Fareham childhood sweethearts tie the knot after 10 years together

Charley-May and Connor on their wedding day. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography
Charley-May and Connor on their wedding day. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography
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After 10 years together, childhood sweethearts Charley-May Dekker and Connor Gray had the wedding of their dreams.

The couple, who first met at Fareham scouts when they were 13 years old, tied the knot at Riverdale Barn, Yateley, on June 15. And the couple couldn’t be happier.

Charley-May on her wedding day. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

Charley-May on her wedding day. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

‘We were friends for a little bit but we knew something was there,’ smiles Charley-May, 23.  

‘We have grown together and experienced so much by each other’s side.’

Charley-May, originally from Fareham, and Connor, 22, from Stubbington, got engaged on February 26, 2017, at the Jolly Sailor Pub, Southampton – much to Charley-May’s surprise.

‘Connor had just passed out from HMS Raleigh, Cornwall, so I thought we were going out to celebrate that.

The newlyweds pose for their wedding photographs. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

The newlyweds pose for their wedding photographs. Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

‘He asked me if I wanted to go for a walk and I said “can’t we eat first?”

‘We finished eating and Connor wanted to leave quickly. I had no idea what was going on. But I was too focused on the food,’ laughs Charley-May.

‘I turned around and he was down on one knee.’

Soon after their proposal, Connor and Charley-May admit they planned their wedding quickly and time simply flew by.

The Dekker-Grays signing their marriage certificate at Riverdale Barn, Yateley.

The Dekker-Grays signing their marriage certificate at Riverdale Barn, Yateley.

Charley-May says: ‘I was quite involved in everything. On the morning of the wedding, I couldn’t sit still and was helping with the decorations.’

A couple of days before their big day, Charley-May says she didn’t see Connor because she wanted to keep it traditional.

‘I wanted to keep it very traditional, so I didn’t want to see him a couple of days before the wedding. We were texting all the time. The night before I messaged him, saying “how nervous are you?”

‘It was exciting – we had planned this day for two years. Time went so quickly.’

Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

Picture: Carla Mortimer Photography

The Dekker-Grays partied with their 92 guests into the evening – and Charley-May had time for an outfit change.

David Western, based in Castle Road, designed Charley-May’s prom dress. She returned to him for her wedding dress.

She says: ‘I changed my dress for the reception – it was definitely more me.’

When asking them for their favourite part about the day, the couple laugh together: ‘The food was pretty good.’

They both say their highlight was everyone singing You’ll Never Walk Alone at their reception.

‘Some of my family are from Liverpool so it was really emotional,’ smiles Charley-May.

As a wedding present from their family, the newlyweds have enjoyed trips to Longleat and Harry Potter Studios while they save for a honeymoon. The couple now live in Yeovil where Connor works as a Royal Air Engineering Technician and Charley-May is a store manager of The Entertainer.