A DINAS Powys woman who has planned her entire wedding day using local businesses after her fiancé popped the question before jetting off to serve in Afghanistan is now just days away from walking down the aisle.
Kate James, who is set to tie the knot with her fiancé Matt Allman on Midsummer’s Day, has used the whole Dinas Powys community to plan every step of their wedding.
It all started when Royal Marine Matt, originally from Worcester, popped the question at his leaving do before embarking on a six month tour of Afghanistan in November last year.
Kate had planned the leaving do but she had no idea that her partner was due to propose and that it would in fact be an impromptu engagement party.
"It was wonderful as I was surrounded by loads of family and friends," she said.
"It was a good opportunity to have everyone together and a really nice surprise at the same time.”
Even the proposal was a surprise, as he put the engagement ring in a Pandora box that Kate thought contained a charm for her bracelet.
"At first I was confused and wasn't sure what he was doing,” she said.
"I was completely surprised when I saw the ring in the charm box and he got down on one knee.
"I said yes straight away and he ran out to get a bottle of champagne and flowers.”
Since then Kate has spent the last seven and a half months meticulously planning every step of their vintage afternoon tea themed wedding day.
Kate, who works for the Welsh Office, said that before 30-year-old Matt left he only asked for three things from the wedding.
"He said he wanted it in June as that's when he was back from Afghanistan and he could go on honeymoon afterwards, it had to be in a church, and he wanted me to take his name," she said.
She added that in the seven and a half months since she had planned the whole wedding almost singlehandedly, with Matt only being responsible for organising the honeymoon.
"I'm a pretty organised person and I've got a good group of friends that have helped me," she said.
"I wanted to keep it local and get the whole village involved.
“Most people don't like a DIY wedding and would prefer to bring someone in to plan it, but with my wedding it’s been more than six months of planning and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The whole wedding will take place within Dinas Powys, with the ceremony being held at St Peter's Church, before guests go to the Parish Hall for lunch and afternoon tea provided by The Wild Blackberry, then the Cross Keys pub where fish and chips will be provided by Joe's Chippy.
Before the wedding the woman will also have their hair done at La Dolce Vita, the flowers will be done by Bank of Flowers, and the rehearsal dinner will be held at Pier 64 in Penarth.
At the Cross Keys pub the head mixologist from Penarth's Bar 44 has created a 1950's themed cocktail menu, with wedding guests treated to a performance from harmony group Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
A hog roast will also be provided by Penarth's David Lush Butchers.
A local dressmaker also saved the day, after Kate had launched an appeal for help on the Dinas Powys Pictures facebook page, by altering her wedding dress after it was too tight from a company in Cardiff.
"Everyone thinks it's wonderful that it's like a proper village wedding that used to happen 50 years ago,” said Kate.
"It's great that whenever I need to check anything I can just call into any one of them day or night.
"If it was really dispersed it would be hard to organise."
The wedding day on Saturday, June 21, will also mark the birthday of Matt's grandfather, who served as a Grenadier Guard, who died 16 years ago.
"Matt was really close to his granddad, so we will be raising a glass to him on the day,” said Kate.
Kate, who is originally from Llanelli, added that with just over a week to go there were only two things making her nervous.
"I'm worried about walking down the aisle and everyone looking at me, and the weather on the day," she said.
"If it rains we are going to have to jog!"
The honeymoon is set to be in Rome.