While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding plans have been seven months in the making, a couple who married on the same afternoon have had seven years to plan their big day.
Vicky Totton and Ryan Clark met when they grew up in Surrey Road in Hebburn, with their celebrations landing on the same date as the royal couple after fate played a hand.
Vicky, 26, who works as a call centre advisor for Teleperformance in Gateshead, and Ryan, 27, a production operative for Nissan supplier Snop, had been due to exchange vows on the same weekend last year.
But when they found out they were expecting a baby, they decided to put the ceremony on hold.
Now the couple, who are parents to nine-month-old Evie, have become husband and wife in a service held at Hedworth Hall in South Shields after a six-year engagement, with the coincidence of the days landing together making it even more memorable.
Prince Harry and Meghan announced they would wed back in November last year.
We’ve grown up together and to be married is lovely.Vicky Totton
Vicky said: “We set off in September 2015 by planning it for 2017, but around October 2016, we found out we were pregnant so I would have been seven months pregnant for the wedding, so we decided to put it back a year.
“We were shocked when we heard about the Royal Wedding and people have been saying ‘You’ve picked the same date’ but we had it booked first.
“A lot of our friends and family are travelling from across the country, but they’ve really struggled to book hotels because of the Royal Wedding, as we’ve been told a lot of people want to go away while it’s on.
“The Hedworth Hall does have televisions in the downstairs bar, I think the coverage was starting at 9.30am and the Royal Wedding was at noon, so people might have been able to catch some of it.”
Vicky is close to her mum Lisa Robson, 46, and brother Dylan Totton, 21, so they took the honour of walking her into the ceremony, with her dad Vincent Totton, 57, also at the celebration.
She was joined by Evie as a bridesmaid, along with her sisters Rebecca Totton, 25, and Megan Robson, 16, and her friend Robyn Davis, 27.
Ryan asked his friends Mark Thompson, 31, and Ray Lindsay, 34, to share the role of best man.
While Windsor Castle provided the backdrop for the Royal Wedding, Vicky and Ryan planned to use the beautiful South Shields coast for the setting for a series of their photos.
With televisions fitted in part of their venue, it is thought some guests may have managed to catch some of the London ceremony in between the service and reception.
Vicky added: “We’ve been together since we were 21 and been engaged since a year after that, so we knew early on, from the beginning, that it was going to be serious.
“It’s been a long time and we had that booking, then we found out we were having a baby, so pushed it back and honestly, we thought it was never going to happen.
“We’ve grown up together and to be married is lovely.”