After 17 years of being together and in love, Kelly White and Julian Leib finally tied the knot and got the special day they deserved at Portsmouth Register Office, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.
Kelly, 45 and Julian, also 45, got married in the company of about 50 people, including Kelly’s father, who gave her away.
‘I was a nervous wreck,’ says Kelly, who is a housewife. ‘The whole day was amazing, but I was able to relax properly at the reception venue because my nerves had calmed down.
‘I’m not used to being the centre of attention!’
The newlyweds are mum and stepdad to Ashley White, 26 and Lauren White, 21, both of whom attended the wedding.
Kelly’s granddaughters, Tia White, six and Lexie White, two, were bridesmaids along with Kelly’s niece, six-year-old Billie Stanley.
The couple, who are both from Waterlooville but recently moved to Paulsgrove, also had Kelly’s 10-year-old nephew, Logan Gouge, as the ringbearer.
They met in 1999 after being introduced by mutual friends.
‘I started talking to Julian and then we just started seeing each other’ says Kelly.
‘As it progressed I remember thinking ‘‘this is it, there’s no way I’m going to be with anyone else but him’’.’
Julian, who works on freight trains, proposed to Kelly just before Christmas last year.
The pair had previously spoken about marriage, but didn’t act on it.
Kelly says: ‘We went out for a meal and talked about it and it just happened.
‘We thought ‘‘right, this time, we need to do it’’.
‘Nothing seems to have changed too much now we’re married because we’ve been together so long.
‘But Julian loves that I’ve finally taken his name and we both feel really secure.’
The pair are travelling to Majorca in September with Kelly’s sister and her family for their honeymoon trip.
‘My wedding day really was the happiest day of my life,’ says Kelly.
‘It’s the first time either of us have married, so we’re really glad to be able to do it.
‘The kids are also really happy for us.’