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 we eventually started messaging. 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 the 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.”

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.”

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. 

This year’s big celebrations were finally 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 were ideal for photos.”

For Kim, the most memorable parts of the day were the moment her dad saw her for the first time in her dress, and walking down the aisle to where Mike stood – “I didn’t get to walk down an aisle last year!” 

Other highlights were her father’s speech, her maid of honour’s speech and the first dance. 

“As it was all at one venue, we had the ceremony outside in a pavilion, followed by the wedding breakfast inside and pizza later on as the evening food. It was absolutely boiling hot, which was perfect, as last year it rained on the day.” 

And it turns out there was a silver lining in the Covid cloud, after all…

“Originally, I wasn’t keen on the thought of having two weddings. However, because we were already married, the second day was stress-free; the nerves weren’t there, and we enjoyed the day more. Getting legally married with a small group, and then having a big celebration the next year, took all the ‘will she turn up?’ and ‘am I doing the right thing?’ worries away. I also had two hen dos, and wore two different dresses, which I loved!

“My main tip is doing little bits yourself to save money unless cost isn’t an issue. I had friends helping me make things, and I made some decorations myself. Overall I had an amazing two days, and it’s now on to the next chapter…..babies??”

Images supplied thanks to @rachaeldasilvaphotography and @amberlouise_photography