Wednesday 22 September 2010, 12:10
My partner Kaleigh and I applied to be on a BBC Three show called Don't Tell The Bride. The concept sounded simple - we get £12,000 to get married, with one small snag. As the groom, I have to plan everything.
How hard can it be? I've been with Kaleigh for six years, so I'd like to think I know her really well.
We had talked a lot about getting married - she wanted a fairytale wedding in the UK, I had plans of grandeur and the bright lights of Las Vegas. Kaleigh didn't seem keen as she believed Vegas was, in a word, "tacky".
The day arrived. Day one of filming and we were both very nervous but the crew did a good job of keeping us at ease. A small camera, a nice bubbly producer (Zoe Page) and a guy with a comedy 'tache and a wit to match (Dave Gibson) were to be following our every move for the next three weeks.
Kaleigh had departed and my best man Anthony Shore had moved in - it was time to get organising our big day. The question was where do we get married?
I wanted Las Vegas, Kaleigh wanted the stately home so there was only one way to decide - a spin of the roulette wheel. Black for Vegas, red for the UK.
We entered the casino and placed our bet. Watching the ball roll around seemed to take forever to drop to reveal our wedding destiny, finally... black.
One thought entered my head: "She's going to kill me!"
The decision was made and the first stop was to book the flights. I hadn't prepared myself for the cost, as the first travel agent quoted £12,000 to fly all of us out there. This was going to be a lot harder than I'd thought.
I had to cut the wedding party down to the bare minimum, which meant leaving a bridesmaid, my sister, and Kaleigh's brother at home. It was a heartbreaking decision to make.
I chose the dress for my bride-to-be and, in my mind, what I had set up was an absolute dream and would knock the socks off a UK wedding.
You'll see in the programme why, the night before, I still wasn't sure if I would be a married man the next morning.
On arriving home, there was some explaining to do. Kaleigh's sister Sam didn't talk to me for a week but thankfully now all is forgiven.
On reflection, if I was asked would I do it again, the answer would be yes, but I wouldn't have gambled on a wedding with only half the family being present.
We're planning on having a blessing and a big bash, where all our family and friends will be invited. I think I'll leave the planning to Kaleigh!
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