THERE wasn’t a dry eye in the room at a surprise wedding which caught all the guests off guard - including the groom.
Laura Rutter met her now-husband Carl Portlock, both now living in Worsbrough, 13 years ago at a nightclub in Leeds.
Carl originally proposed to Laura five years ago in Paris - but the pair were too busy to tie the knot.
Two children and a house later, Laura set out to surprise her husband in a party for his 40th birthday on January 23 - but the ruse quickly spiralled into something even bigger.
She told the Chronicle: “It was Carl’s 40th so I wanted to surprise him as we’d been together for 13 years.
“While I was planning the birthday party I thought I was going to spend so much that I should just plan a surprise wedding, too. I was planning it for six months - I don’t know how I managed to keep my gob shut.”
On the day before the wedding, Laura dropped off her dress at the venue and when she saw a gap at the party she went off to get ready.
While this was happening, she ensured guests were seated and Carl was standing at the front of the ceremony - and he had no idea the biggest surprise was yet to come.
Her dad, Craig Rutter MBE, has been suffering with multiple sclerosis - a condition that can affect the brain and the spinal cord - but he still managed to take Laura down the aisle in a particularly poignant moment for the 31-year-old. “I came through the doors and the music started - everyone was so shocked,” she added.
“Carl and I have cried for days and everything was just so perfect.
“Everyone always says you want to skip to the party at the wedding and that’s exactly what we did.
“I was coming into it and thinking surely he’d know but he didn’t have a clue.”
Laura said it was about time they got married after the Paris proposal five years ago - and she’s been bombarded with messages of goodwill since the big day.
“I honestly think if we’d have planned it together we wouldn’t have managed to do it as quickly,” she added.
“We met in a club in Leeds 13 years ago, so it’s about time we got married.
“A lot of people have been coming up to me and asking if I was worried he’d say no but I knew he wouldn’t - I wasn’t asking him to marry me as he’d already done that before.
“There’s been videos of the day everywhere and I’ve had Lad Bible (a social media firm) contact me about the day.
“Everyone has been coming to me and talking about it, even people I don’t know which has been great.
“Some of my clients have been calling me a dark horse.”
The pair are now in the process of planning the honeymoon - though this time it’ll be a joint effort.
“We’re going to go away in the next few months,” she said.
“Dubai is the plan as the honeymoon but we’ve got a lot going on at the minute.”