Noel Edmonds once vowed he would never marry again. However, he proved that he is actually a believer in third time lucky. In an emotional ceremony at a stunning 17th-century manor house in the Cotswolds, the Deal or No Deal presenter clinched the deal of a lifetime with his girlfriend of two-and-a-half years, Liz Davies. "I've finally found my soulmate," the TV host told his guests at the wedding, covered exclusively in HELLO! in July 2009. "I've read about it in books and seen it in films and now it's happened."
Wrapping his arm protectively around his bride, who looked radiant in an oyster satin wedding dress with a crystal-encrusted bodice, designed by her close friend Dio, he said: "This has been a magical day, it really has. I can't remember being this happy and this content." Noel, who has two ex-wives, Gillian Slater and Helen Soby – with whom he has four daughters – talked about the subject of marriage shortly after his second divorce. Asked if he would remarry, he said: "No – though I once said I would never get back into a television studio."
However, meeting Liz, who was a standby make-up artist on his Channel 4 show at the end of 2006, prompted his change of heart. "Something strange happened and here we are," he explained. "To start with it was all very professional but there was a look in both our eyes. If you speak to Liz she will say she didn’t sleep for three nights and I couldn't stop thinking about her." According to Noel, Liz was brought to him as a result of "Cosmic Ordering", the spiritual concept that embraces making your dearest wishes known to the cosmos, and then trusting they will come true.
Whatever the dynamics that brought the couple together, their wedding day was both poignant and unforgettable. The nuptial festivities began with a stag and hen party the night before the wedding at beautiful Lower Slaughter Manor in Gloucestershire. "Noel wore a white embroidered bishop’s gown and mitre, and his male guests wore tails," a friend said. "Liz and the female guests were all dressed as brides." The next day, Noel and Liz took their vows in a civil ceremony in the drawing room of the grand house. "Contrary to reports that he would present Liz’s wedding ring in a Deal or No Dealred box, he slipped the gold band on her finger in the traditional way," said a guest.
"He was pretty annoyed about that false report. It denigrated what he’d spent ages arranging and wanted to be meaningful." After they had both said "I do", the wedding party walked to St Mary’s Church next door for a blessing. "The vicar, Reverend Godfrey Simpson, was just like a country vicar out of the TV series, The Vicar of Dibley," a guest recounted. "He’s a real card, a lovely man with a warm touch." This personal touch was a theme throughout the wedding. "Noel wanted a low-key affair," we were told. "There were just 40 guests, close friends and family, including Liz's two sons [from her previous marriage] and some of Noel's daughters. In short, they were surrounded by the people who had supported the couple since their romance began. His best man was his close friend Mike, who was also best man at his first wedding 38 years ago."
The atmosphere was charged with emotion, especially when Noel played back a film he recorded on his camera phone of his actual proposal to Liz. "It was so moving that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house," said a friend. "All the guests went through every emotion during the reception – one minute we were in tears watching Noel’s proposal, the next we were laughing at a film Noel made of members of the family dressed in country and western outfits dancing to a Lonestar song. There were tissues on every seat, placed there at Noel’s request, because he knew their guests would be overcome by emotion." After their wedding night, Noel whisked Liz away for their honeymoon at a luxury villa in the South of France. Ever since the multimillionaire TV presenter decided that Liz was the woman for him, he has been springing romantic surprises on her. Apparently he spent three months planning a trip to St Petersburg, Russia, where he asked her to marry him. Concealing a £30,000 engagement ring from exclusive London jeweller Theo Fennell in his pocket, he took her for a romantic stroll in the snowcarpeted gardens of the Catherine Palace, former home of the Tsars.
"I wanted it to be a special place and there is nowhere more romantic as the gardens of the palace when it is snowing," he explained. "I said, ‘Will you marry me?’” and to my great delight she said yes." The surprises continued after they returned from Russia to Noel’s estate in south Gloucestershire. To celebrate his 60th birthday, Liz organised a secret fancy dress party, with 100 guests including his former Radio 1 colleague Tony Blackburn and TV presenter Carol Vorderman.
As the festivities got under way, Noel made a special announcement. "I've got a surprise of my own," he said. "I’ve proposed to my beautiful partner Liz and she has accepted." With two failed marriages behind him, that was a moment Noel must have thought he might never encounter again. The end of his 18-year marriage to Helen Soby, the mother of his three grown-up daughters Charlotte, Lorna and Olivia and 11-year-old Alice, was particularly painful for him. Four years down the line, Noel has shown that even after his heartache, he can find love again. This time, he says, for keeps.
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