Charlotte Harding chats to an Eastbourne woman who had a double wedding with her sister.
After a year that saw both her mum and dad battle cancer Angela Fuller decided that the family needed something to look forward to.
In October 2017 the seed was planted while out for dinner with Janet, an old school friend.
“She asked why my partner Andy (Taylor) and I hadn’t got married even though we had been together for 27 years,” explains Angela.
“I just said that we hadn’t got round to it, but it got me thinking.”
Angela saw it as an opportunity for a double celebration.
“I asked my sister Jayne (now Brewell) for a coffee and we were just chatting. I told her that I was going to propose to Andy and that I thought she should propose to her partner Richard (they have been together 31 years) and we should have a double wedding,” reveals Angela.
“She couldn’t believe it as she just thought we were having a coffee so she was a little shocked.”
After agreeing the plan was set in motion, and the date for the proposal was set.
The first gig that Andy and Angela went to was to see band OMD so knowing they were seeing the band again together in Barcelona on Valentine’s Day gave Angela the perfect opportunity to propose.
“I knew the set list and knew what song I was going to do it on,” she recalls.
“But on the night they had problems with the sound and had to change the order. I was a little flustered, I had hidden a ring on my finger as I thought if Andy can’t hear me the ring will make it obvious what I am doing.”
Andy said yes, and Jayne had proposed that morning to Richard at Sheffield Park, one of his favourite places.
The sisters, who have both been married before whereas their partners haven’t, agreed that if either partner didn’t want a double wedding they would respect their wishes.
“I had so many messages from Jayne that day saying Richard had said yes and was happy for a double wedding,” smiles Angela.
“I almost forgot to tell her Andy had said yes. After I proposed I said to him ‘there is more I have to tell you’ but I made him wait until we had got back to our hotel with a drink.”
The quartet got married at the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne on May 12, three months after the sisters proposed.
Angela and Jayne’s dad gave them both away.
“Dad couldn’t wait to walk us down the aisle,” smiles Angela.
“We walked down to an instrumental song from the film Out of Africa which is one of my favourites, we had to slow dad down though as he was pretty much marching down the aisle.
“The Grand had never had a double wedding before so were really excited and we had a registrar each who also hadn’t done one as well.”
Jayne’s son was her ring bearer, and for Angela one of her sons was the ring bearer and the other did a reading.
The wedding was an intimate affair with only close family in attendance with the day consisting of the ceremony and wedding breakfast.
The next day there was a party at Angela’s where they celebrated with their friends.
“People were so excited to meet my friend Janet,” smiles Angela.
“We only meet up twice a year and chat for hour and hours. After our dinner in October when she planted the idea we meet again in April.
“She asked if I had any news and told me to go first. When I told her we were getting married the following month she just sat there. At one point I had to shake her out of a trance she just couldn’t believe it but she was thrilled.
“At the party I told her ‘you are the star of the show’, if it hadn’t been for her I don’t think I would have proposed.”
Angela bought her dress from Coast while Jayne’s was from a shop in Brighton.
“When we started planning I kept saying I want a full length dress,” she says.
“But when I started looking I couldn’t find anything. People have said that our dresses are different but compliment one another. It is a bit like us really as sisters we are different but we work well together.”
The flowers for the bouquets and centrepieces were from Grand Flowers in Eastbourne.
Looking back on the day Angela says it was lovely.
She adds: “When I look back through the pictures in so many we are just smiling and laughing and I think that sums up the day beautifully.”