COUPLE Paula and Bobby Stott tied the knot on Saturday – six years after they met through a dating charity for people with learning disabilities.
The pair, who live together in Elm Grove, Southsea, joined Stars in the Sky in 2006 in search of love and friendship.
Both football lovers and Pompey supporters, they instantly hit it off at leisure activities and outings organised by the charity.
Volunteers at the organisation supported the couple by offering workshops and relationship support, as well as helping them on their first three dates.
Having moved in together in spring last year, the couple still use the charity’s support services, but live independently.
And this weekend, their friends and family turned up in force to see the couple get married at Portsmouth Register office.
Paula, 38, said: ‘I was a bit shy at first when I was walking down the aisle but I got more confident when I saw Bobby and everyone else.
‘Signing the register felt brilliant because I knew it meant that I’m Bobby’s wife now and that makes me really happy.
‘I always fancied him. He’s kind and very caring and we always got on well, even before we started dating.’
Paula’s dress was donated to her by Portsmouth-based bridal firm JC Brides, and flown over from Ireland specially for the occasion.
The charity organised everything at the event, from the flowers to the reception at Milton Village Hall, Milton, where there was a buffet and a disco.
Bobby, 37, said: ‘It was the greatest day of my life and now I’m married to a beautiful woman who is caring and looks after me.
‘It’s fantastic when we are together, Paula makes me so happy. I know every day from now on is going to be as good as our wedding day was.’
The couple went to school together at Cliffdale School, Cosham, but it was only when they joined Stars in the Sky that their relationship blossomed.
Nicole Hamerton, project manager, said: ‘It was a very emotional day, but it all went really well. The ceremony was fantastic.
‘For us to have our very first couple getting married proves that there is a real need for this service, and that what we’re doing works.’
For more information on Stars in the Sky, see starsintheskyhants.co.uk.