BBC newsreader Kate Silverton is taking part in the sixth week of Strictly Come Dancing tonight - so we're throwing back to her glorious white wedding which we covered nearly 8 years ago. Kate had always dreamed of a white wedding. Thanks to the snowy weather, her marriage in the heart of London to former Royal Marine Mike Heron saw her dream come true in more ways than one. "It looked so beautiful," Kate exclusively revealed to HELLO! in December 2010. "Some friends were helping me get ready at my hotel suite at The Savoy when it started. Suddenly, we were at the window overlooking the Thames and the London Eye, watching as millions of snowflakes flew down from the sky. The city looked utterly romantic. The view we had of London was like a scene from Dickens and was a magical backdrop for the wedding."
However, 20 of the couple’s 140 guests – including former The Apprentice contestant Saira Khan and comedienne Cleo Rocos – were thwarted from attending by the bad weather. "It was sad for them and for us of course that they couldn't make it," explained Kate. "Saira kept me updated with photos on Twitter as she drove down the motorway, but finally had to turn back because the roads were so dangerous. The irony was that some guests had jetted in from Fiji and Geneva, yet friends who live here were snowed in. It didn't ruin our day, though. For me, the unusual weather gave it an edge. As I stepped out into the snowy streets of London, I felt like a princess."
Dressed in her stunning ivory, silk Mikado gown with lace sleeves and a long veil, both by Pronovias, the BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC1 News at One presenter looked like a princess. "The first time I tried my dress on, I admit I cried," recalled Kate. "I was imagining the look on Mike's face when he saw me in it. I usually wear outdoor, sporty clothes, but this dress made me look and feel so feminine. Being budget conscious, I'd intended to buy a sample dress at a fraction of the cost. But it was the one thing my mum insisted on influencing me on, as she said I would not regret it - so I had a new one made. And she was right."
Kate, whose niece Isabella was her bridesmaid and nephew Oscar was an usher, was whisked to the church - St Bride's, the journalists' church in Fleet Street - with her dad Terry, a former cabbie, in a Bentley. "As he walked me up the aisle, I couldn't stop beaming," said Kate. "Seeing our friends and families there made me incredibly happy. This was the first time Mike's family had met mine, so it was very special to bring them together." Kate met the safety and security expert in 2005, on a training course for journalists preparing to enter war zones. She was about to head for Iraq as a reporter for the BBC News channel and he was her instructor. "I've trained hundreds of people, but when Kate walked through the door, something inside melted," Mike told HELLO! in his first ever interview. "I'm not like that, usually – I'm calm and in control of my emotions – but that's the effect she had on me."
Smiling and reaching for his hand, Kate added: "When I first saw Mike, I found him very attractive. I'm quite gung-ho and throw myself into situations – he told me he had an urge to protect me. We're like the tortoise and the hare in our personalities. Mike joked in his wedding speech that once I get going, it’s difficult to get me to stop. But we work well as a team." In the past, Kate has commented that she's "commitment phobic" and that marriage might not be for her. "I realise now that I was just waiting for the right man," she said. "That man is Mike. When I was little and my sisters, Claire and Amy, were playing with dolls, I preferred Action Man. Now I have a real one of my own."
The couple, who both enjoy outdoor pursuits and share a taste for adventure, realised early on that they were made for each other. "I can discuss anything with Kate," noted Mike. "Our conversations veer from the situation in Afghanistan to the cricket or her latest colour craze for decorating. She's always good fun to be around and always interested in the world around her." In 2009, he proposed on one knee in a piazza during a romantic trip to Rome. "My diamond engagement ring was still being made so he presented me with a paper origami ring he’d created himself," remembered Kate. "On it was a poem he'd composed especially for me. I burst into tears and said 'Yes'. Then I asked him to propose twice more so I’d remember the moment more clearly!"
The pair have been trying for a baby for the past two years, but have suffered three failed attempts at IVF. Kate has resigned herself to the possibility that her dream of becoming a mum might never happen. "I feel desperately sad about it and it's a terrible shame for us" she said pensively. "But everyone faces challenges in life, often worse than ours. A friend told me, 'You make your bouquet with the flowers within your reach,' and that's pretty much my outlook on life. Instead of focusing on getting pregnant, we concentrated on our wedding and a future together." At the reception, held at the 17thcentury, oak-panelled Stationers' Hall in London, the couple performed a Viennese waltz. "I'd never danced ballroom in my life," said Mike. "But I wanted to try to do something romantic and Kate's friend, Strictly Come Dancing coach Karen Hardy, offered her help and suddenly it clicked into place."
As a surprise, Kate performed a dance of her own, too: a rendition of the Village People hit, In The Navy. Still in her wedding dress and in unison with her 25-strong hen party, she waved semaphore flags to spell out the name "Mike". "It was totally camp," she grinned. "Paul Domaine, who coached our [newsreaders'] Lady Gaga dance for Children in Need taught us and the military boys loved it." Now the couple are looking forward to a belated honeymoon in South America and moving into a new home in south-west London. "It's a very exciting time for us," gushed Kate. "We've stayed at each other's flats before but this will be the first time we've lived together and we can't wait."
Kate now shares two children with husband Mike - six-year-old Clemency and four-year-old Wilbur. A year after tying the knot, the couple welcomed their daughter, who was conceived naturally after four unsuccessful cycles of IVF. The newsreader never dared dream she would be a mother of two after she lost an ovary, aged 29, during an operation to remove a cyst. "I have felt such utter joy in motherhood that I just wanted the chance to do it all over again," she told HELLO! in 2014. "Despite my limited chances, I thought it was worth trying again. I just wanted to have one more try naturally and see what happened."
On 26 June 2014, Kate gave birth to her second child. Kate has been open about her fertility struggles in the past, she also revealed that she suffered two miscarriages after having Clemency - despite the obvious sadness, it gave her some hope that she could fall pregnancy again naturally. "I think it helps for women and their partners to be able to talk openly about what they are going through and to know they're not alone, and that even with the tough times there can always be hope", she told HELLO!. "Mike and I struggled to have children for the last seven years. Now it feels as if we're coming to the fruition of a long but lovely journey. I would love to know that there are others out there who are able to do the same."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.