and this is the best wedding advise – Just go for it!
It’s your wedding day, you only do it once so do it right.