Rebecca Adlington has reflected on her ‘perfect’ wedding to husband Andy Parsons in Cheshire, while he gushed over his ‘incredible’ bride and admitted he struggled to contain his emotion during the big day.
The Olympic swimmer, 32, and the facilities manager – who met through dating app Bumble three and a half years ago – tied the knot at Scarlet Hall on Saturday 28 August – five months after welcoming their son Albie.
And in an interview with HELLO! magazine the couple revealed they booked the venue before they were even engaged as they detailed all the important moments from their special day.
‘We couldn’t be happier’: Rebecca Adlington has reflected on her ‘perfect’ wedding to husband Andy Parsons in Cheshire, while he gushed over his ‘incredible’ bride
‘It worked out perfectly for us. We couldn’t be happier,’ said Rebecca as she admitted they used to be embarrassed to tell people they met through a dating app.
But now, Rebecca said they are proud of their love story because of ‘what came out of it’.
According to the couple, they found the venue while looking for places to stay for a family vacation.
Rebecca stated that they ‘fell in love’ with the location before Andy had even popped the question.
Love: The swimmer, 32, and facilities manager – who met through dating app Bumble – tied the knot at Scarlet Hall on Saturday 28 August – five months after welcoming their son Albie
When they found out there was availability in August, the pair had the ‘crazy idea’ to book the date with only four months to plan their nuptial ceremony.
‘We couldn’t believe our luck – a long weekend in August. It felt like it was meant to be,’ she said.
Andy subsequently surprised Rebecca with candles, rose petals and a poem, as he popped the all important question three weeks before the wedding.
However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Rebecca, who admitted she found shopping for her wedding dress incredibly stressful.
After recently giving birth to her first child with Andy, the star said she struggled to fit into gowns during dress fittings, which really knocked her confidence.
She eventually decided to contact Turkish designer Zeynep Kartal who whipped up a design sketch in a matter of seconds. As soon as she saw it, Rebecca declared it was ‘absolutely perfect.’
However, the drama didn’t stop there as Zeynep returned to Turkey to complete the garment, just before the country was thrust onto the Covid-19 red list, meaning she wasn’t able to fly black.
‘Two weeks before the big day, I was seriously thinking I might have to just go out and find a white dress,’ Rebecca revealed.
Confident: ‘It worked out perfectly for us. We couldn’t be happier,’ said Rebecca as she admitted they used to be embarrassed to tell people they met through a dating app
Thankfully, Zeynep was able to transport the dress back to the UK as Rebecca confirmed it ‘all worked out in the end’ and she felt incredible.
Rebecca’s daughter Summer, six, took on the role of flower girl at the wedding. The athlete shares her first child with professional swimmer Harry Needs – who was also in attendance.
Summer took on the big responsibility of guarding the wedding rings while Rebecca’s best friends Joanne ‘Jo’ Jackson and Tom Haffield formed her bridal party and chaperoned her two children into the wedding venue.
Rebecca’s beaming dad Steve proudly walked her down the aisle as Tom Odell’s track, Grow Old With Me, filled the room.
Backwards: According to the couple, they found the wedding venue in May before they were engaged, with Andy popping the all important question three weeks before the wedding
Both the Olympic swimmer and Andy confessed that they struggled to hold back the tears when they saw each other.
‘When Becky walked towards me with her dad I just lost it. She had the most beautiful smile on her. She looked incredible,’ said the loving husband.
Rebecca and Andy confirmed they decided to write their own vows, with the Olympian thanking her husband for ‘swiping right on Bumble’, much to the amusement of the 80 attendees.
Team GB swimming coach Bill Furniss, former competitive swimmers Stephen Parry, Caitlin McClatchey and Fran Halsall, and Halsall’s husband, former England rugby player Jon Wilkin were among the guests.
Upsetting: It wasn’t all plain sailing for Rebecca, who admitted she found shopping for her wedding dress incredibly stressful (pictured in 2019)
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds walked out of the ceremony to Suzi Quatro’s track Stumblin’ In, and they made their way to a picturesque barn at Scarlett Hall for the reception.
The tables were named after the couple’s favourite TV shows and featured place cards referencing the multiple charities they have donated to.
The couple tucked into the wedding meal along with guests. It included a starter of delectable chicken croquettes with grilled apricot and mango in a light curry sauce.
For the mains, they feasted on fish and chips with an accompanying mushy pea purée, before moving onto brandy snaps and Eton mess for dessert.
The couple appeared the picture of happiness as they took centre stage to perform their first dance to Paradise by George Ezra.
Growing family: After recently giving birth to her son, Albie (pictured) the star said she struggled to fit into gowns during dress fittings, which really knocked her confidence
The following day, the newlyweds joined their family for a BBQ before heading off to Yorkshire for two nights on their own.
According to the couple, they hope to have a ‘proper’ honeymoon in October with the children, but they aren’t rushing anything as they are still riding high off of the excitement of the wedding.
Rebecca won two golds at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and two bronzes at London 2012.
Last year she spoke about her successful co-parenting relationship with ex Harry, 28, revealing they have adopted a ‘good cop and bad cop’ style of parenting.
The Olympian said that she is a soft parent, hinting that Harry takes the role of ‘bad cop’ in the candid insight into their life as exes.
Wow! Nevertheless, Andy thought she looked stunning as he recalled her walking down the aisle: ‘When Becky walked towards me with her dad I just lost it. She looked incredible’
Rebecca and Harry married in 2014 and split in 2016, after 18 months of marriage.
Talking to The Sun, Rebecca said: ‘We call it good cop and bad cop. When she was born everyone thought I would be the bad cop — because of my sports background, I am quite tough…
‘I’m like, “No, let’s do it, we can do this”. That is my kind of mentality. To be a sportsperson you have to be like that.
‘And I think everyone was like, “Bec is going to be the bad cop”. But I am definitely not the bad cop. I get told off for being too soft with Summer.’
Read the full interview in HELLO! magazine, out now.
Important job: Rebecca’s daughter Summer, six, took on the role of flower girl at the wedding, whom she shares with swimmer Harry Needs (left) – who was also in attendance