Wedding planning comes with its difficulties – but imagine adding in a pregnancy, a last-minute wedding dress alteration and an 8-million-strong TikTok following for good measure.
Real-life couple Caitlin, 24, and Leah, 26, have built a huge social media presence since they began dating back in 2015, sharing key moments and relationship milestones with their followers, from their engagement to their wedding. While they have posted some of the highlights of their big day on YouTube and TikTok, there was a lot going on behind the scenes that people don't know about.
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Now, the newlyweds – who are expecting their little boy in January – have opened up to HELLO! about their stunning nuptials and revealed what other same-sex couples should know when organising their big day.
When asked about how they met, Caitlin explained: "We got together from our struggles with mental health. We both struggled with eating disorders and would use Instagram as a way of feeling less alone.
"A lot of people in the community would arrange to meet up, and go out to eat etc. One day in 2015, Leah arranged a meet-up. I attended and there was instantly a connection!"
Caitlin and Leah's families were both very supportive. Photographer: Julia & You
Five years later, Caitlin asked Leah to be her wife, presenting her with a sparkling maisonette ring after a thoughtful treasure hunt in her home.
Speaking about their "really supportive" families, they joked: "After being together for 5 years, I don't really think any of our family/friends were shocked - we already acted like a married couple anyway!"
The lessons learnt
The couple were worried about dealing with wedding suppliers. Photographer: Julia & You
Then came the hard bit – planning. Caitlin and Leah revealed that they were "worried" about dealing with wedding suppliers and venues, who don't always use LGBTQ+ inclusive language.
However, they said that while some made mistakes at the beginning of their journey, they were "very apologetic."
"Unfortunately, some of the people we spoke to automatically said, '...and your soon-to-be husband' and we would have to correct them and say 'wife', but we soon learnt to just be very clear from the get-go that we are both women when speaking to suppliers.
"When that happened it was only at the very start and they were always very apologetic," the couple explained.
Leah was emotional as her partner walked down the aisle. Photographer: Julia & You
In fact, they admitted that this was one of the biggest takeaways they would pass on to other same-sex couples preparing the tie the knot. "Try to use LGBTQ+ inclusive language from the very get-go and just put you and your partner first! Have the wedding of YOUR dreams, nobody else's," they advised.
While Caitlin and Leah confessed their biggest wedding regret was "stressing too much" about making the day perfect, they did manage to pull off what they said was a "magical" wedding on 10 August 2022.
"We honestly just did what made us happy!" they recalled, and Leah added: "We both knew we wanted to walk down the aisle with our parents. I always wanted to be the first one to walk down the aisle so I could watch Caitlin walk down to me. I knew I'd be emotional, but I was literally a crying mess!"
The day only continued to get more emotional with Caitlin's special surprise for her new wife. "Caitlin surprised me with a love song she wrote and sang for our first dance! It was such a lovely touch," she continued.
The TikTok stars are expecting a baby boy. Photographer: Julia & You
The happy couple announced they were expecting a baby boy just months before their big day, after starting their IVF journey in February 2022.
Although the TikTok stars both said they wanted a perfect wedding day, they were unphased by the fact that Leah was 17 weeks pregnant when they exchanged vows – which resulted in a last-minute bridal gown dilemma.
"We originally didn’t think she would show but as time got closer we were starting to worry she wouldn’t fit into her dress!
"She went for multiple fittings to make sure it still fitted and the week before the wedding she ended up having to have the stitches taken out the sides. But honestly, we didn't mind if we had to walk down the aisle in bin bags, we were just so excited and happy to become wife and wife with Leah carrying our son," Caitlin told us.
Caitlin and Leah's wedding dresses were both from Allure Bridals. Photographer: Julia & You
Both brides looked beautiful in off-the-shoulder wedding dresses from Allure Bridals paired with embellished hair accessories, but they said they actually didn't coordinate their outfits with one another in advance – it was a happy accident!
"We travelled to Manchester with our best friend and he was in charge of making sure we both did not peek at each other's dresses when trying loads on! It was a complete coincidence that we were wearing similar dresses, we did not plan it at all.
"We share clothes and have a very similar style so it is no surprise that we both picked similar outfits."
After sharing a video of their special day online, the pair were inundated with messages of support, including: "My heart can’t handle this. The way you look at each other. Leah’s tears. Caitlin’s nervous looks. The emotions are so pure," and: "This is the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen." Now, their followers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their little boy.
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