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Champions League: Two weddings and a football final

Neil Patterson and Hannah Paterson - no typo! Image copyright Neil Patterson
Image caption Neil and Hannah are both Liverpool fans, but will they be glued to the TV on their wedding day?

Some Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool fans are finding themselves in a bit of a dilemma as huge personal occasions are due to clash with the Champions League final between the two clubs.

Up until the final whistles at Anfield and the Johan Cruyff Arena this week, not many Reds and Spurs fans could have been certain of their teams being at the final in Madrid on Saturday 1 June.

Neither club had the easiest ride through the early group stages of the competition, and both found themselves looking likely to go out in the knockout stages, so fans could be forgiven for making other plans for the date.

Tottenham's manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident the final against Liverpool will be "amazing", but what are some fans willing to do to see it?

Big day, big screen?

For Liverpool fan Neil Patterson, it is his wedding day. Fiancee Hannah is both a fan of Liverpool and Rangers, so is less concerned about the clash, but Neil took to Twitter to air his concerns.

Speaking of the Spurs match on Wednesday, Neil told the BBC: "It was an amazing game, but I wanted Ajax to go through to the final. It would hurt less if we lost to Ajax."

Neil believes this might be the only thing Liverpool win this season, which is why it is so important for him to watch.

The Reds are in contention for the Premier League title, but are a point behind Manchester City going into Sunday's final round of matches.

When Liverpool reached the Champions League semi-finals, Neil checked the date of the final. "Usually they're in May, so I thought I'd be OK watching it before our wedding. I didn't realise it was in June," he said.

Aware of the clash with his big day, he looked into installing a widescreen TV for the evening celebrations, but when Hannah found out, she said no.

With the wedding ceremony at 3pm and dinner around 5pm, "I thought everything would be done by 8pm," said Neil, without appreciating how much else was involved, like the cake-cutting, speeches and the first dance.

Luckily there has been a compromise. "I wore her down eventually. I had to get my sister involved."

Image copyright Neil Patterson
Image caption Fiancee Hannah: "It's a good job I'm a fan. I don't know what I'd do if I wasn't."

Hannah says it will be a momentous occasion - their wedding, that is - but appreciates there will be lots of football fans attending their celebrations.

"Both our families are from Liverpool. A couple of my mum's friends have already asked if there's going to be a large screen to watch," she said.

The couple may compromise with a screen near the bar. Neil expects it will be a great atmosphere and Hannah admits she will probably be glued to the TV when the match is on.

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'Family comes first'

Image copyright Mike Johnson
Image caption Mike and Emily, from London, will not be screening the final on their special day

Mike Johnson, whose whole family support Spurs, is getting married in a venue on Dartmoor, Devon, on the day of the final, which means there will probably be almost no internet connection.

Both Mike and his fiancee Emily, who have been together for more than four years, watched the match on Wednesday and had very different reactions.

"I was shocked and just sat in silence. I'd convinced myself that it would be best if Spurs were knocked out, because of our wedding day clash," Mike told the BBC.

Emily, however, burst into tears. Mike at first thought she was a "closet Ajax fan", then realised she was worried nobody would want to attend their wedding.

The couple have decided not to show the game, despite suggestions that they embrace the match and have ushers in Spurs kits.

"That idea was quickly shot down," said Mike, "If I can claim that my brother, who's a season ticket holder, is happy to miss the game, then it'll be very difficult for our other guests to complain."

Mike's mother, Bernadette, admitted she secretly did not want Spurs to win because of the wedding,

However, it is "far more important - a millions of times more - than a football match. Family comes first," she told the BBC.

"The people who love my son and his bride-to-be will hopefully put them first."

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