Real Weddings

Kim and Mike.

We’re willing to bet that Kim used to be teased ad infinitum whenever she had to give her name over the phone at work – her maiden name was Salmon, and she’s a service advisor at Fish Brothers Renault. Perhaps understandably, since marrying Mike, a general manager at Mackenzies, she now goes by the name of Kim Melrose.

Kim and Mike met on the Bumble dating app – a slightly gentler version of Tinder, which believes that relationships should begin with respect and equality. In a move towards this ideal, it requires the woman (in heterosexual couples) to make the first move.

“I was living in Dubai, but I was home for a five-week holiday to look after my mother, who had been diagnosed with cancer. I began looking at Bumble out of boredom, and that was when I met Mike. I didn’t message him initially, and the app un-matches you after 24 hours if you don’t send a message. Mike managed to extend the time limit, as he seems to have liked the look of me, but again it ran out when I still didn’t message him.

“Somehow, I managed to rematch with him, and eventually started messaging him. We first met at a bar, and things went from 0-100 within three weeks. I introduced him to my mother; he cooked a roast dinner for her and her Colombian friend and daughter. At dinner I heard Mum telling her friend in Spanish that her cooking was far better than Mike’s!

“After those three weeks I had to go back to Dubai, and we were apart for a month. Mike came out for a holiday to see if he liked the place, but we had to cut the trip short as sadly, my Mother passed away. From the way Mike handled everything during that time I knew he was the one.

“He eventually moved out to Dubai, and on 1 September 2019 he proposed on a ‘forever bridge’, with a ring box which had a padlock key in it; my ring was attached to the padlock which was attached to the bridge. I have no idea how he found the place, but it was beautiful, like the padlock bridge they have in Paris.“

Kim and Mike had originally planned to get married at Swindon registry office on 27 August 20, with celebrations held the day after – which naturally didn’t happen due to Covid. However, they did go ahead with the ceremony, and agreed to postpone the big party until 2021.

“There were 30 people altogether, including ourselves. After the ceremony we went to a pub with an upstairs room, which Mike had decorated with balloons and decorations as a surprise for me. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant, then headed back to the pub to carry on the evening drinking.

“Next year’s big celebrations will be held at The Pear Tree in Purton. We chose it because it has wonderful views and a vineyard, and a beautiful orangery and gardens that will be ideal for photos.”

They say you should always marry someone who shares your sense of humour, so it says everything about Kim and Mike’s relationship that when she received a text on her wedding morning from Mike reading “I can’t go through with this, honey, I just don’t think we should,” she was able to see the funny side. And after all, he did go to a lot of trouble decorating the room for the breakfast.

All weddings are poignant, but especially so when somebody important is missing. “The speeches made me cry; seeing our two families coming together was a big thing for us, but of course my mother wasn’t there, so it was very emotional.

“What made the day go so well was that my maid of honour, Katie, was an absolute star, helping to get people seated for the cake and the speeches, and moving everyone from the pub to the restaurant. It definitely took a lot of stress off us.”

Like so many brides, Kim says the day went by far too quickly. “I’d actually planned it all in a month, and wasn’t remotely stressed until Covid hit. One tip I’d pass on is to make sure that your partner gives you a straight answer when you ask them what cake flavours, or flower colours or bridesmaid dresses they like – make sure they don’t just say “whatever you want, darling”, as that isn’t an answer! Even though it’s ultimately the bride’s decision, a response from your other half can take some of the stress away. Mike came to meet the band with me, chose the cake, helped me say yes or no to the flower colours and made me feel he was fully involved in the whole process. All in all it wasn’t the day we planned, but it sure was a good party”

Images supplied thanks to @amberlouise_photography