It’s rare to hear about a bride who does not want it all.
For most of the time at weddings, the bride will take centre stage while the groom watches.
Perhaps it’s because of tradition or because it’s probably every girl’s dream to be a bride.
But when Amy Underwood and Chris Argent, of Hayling Island, tied the knot, they made sure it was more about their marriage – not the wedding.
‘It’s not all about me, it’s about him too,’ Amy laughs, ‘it’s simply about us marrying each other.’
And as a wedding co-ordinator at Langstone Quays, Hayling Island, Amy, 35, knows how to pull off a wedding. But she was very certain of one thing.
‘We wanted to keep it personal,’ she says, ‘in my line of work, weddings are typically always about the bride. Some can be very dominating and know exactly what they want.
‘It seems that as soon as the groom gets down on one knee, he is pushed aside. But we wanted our wedding to be about the both of us from start to finish.’
The couple’s relationship grew under surprising circumstances. After meeting at the Piranha Bar and Restaurant, Hayling, in 2015 Amy claims that it wasn’t so much a whirlwind romance as a blossoming friendship.
‘We met through friends when I was invited out to the Piranha Bar and Chris worked as a chef there at the time. We got on really well and became such good friends,’ she explains.
‘When Chris proposed in May 2017, we weren’t really in a relationship. But I wasn’t surprised when he got down on one knee.
‘I just decided that, actually, I can’t imagine him with a different person and I can’t see myself with anyone else either,’ says Amy.
It wasn’t a shock for their friends and family.
‘Everyone was really happy when we got engaged – lots of people said they could see our relationship building,’ she explains.
With a ring on her finger, the wedding plans began. But the couple started to lose track of time.
‘My job meant that other weddings overtook my own a little bit. Also, Chris’ sisters got married this year too so when we came back from their weddings we realised we really needed to start planning,’ laughs Amy.
‘We booked the Royal British Legion Club on Hayling for the reception because it had a personal connection to Chris’ dad.’
Chris’ dad died when Chris was just 17-years-old so Amy wanted to ensure that his memory lived on at their wedding.
Chris’ dad, Nick, was a Lt-Commander in the Royal Navy. Chris, 34, was adamant he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and trained as a submariner, spending time in Scotland and America. His passion and talent for cooking led him to become a chef and he has even cooked for Princess Anne.
‘Nick was well-known on Hayling and in the club as it was a favoured social spot, so it was lovely to have our reception there,’ explains Amy.
As she was preparing for her wedding with the help of friends Anette Bradford and Victoria Howe, Amy was sure she would not feel nervous at all when the couple wed at Portsmouth Registry Office.
‘I was absolutely fine until I came down the stairs and saw all of my work friends. I just couldn’t stop shaking.
‘I thankfully walked down the aisle without crying. I was just overwhelmed when the doors opened. Chris cried when he saw me, which I’m actually quite thankful about,’ laughs Amy.
Family was a strong theme that ran throughout their wedding. Amy’s mum and dad could not make it to her wedding due to illness. However Amy and Chris’ wedding reception was decked with old pictures of the couple growing up, with their families and parents. But Amy had a special surprise for Chris.
‘James Bond is Chris’ favourite film. He used to watch it a lot with his dad when he was younger.
‘I thought it would be really nice to incorporate that into the wedding. Mardie Hood from South Coast Eyes of Fire performed at the reception and played the songs Skyfall and Writing’s on the Wall – everyone got very emotional,’ explains Amy.
‘People who are close to him would make the connection to his dad but everyone else thought the fire-breathing display was amazing too,’ says Amy,’ Chris just stood there quietly crying. I saw one big tear roll down his cheek.’
With music from Brothers Blue, the couple danced the night away with their 70 guests. And their celebrations weren’t over for another week because they had two honeymoons – one in a caravan in the New Forest and the other to Langstone Quay’s sister hotel in Shropshire.
Reminiscing on their special autumn wedding, the Argents insist it was everything they dreamed it would be.
‘We will always look back at our wedding day being filled with happiness, being so special and personal. We made sure that the ones who couldn’t make it were included. It sums us up really,’ says Amy.
‘I know this is it for life now – me and him. He’s my very best friend.’
‘It was the best day of my life,’ says Chris, with a wide smile on his face.
‘Amy means the absolute world to me.’