Couple tie the knot on Hayling Island at low-key wedding which reunites all their family and friends

Les and Heather Stanford say they were ‘meant to be’ after meeting on a singles’ holiday in Crete.

By Hollie Busby
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 11:51 am

Following a whirlwind two and and a half years, the happy couple tied the knot on April 25 at Langstone Quays joined by 45 of their family and friends.

Heather said: ‘We met on holiday and the romance blossomed as soon as we came back.

‘It was the first time we’d been on holiday on our own. My first impression of Les was he was such a caring person. We were on a small island and I'm not very good at clambering over rocks and we went for a swim and he made sure I got back safe.’

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Les and Heather Stanford's wedding. Pictures: Carla Mortimer Wedding Photography.

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Heather née King, who was divorced and Les, a widow, found common ground when they holidayed together as a group of 16 a few years ago.

After Les asked Heather if she was on Facebook on their return at Gatwick Airport, their friendship soon blossomed into romance and they arranged to meet up in Yeovil, near where Heather used to live.

Heather explains: ‘Les follows Hartlepool football and they were playing down in Yeovil. He said, “I'm coming down for a football match, would you like to meet for a coffee?”

Family and friends at Les and Heather Stanford's wedding. Pictures: Carla Mortimer Wedding Photography.

‘I said yes and it stormed by from that day because Covid set in and we didn't want to be on our own. We were sharing each other's houses for a while and when I got made redundant there was nothing keeping me in Somerset so we moved up together in Clanfield.’

On February 14, the pair made the mutual decision to tie the knot after dreaming of a big celebration to have all of their friends and family together again.

In the space of just three months, Heather and Les planned their low-key wedding followed by a reception at the Spinnaker room which Heather says was ‘absolutely beautiful’.

‘We had a fantastic sunset right across the water and they've got a little balcony you can go out on,’ she beams. ‘It was beautiful.’

Family and friends at Les and Heather Stanford's wedding. Pictures: Carla Mortimer Wedding Photography.

Les met Heather’s family on their second date and everything seemed to fall in to place like fate.

‘My family and friends hadn’t been together for five years. We wanted to have everybody together,’ says Heather.

‘We were quite happy as we were but mainly it was we got married to tie all the loose ends up.’

Les’ daughter Rachel came to their house to do Heather’s makeup, joined by Heather’s granddaughter.

Heather says the highlight of the day was watching in delight as Les’ granddaughter, 3, a flower girl, threw petals as the pair walked down the aisle.

She laughs: ‘We walked across and Scarlett threw petals down onto the carpet as we went down but when we got to the bottom she still carried on.

‘She did a little twirl. We thought she would just panic so it was so lovely to see.’

Les and Heather gave a speech to guests which mentioned how they now have five grandchildren. The following day, to Heather’s delight Les’ daughter announced she was expecting twins which was the icing on the cake.

The Stanford’s are looking forward to a holiday in Madeira in Portugal, for their honeymoon.