As May 19 finally arrives this weekend, one bride will be making her much-anticipated walk down the aisle.
After months of planning, all involved will be hoping the big day goes off without a hitch, as their every move is watched by the eyes of....well, their 77-strong congregation.
“Hey, we had the date first!” laughs Alex Geks, who will marry fiance Adam Fieldhouse this Saturday - the same day as the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“We chose May 19 2018 about 15 months ago, when we started planning our wedding,” says Alex, aged 27.
Unlike Harry and Meg’s relatively whirlwind romance, Alex and Adam, who live together in Dronfield, had been together four years when Adam popped the question back in October 2016.
“I imagine we’ve had a bit of an easier time of our plans than them,” smiles Alex.
“I couldn’t imagine organising a wedding for 800 people. Although I’m sure they’ve got whole teams of people to sort the finer details for them, so I’m not sure how hands-on they’ll have been. Maybe they’ve had it easier than us! I can’t imagine Meghan will have been getting her glue gun out on an evening, to do Pinterest-inspired DIY bits like I have in the last few weeks.”
Alex and Adam will say ‘I do’ at St Swithin’s Church in Holmesfield this weekend, before heading to a boutique hotel for their reception, which has has been designed with a Bali theme - a subtle nod to where 35-year-old Adam got down on one knee.
“It’s actually been a bit of a talking point in recent weeks, everytime we tell someone when our wedding is, they comment on the royal wedding date, it’s quite nice really,” says Alex.
“As soon as you say May 19, everyone goes ‘ooh like Harry and Meghan,’ and I go ‘oi, we had it first!’
“I don’t know if we’d have tuned in to watch the royal wedding had we not had other plans on that day - probably. I did watch a bit of William and Kate’s back in 2011, but I wouldn’t have been sitting there watching all day. Obviously I’m kind of interested to see how they do it all, and I suppose I won’t be able to help but make comparisons to my own big day.
“Guest wise, I don’t think we have anyone coming who’s really sad to be missing Harry and Meghan’s ceremony, although I know some members of the choir, who will be singing for us at the church, were a bit gutted they can’t watch it live. Luckily they’ve arranged a bit of a viewing party for later in the day, to all watch it on catch-up together.”
Alex and security manager Adam’s last few pre-wedding days have been spent mopping up last details, and doing some final prep - and for Alex, has also included her hen part in Bath with 12 of her closest friends.
“The whole thing was organsised by my lovely maid of honour Ruth,” says social worker Alex.
In-keeping with royal tradition, Meghan will not be having a maid of honour, or any grown-up bridesmaids, something Alex says she can’t imagine.
“I wouldn’t like not having my best friends by my side on my wedding day.”
If - like us - you haven’t been invited to Alex and Adam’s, or Harry and Meghan’s big days, fear not, there are plenty of ways you can still enjoy some wedding celebrations - and maybe even a slice of cake - this Saturday.
- Tapton Hall is hosting a big street party from 10am to 3pm, complete with afternoon tea, pin the tail on the corgi, design your own wedding cake, draw your own Harry and Meghan, and - of course - plenty of live coverage of the main event.
- Actors and musicians will be marking the occasion with a poetic and scriptural celebration of love this Friday evening, with ‘Song of Songs Live’ at Whirlow Spirituality Centre, from 7.30pm.
- Dirtopia Cafe, on Delves Avenue, will be screening the wedding, and serving scones and tea.
- The Well Sheffield, on Ecclesall Road, is hosting Royal Wedding-themed baking, and fancy dress, competitions, from 11am to 2pm.
- Fox Valley Sheffield will host a British-themed market, face painting, crafts, and coverage on their giant TV screen, from 12 noon to 3pm.
* Alex and Adam’s engagement photo was taken by photographer Jill Evans.