Dave and Carol have been friends for years, having got to know each other through a shared love of narrow boating. “We were both with other people,” says Carol. “Then when we both ended up single, we supported each other through our breakups and it quickly became obvious we were meant to be together.”

A romantic waterside proposal

They had been together for nearly three years when Dave proposed. “I was recovering from Covid, and was really struggling with the after effects,” says Carol. “So he suggested a restful trip away on our narrowboat. We were moored in Llangollen when he asked if I could manage a walk up to Horseshoe Falls, at the start of the canal. This is one of my favourite places, so I struggled up there. As we sat in the sunshine, overlooking the water, he asked me to be his wife.”

Wedding dresses Stoke

Carol’s daughter, Emily suggested WED2B’s wedding dresses Stoke. “Although this wasn’t my first marriage, I had never worn a traditional wedding dress and really wanted that experience this time round,” says Carol.

“However, being in my 50s I was nervous about feeling too old in some of the boutiques. When I saw WED2B’s range of dresses online, I felt more confident about finding ‘The One’. My store visit was brilliant, as the staff were so helpful and really put me at ease. Nothing was too much trouble and I really felt like I had the full bride experience. I also got the most gorgeous dress at an amazing price!”

“I chose the second dress I tried on, Karla,” says Carol. “The minute I put it on, it just made me feel incredible. It was nothing like I thought I wanted, but apparently that happens with every one. I loved the bodice, which gave me great support, and the mermaid style just moved so beautifully. On the day every one loved the dress, and I felt amazing.” (For similar styles try Michaela, Kelsey and Zayna)

A great venue with great food

The couple married at The Plough Inn, Cheshire, on 4th April 2022. “I had been to the venue to pick up my daughter and grandsons from a wedding once, years before Dave and I were together,” says Carol. “I remembered thinking how beautiful it was. Just after we got engaged, they had a wedding fair and we went along to get some ideas. We ended up paying our deposit on the night! The Plough is a fabulous venue, with some amazing deals. We liked the idea of a rustic wedding, so the wedding barn was perfect. We also wanted to get married and have our reception at the same place, which we were able to do there. It has 17 lovely rooms, which meant our families and friends could stay over too. Did I also mention how great the food was!”

The big day

“We really wanted our wedding to be filled with all the people who have loved and supported us over the last few years, many of whom helped to make it a perfect day,” says Carol. “Emily dressed the venue, our boss made the cake, a friend acted as chauffeur and we used friends’ businesses for everything from photography to cupcakes. We wanted our children and grandchildren to be our wedding party, so I got ready at the venue with my two bridesmaids, my daughter Emily and step-daughter Stacey. Then my three small grandsons, Elliot, Rory and Hari, joined us for page boy duties.”

“Sadly, neither of us still have our dads, so my son Ben gave me away. However, as my dad was a musician, I was able to walk down the aisle to him playing an acoustic version of ‘I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face’ from My Fair Lady. Dave’s best man was his son Luke, and we walked back down the aisle to a recording of his dad singing Frank Sinatra’s ‘I’ve Got You Under my Skin’. It was a very emotional day.”

A relaxed celebration

“We really wanted an informal day, with plenty of food and drink and a chance for everyone to catch up,” says Carol. “After all, we’d had two years of not really seeing everyone. After a few traditional pictures, we left our photographer, Dan, to take informal shots as we chatted with friends and family over canapés and fizz.”

“The Plough’s wedding barn is stunning and we were keen to keep it simple, whilst complimenting its rustic look. Having a daughter who is a venue dresser was very handy, and the barn looked amazing in lilacs, greens and whites. She used birdcages, stands and candles to dress the tables alongside the flowers. We even went on a course together to make our bouquets and buttonholes, which was definitely a highlight for me. Our menus, timelines and table plans came from Etsy and it was great to be able to use small businesses. We also brought some fun forms for our guests to fill in and we loved taking time out of our honeymoon to read their ‘advice’ and especially enjoyed the drawings they had all done of themselves.”

Golfing, boating and VW Camper vans

“There were also little nods to our hobbies, with our cake having a golfing theme and some narrow boats dotted around the room. My love of VW campers, meant we had to have a camper van photo booth, and all our guests loved that. As for food, as well as canapés, our package included a three-course meal and evening buffet. There was soup, beef, and sticky toffee pudding to finish, and all were fantastic. We didn’t think we’d manage the pizza and wedges in the evening, but it all disappeared! We also had a sweet cart and cupcakes, so no-one went hungry.”

If music be the food of love…

“One of the most important things for us was the music, and we hit the jackpot when we found our singer/DJ, Lee Gordon,” says Carol. “Lee stepped in when our original act cancelled. We are so glad he did, as he was incredible. He looked after all the music through the ceremony, wedding breakfast and the evening. Our first dance was to a Wet Wet Wet song called ‘Feels like Heaven’. When we first got together, we use to find and send each other love songs. Dave played this one to me in the car one night, and it was the moment that we knew it was forever.”

Happy memories

“There are so many wonderful memories of the day, of tears and laughter and everyone just enjoying themselves,” says Carol. “If I had to choose one, it would be walking down the aisle to Dave and him just saying, ‘You look beautiful’.”

My top tips…

“Use Pinterest to put together a theme, this really helped us get a look,” says Carol. “Use friends and family’s skills to save money and make it more personal. Etsy is great for those little extras. If you are having children at the wedding, instead of place names, get them a personalised activity box. Our younger guests loved this. Oh, and buy your dress from WED2B!”

Carol's Dream Team

Photographer: Dan Melville Photography

Venue: The Plough Inn, Congleton

Wedding dresses Stoke: WED2B

Decor: Falling Like the Stars Venue Dressing 

Music: Lee Gordon Music 

Photo booth: Birdie the Camper Van 

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch. Or click here for more details about WED2B’s Wedding dresses Stoke