Two strangers married on Christmas Day after meeting for the first time at an airport in their wedding gear – and boarded a plane to Las Vegas.
Sarah Edwards, née Elliott, 34, matched with Paul Edwards, 36, online and within days decided to get hitched.
They matched online on December 15th and exchanged messages and spoke to each other for the first time on December 22nd.
The loved-up couple spoke again on the 23rd had decided to marry – despite never meeting face-to-face.
Sarah Elliott, 34, and Paul Edwards, 36, at their marriage in Las Vegas in the US. They first matched online on December 15
They committed to each other and booked a wedding venue – the Bellagio Hotel and Casino.
Meeting for the first time at Gatwick Airport on Christmas Eve, the duo boarded a plane in full wedding gear and jetted off to Las Vegas to get married.
Mrs Edwards, a nanny originally from New Zealand but who lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, said: ‘We instantly clicked – there was an undeniable connection.
‘I feel like Paul’s my best friend already.
‘We’re not looking at everything through rose-tinted glasses. We know it will be challenging, but we’re willing to work together.
‘I’m usually such a logical person, but all the rules have been thrown out.
Meeting for the first time at Gatwick Airport on Christmas Eve, the duo boarded a plane in full wedding gear and jetted off to Las Vegas to get married
‘We’ve both tried to do things the traditional way before and it didn’t work out for either of us.
‘We get on so well and just thought: ‘Why not have that commitment to actually making a marriage work from the very start?’
‘I’m not interested in just going on dates looking for things I don’t like about that person.
‘I’m committing to making this marriage absolutely work – like they did in the old days.
‘It’s traditional, older generations might have only met their partner once or twice before getting married.
The couple after their wedding, posing in front of a fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas
‘It’s similar, we just hadn’t even met before.’
Mrs Edwards and her new husband, who works in broadcasting, met online on dating app Bumble and instantly hit it off.
Mr Edwards was due to marry in March last year, but his fiancee left him four weeks before the wedding, according to his new wife.
She said: ‘We’ve done it the normal way before, I was married and Paul went out with someone for eight years and she left him a week before the wedding.’
Mrs Edwards broke up with her ex in February – however they are still living together, but are in the process of selling the house they own.
She said: ‘I saw his profile, thought he looked nice and loved what he had written about being open and honest.
‘When we matched, I sent him a message.
The couple pictured meeting in public for the first time at Gatwick Airport (left) and with their luggage as they prepare to board a flight to Las Veas
‘I thought it was funny that his name was Paul as I currently share a house with two other people called Paul – so I said: ‘I’ve already got two Paul’s in my life, why not add a third?’
‘He replied to my message saying: ‘Apparently the third Paul is always the best and I don’t have a Sarah in my life so I guess that would make you number one.’
‘We spoke on the phone on Saturday night for two-and-a-half hours and then again on Sunday morning for an hour-and-a-half.
‘Sunday evening we were chatting away on the phone and calling each other for three hours.
‘I can’t remember who brought it up, but one of us said: ‘We get on so well – maybe we should get married’.
Mr Edwards places the engagement ring on his soon to be wife’s finger. He told how he was due to marry in March last year, but his fiancee left him four weeks before the wedding
‘The other one went: ‘Yeah, maybe we should’ and it literally spiralled from there.
‘There was a moment between us where we both thought: ‘We totally could do this. How amazing would it be if we got married on our first date?’
‘By Monday morning – three days after we’d first started talking – we’d agreed to get married.
‘We both just thought: ‘Let’s do this’.’
Sarah knew the idea was ‘crazy’ but has decided to let her heart rule over her head.
She said: ‘I know it’s totally crazy – hardly any of my friends are supporting me, in fact, a lot of them are disowning me.
The couple get to know each other after their first meeting at Gatwick Airport
‘I haven’t told my family yet. As they’re on the other side of the world we don’t talk as often as we should.’
Father-of-two Mr Edwards, from Chichester, West Sussex, has two daughters aged 13 and 15 from a previous relationship, and is also yet to tell his children about his new wife-to-be.
Mr Edwards said: ‘There was no awkwardness it was very natural.
‘We continued the next day – chatting for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening.
The newlyweds both met at the airport in their wedding gear before boarding a plane to Las Vegas (left) and (right) one of the early text messages between the pair in which one writes: Let’s get married then’
‘We talked about our past experiences and what we wanted in the future – and I really opened up to her, more than I have with anyone before.
‘I felt a very strong connection from that moment.
‘We decided to video chat so we knew we were real people.
‘I think the whole idea came about because I asked her what she was doing for Christmas.
‘She told me she thought she was going to a friend’s house but she wasn’t too sure.
Mrs Edwards sits down for a drink after meeting her soon to be husband at Gatwick Airport
‘I said I’d probably be doing the same as my family are all away in Egypt over Christmas.
‘I said to her: ‘How about we have our first date on Christmas Day? I’ll come and meet you.’
‘She said: ‘That sounds really nice.’
‘Then I had another light bulb moment and suggested: ‘How about we go away on holiday for our first date?’ Life’s too short.
‘The subject of marriage came up and Sarah said: ‘I have always thought about going on that program where couples get married at first sight.
‘I laughed and said: ‘Let’s get married then’ .
The couple, seen here chatting before they boarded the plane, say they couldn’t be better suited to one another
‘She said: ‘Don’t tempt me’.
‘But later that day she called me and said: ‘I’ve bought the wedding dress’.
‘I said: ‘Are you serious?’ and she told me: ‘If I say something I mean it.’
‘She asked me if I still wanted to get married and I thought: ‘Yeah, why not? I couldn’t imagine anyone being better suited to me.’
‘It’s absolutely mental.
‘We just carried on talking and planning and deciding where we could go and get married at such short notice.
‘We looked at the Caribbean, New York and Las Vegas and Vegas just seemed to stick, it’s the place to run away and elope.
‘I was supposed to get married in March this year, but everything happens for a reason – I’m a true believer in that.
Mrs Edwards has been married before, but it only lasted for six months.
The new couple moments after they tied the knot. They are now hoping to move in together when they get back to the UK – but she still lives with her ex partner, and they are in the process of selling their house
She says the pair get on so well because they are so alike.
She said: ‘Paul’s personality is exactly like mine. We’re both very bubbly, open, honest, we’d do anything for anyone.
‘He’s caring, loyal, silly, a wind up, playful, intelligent and of course, spontaneous and impulsive.
‘We have so much in common. I’ve never met anyone whose brain works like mine but his does.
‘Our minds jump all over the place with a million ideas a day. We both have big goals and dreams.’
She is adamant the couple will go the distance.
She said: ‘Our marriage will work because we’re completely open and honest about everything in our lives. I have faith.
‘If we have any problems, we’ll talk them through.
‘We can talk about absolutely everything – there’s nothing I’d feel uncomfortable discussing with him because I know there’s no judgement there.
‘Paul was wavering the other day and getting anxious. He said: ‘Are we really going to do this?’
‘We talked it through – as a team – and decided we had as good a chance as anyone.
‘By the end of the conversation, we were like: ‘We’ve got this’.’
The pair decided to meet for the first time at Gatwick airport on Christmas Eve, and Paul suprised Sarah with a bunch of flowers.
Sarah said: ‘I’d only just met him at the airport and he brought flowers and got down on one knee.
‘He bought the perfect ring, it’s got six diamonds on it. He’s not a rich man but he knows how to treat someone.
‘He bought me a watch too, I don’t know how he knew I needed one.
‘The flight was about 11 hours. It was hard, I was freaking out. I didn’t have cold feet bus I was scared.
‘I’d just met this guy in person for the first time but we already had a connection.
‘We talked about this before we met, it’s not about what someone looks like it’s what they’re like on the inside.
‘He’s amazingly kind, he’s incredible. He really is.
‘He can get on with anyone and I can get on with anyone, it’s amazing. The whole thing is amazing.
‘We got married at the Bellagio, My dress was incredible. It was huge, I’ve been walking up and down the strip in it.
‘The wedding was amazing, the minister was great – we wanted to write our own vows but we didn’t have time.
‘The minister was Roland August, the Mobile Minister – he’s starred in a Katy Perry Video.
‘He wrote our vows for us, and even though he’d never met us they were very personal and sweet.
‘I’m sure the wedding night will be amazing too.
‘You can have sexual attraction, but at the end of the day they have to be a good person.
‘You think you know people, but it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with someone for, they can surprise you and not in a good way.
‘I’d been with my ex for three years and he turned out to not be capable of treating me right. You just don’t know.
‘So this time I thought: ‘Why not take a chance and have a bit of faith?’
Paul said: ‘It’s absolutely mental.
‘If you’d have asked me nine days ago whether I would meet someone, start talking to them and then go running off to Vegas to get married without meeting face-to-face I’d say you were crazy.
‘I don’t know what happened, it’s so weird as both of radius’ on Bumble weren’t even that close so I have no idea how we came across each other in the first place.
‘Sarah just seemed really lovely, when she first phoned me we spoke for over three hours.
Mr and Mrd Edwards hope to move in together when they return to the UK.
She said: ‘My ex and I broke up in February,
‘Paul and I have tried to talk about moving in together, but it’s difficult because of my current situation.
‘Hopefully it’ll only be a few more weeks before my house sale goes through.
‘Whatever happens, we’ll make it work – even if we have to rent somewhere.
‘Going forward, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to date someone who had children, but Paul has two.
‘But actually it’s just perfect. It’s unexpected and that’s what’s so amazing about it.’
The couple plan on getting married every year afterwards in a different country around the world as they both love travelling.
Sarah said: ‘We’ll have another wedding next year – maybe in Ibiza, England or New Zealand.
‘I’ll wear a different dress, but I’ve assured Paul I only need one more ring.’
The couple hope to start a family together in the future.
Sarah said: ‘I’m infertile so if and when we have a baby we’ll need to go through IVF treatment.
‘We may not be lucky enough to have children together, but it won’t matter – we’re enough for each other.’
‘The only thing I’m worried about is the reaction of my friends and family.
‘I don’t believe they’re my friends if they’re not supporting me.
‘Of course, their opinion counts and they care about me and are worried.
‘But equally they should accept my judgement and be happy for me.’
Mr Edwards said: ‘My fiance left me four weeks before the wedding so that was £20,000 down the drain and I didn’t get a penny of it back.
‘It’s taken me quite a while to get back to who I am.
‘Sarah and I had been discussing marriage, life and what we want for the future.
‘We both are loving and open and don’t want to allow our past experiences to dictate our future.
‘But the next day I woke up and sat there for a little while and I thought: ‘Is this really going to work?’
‘I started having doubts in my head. I was unsure and anxious about the whole thing.
‘I messaged Sarah and she told me to call her.
‘We spoke on the phone and I voiced my concerns. Within 10 minutes she had calmed my anxiety down to the point it disappeared – no one has ever been able to do that before.
‘We don’t get frustrated with each other, we can keep up with each other.
‘We have a lot in common and they are the things that matter most.
‘Our tastes are different – for example, I get most of my clothes from Next and she says it reminds her of her ex and has told me: ‘You can never buy anything from there again’.
‘I know she was mostly joking but I really don’t mind – I’m easy going.
‘When it comes down to little things I’m happy to stand back, but I’m also very highly opinionated if i believe in something strongly.
‘With every single relationship I’ve had before the element that’s always been missing is communication and the openness.
‘Now I just think: ‘What have I actually really got to lose?’
‘If we have a shotgun wedding and split up in six months, a week, a day – what have I lost in the grand scheme of life? Nothing.
‘I’ve believed in something and had faith in something. It’s let me just go away from the social norms.
‘I’ve gone on dates through dating apps and it’s all very nicey-nicey with general chit chat, but there’s no realness in it anymore.
‘If you look back to second world war type era, in the past, people met once or twice maybe – and wouldn’t be on the phone to each other all the time – and they’d get married and would work hard at it.
‘If we’re going through a relationship as a married couple we’ll be automatically saying we’ll put as much effort into it as possible.
‘We are both true believers in marriage and what it means.
‘She had the idea for us to meet at the airport in our wedding gear. I asked her: ‘Are you really going to turn up in your wedding dress?’
‘Sarah said: ‘Yeah if we’re going to do it, let’s do it properly.’
‘I did warn her it’s a 10-hour flight and her dress might get a bit crumpled.
‘All my friends have been really supportive because they’ve seen me at my lowest point and now they see me back to my normal self in such a short space of time and they are happy for me.
‘They have said: ‘You are absolutely nuts, but we love you and we want you to be happy. She sounds amazing and we can’t wait to meet her.’
‘No body has been negative at all in any way, shape or form on my side – I’ve got the best friends that a person could ask for.
‘I’ve got two daughters – I’m going to see them tomorrow to take them for lunch – and I’ll tell them and ask their opinion.
‘I know them and I know they’ll be happy for me.
‘For both Sarah and I, this is the complete opposite of what we’ve both imagined for ourselves.
‘She told me: ‘If I read your profile properly and saw you had kids I would have swiped the other way’.
‘It’s tiny little things like that which make it all the more incredible.
‘I believe everything happens for a reason.
‘It’s a one-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s very rare. I don’t think I’ve heard of any other couple doing things like this.’