WHEN Carrie Coates and Ian Horner walked down the aisle at Holy Trinity in Fareham in 2004 they were just friends, acting in a video that was to be shown in schools.
But 13 years later – to the day – they found themselves in the church... getting hitched for real.
In 2004 it was for a video to be shown to schools in the area, and the mock wedding saw friends and family file into the church for the filming with Carrie’s dad giving the pretend bride away.
Her cousin Brooke, six, was their bridesmaid.
After losing touch for a several years, the duo got back in touch on Facebook, fell in love and after Ian proposed, only one church was deemed perfect for the official big day.
Thirteen years after their mock ceremony, the fairy-tale wedding on June 9 saw Carrie walked again down the aisle by her dad with the now 19-year-old Brooke once again acting as a bridesmaid.
Carrie, 36, said: ‘When Ian and I met up again in 2013, we used to joke about being husband and wife, and he was listed on my phone as husband. We used to wind each other up about it, but then we did fall for each other.
‘Once Ian proposed, there was only one place and one date that we wanted to get married. Walking down the aisle the second time was not actually so nerve-wrecking. I felt at ease, because I had done it before!’
Carrie, from Fareham, said that the couple met as ‘redcoats’ at Butlins, adding that Ian kept ‘popping over’ to see her all those years ago and that he ‘really went for it’ when the time came to kiss the bride in the mock wedding.
The original mock wedding was needed after Carrie’s mum, a hairdresser, had a client who wanted to film a wedding for schools.
Carrie’s mum was having a garden party on the day, near the church and so guests filtered over to the Holy Trinity for the fake ceremony.
The couple now live in West Sussex.
Ian, 33, said: ‘We are so proud of our story. It is such a perfect fairytale. We were always meant to be together and now we are. What a wonderful service we had for our wedding. Everyone loved it and was so personal to us.’
Rev Garry Roberts was the curate who married the pairing.
He said: ‘It is always an honour to officiate on a couple’s big day, but the first time I met Ian and Carrie, I know this would be extra special.’