After losing her father in 2011, an engaged Sarah Poole was reluctant to give up the last piece she had of him – her maiden name – to marry her best friend and rock Andy Jarvis.
But knowing her dad idolised 33-year-old Andy, who also lost his father in 2014, the closer-than-ever pair knew it was the right thing to do – and it was so right they wished they’d done it sooner.
After 13 years together, Sarah, who is 43, married Andy at The Holiday Inn, Winchester.
Although the bride is originally from Essex, the couple started off as friends when their parents lived next door to each other in Stubbington.
‘I knew Andy before anything happened romantically between us,’ says Sarah, a community nurse.
‘My dad was ill and Andy was very close to him, so he was always at my parents’ house.
‘When I moved to Portsmouth I would be round there too, which meant we ended up spending a lot of time together.
‘That’s when it happened and suddenly everything changed.’
The couple didn’t really date, but rather spent time together as a family, with Sarah’s two children Danielle and Jade.
Six months later they moved in together, and three years later they had a baby – a little girl named Caitlyn.
Sarah adds: ‘Andy has raised Danielle and Jade as his own, but I knew it would be nice for us to have a child together.
‘We got engaged after Caitlyn was born, but when I lost my dad I felt very attached to my maiden name, and I didn’t want to give it up.
‘Andy ended up losing his dad too, and then last year we spoke about marriage again.
‘I thought to myself ‘‘my dad loved Andy, he would really want me to do this’’.’
The groom wasted no time in making the wedding arrangements, for a day that the couple wish they could do all over again.
They made sure their dads were a part of it all, by having framed pictures of them around for all to see.
Sarah adds: ‘I had a photo of my dad put into a charm and that was in my bouquet, so in a way he walked me down the aisle.’
Danielle, Jade and Caitlyn were bridesmaids, and the couple’s granddaughters Lily, three, and Poppy, 18 months, were flower girls. Sarah’s brother-in-law Kelvin was best man.
When asked how it feels to be married to Andy, Sarah says: ‘It’s a fantastic feeling. I wished I’d done it sooner but that doesn’t take away from how wonderful it was.
‘Andy is my best bud, my rock, a comedian, and he’s got a heart of gold – and everyone else says the same.
‘They broke the mould when they made him.’