Diocese of Portsmouth

    Couple get married twice at same church

    23 Aug. 2017

    CARRIE and Ian got married once in Holy Trinity Church, Fareham. Thirteen years later to the day, they were married there again.

    The first time, in June 2004, was for a mock wedding being videoed to use in local schools. Carrie Coates, then 23, was asked to play the bride and asked her friend Ian Horner, then 20, to be the groom.

    Their family and friends filled Holy Trinity Church for the filming, Carrie’s dad gave her away, and her six-year-old cousin Brooke was their bridesmaid.

    The couple lost touch for a few years, but were brought together via Facebook and then fell in love. And when Ian proposed, there was only one date and one venue they wanted for their real wedding day.

    So on June 9, 2017, their fairytale wedding once again saw Carrie’s dad walk her up the aisle of Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, to give her away, and Brooke once again as their bridesmaid.

    Carrie and Ian with bridesmaid Brooke after their mock wedding in 2004
    Carrie and Ian with their bridesmaid Brooke after their real wedding in 2017 (Photo: Mark Robbins Photography)

    Carrie, now 36, said: “My mum’s a hairdresser and one of her clients wanted to film a wedding for a video that would be used in schools. I happened to have a wedding dress, as I had been Miss Fareham. But I needed a groom, and I asked Ian as we were Redcoats together at Butlins.

    “I didn’t know at the time that he held a flame for me, but I should have been suspicious because he lived in Brighton and he kept popping over to see me in Fareham. So he was very happy to do the mock wedding, and you can see on the video – when the vicar says ‘you may now kiss the bride’, he really goes for it!

    “Brooke was very excited to be the bridesmaid, and she even said at the time she hoped she would be old enough to come to my real hen party.

    “My mum was having a garden party for my nana’s birthday, and we live near the church, so we got the guests to come over to be filmed and my family were extras. I think they filmed a baptism and a funeral on the same day.

    “When Ian and I met up again in 2013, we used to joke about being husband and wife, and he was listed on my phone as ‘husband’. We used to wind each other up about it, but then we did fall for each other.

    “Once Ian proposed, there was only one place and one date that we wanted to get married. The first thing the people at the church said was ‘have you been married before?’, which made us laugh. Walking down the aisle the second time actually wasn’t so nerve-wracking. I felt at ease, because I’d done it before!”

    Ian was working at a sports company called Extreme Events, and Carrie was a singer and fitness instructor at Goodwood. They now live in West Sussex, but were able to get married at Holy Trinity Church because of the family connections.

    The curate who married them, the Rev Garry Roberts, said: “It is always an honour to officiate on a couple’s big day, but the first time I met Ian and Carrie, I knew this one would be extra special. Playing a part in such a unique and joy-filled day will stay with me forever. I am so pleased they came back to Holy Trinity and I was able to share it with them.”

    And Ian, now 33, said: “We are so proud of our story. It’s such a perfect fairytale. We were always meant to be together and now we are. What a wonderful service we had for our wedding. Everyone loved it and it was so personal to us.”