UK

Royal wedding couples

Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29 April, which has been declared a bank holiday in celebration.

But the royals are not the only couple planning to wed on that day.

Here, we follow four BBC News website couples who will share their wedding day with the royals.

Sarah Wheeler, 31, and Benjamin Whelan, 35, Wiltshire

Image caption Sarah and Ben lived in the same road as children

I am Sarah, a full-time mother to our two children, Rose who is five and Oliver aged two, and Ben is a driver for an accident repair centre.

We first met when our families lived in the same road back in the late 70s. We met again as adults in 2001 at a local pub and started dating in June 2003.

This will be a first marriage for us both. Ben took me for a meal on my 30th birthday to a local country pub and after we had eaten, he produced a ring from his pocket!

We are getting married at Priston Mill near Bath. I had a feeling that the royals would choose the same day as us.

I was quite excited when I heard, as we had already booked most things, so a rise in cost due to the day being declared a bank holiday didn't really affect us.

It actually made it a little easier for a couple of our guests who are teachers, as they now no longer need to worry about getting the day off and I can watch the royal wedding whilst getting ready.

Emma Stout, 27, and Kieron Lavers, 29, Isle of Wight

I am Emma, a housing officer, originally from London. Kieron is a production engineer technician for a wind turbine company and has lived on the Isle of Wight all his life.

Image caption Emma and Kieron are an online dating success story

We met through an online dating website, and have been together since the end of 2008.

Unbeknownst to me, Kieron had contacted my parents and asked their permission to marry me.

The doorbell went and I opened the door to a huge bouquet of red roses. When they moved to the side, there was Kieron, on one knee with a beautiful ring.

We are getting married at a very small countryside church in Havenstreet.

This is the church Kieron's parents and grandparents got married in and where his great grandmother is buried - our reception will be at the Ryde Castle Hotel.

When we found out about the royal wedding, I have to be honest, we were slightly gutted. It felt as though our day would be overshadowed.

I have friends in Ireland who cannot afford the flights due to it being bank holiday prices and the band we originally wanted were booked for a function to commemorate the day.

On the plus side people who were working before can now come. Another bonus is that Kieron will always remember our anniversary!

Cat Houghton, 39, and Steven Leonard, 36, South Lanarkshire

Steven and I met at the church we both attended. We became an item a few months after my daughter became seriously ill.

Image caption Cat has the same name as Kate Middleton - Catherine Elizabeth

I was very busy studying, volunteering and being a single parent. Steven, who is a kilt salesman, helped me.

He would phone and ask "how are you really?" and even wrote a song about my daughter.

Steven had planned to wait for a day off to propose. He wanted us to go for a long walk but instead he turned to me in the car and asked me to be his wife.

I graduated from university a few weeks later, so it was a very happy time for us all.

We will get married in Blantyre, at Livingstone Memorial Church. This is the same church in which my parents were married, over 40 years ago and my younger brother, Steven.

My mum said it would be nice to celebrate it on the same day as Kate Middleton as we have the same names, Catherine Elizabeth!

I am not envious of Kate at all, her anxieties must be magnified by a million, each step she takes and each vow she speaks will be broadcast live around the world.

Friends and family are already making jokes about having a big wedding to go to on April 29 but I do hope no-one buys us a set of commemorative tea towels as a wedding gift.

David Pritchard, 55, and Elise Kershaw, 42, Lancashire

Image caption David and Elise will tie the knot in Malta

Elise and I are both divorced so this will be our second marriage. Between us we have four teenaged children and they think it's brilliant we are getting married.

We met through an internet dating site five years ago and hit it off from day one - we found we had a lot in common such as music, culture and art.

Elise came round to my house for our first date and we went to the local pub for a meal. I think it took us both by surprise at how quickly things developed.

One thing just sort of fell into the next.

I proposed to Elise over dinner at a restaurant in Manchester three years ago. We had already intimated that we wanted to get engaged but Elise wanted to choose her own ring.

We looked at several but in fact she ended up choosing a sapphire and diamond ring - it is like Kate Middleton's but I think it is more tasteful.

We are getting married in the citadel on Gozo, Malta, which is steeped in history. We have had a lot of things to organise and hoops to jump through with legislation involved in getting married there.

There's a street party being organised with bunting and everything out on the bastion of the citadel - it's going to be fun.

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