It’s what the day means that counts, whether you’ve got the whole world watching or just a few family and friends...

Alison Clark and Chris Gurr. Alison Clark and Chris Gurr who are to marry on the same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Alison Clark and Chris Gurr. Alison Clark and Chris Gurr who are to marry on the same day as Prince William and Kate Middleton.

ROYAL wedding day will have a special significance for Alison Clark and fiancé Chris Gurr – who are also due to tie the knot on Friday, April 29.

The Sheffield couple became engaged five years ago and have been planning their special day for the last ten months. So they were less than delighted when Prince William and Kate Middleton named the same date for their somewhat grander nuptials.

Royal visit by Prince William and Kate Middleton to St Andrews to celebrate 600th anniversary of the University

Royal visit by Prince William and Kate Middleton to St Andrews to celebrate 600th anniversary of the University

“At first I was really disappointed because all the focus will be on the royal wedding and there’s no point even trying to compete with that,” admits Alison, 25.

“But now we’re really pleased. It will make our day more special and I don’t think there’s any chance of our guests staying home to watch the telly!”

Alison met Chris, 39, in 2002 when she regularly went with her family for Sunday lunch at the Joseph Glover pub in Westfield, where he worked as a chef.

Daughter Lucy was born two years later and at Christmas 2005 Chris popped the question. The following year son Adam completed the family but still his parents had not got round to naming the day.

Then last year they finally decided to set the seal on their relationship – and began making plans for April 29.

“We only wanted a small wedding, nothing too extravagant,” says Alison.

Even so, there was a lot to do.

First the couple, from Arbourthorne, had to book the ceremony at the register office in the town hall and arrange a reception for family and close friends at the Blue Ball Inn, Wharncliffe Side.

Then there was the bridal gown to find, along with a flower girl’s dress for Lucy and page boy’s outfit for Adam, there were flowers to order, rings to buy, music and food to decide on and invitations to send out.

Most of that had been accomplished before the royal couple announced their engagement.

“It’s taken a lot of planning and we’ve had ten months to do it in. I wouldn’t fancy having to organise a royal wedding, even with the advisors and the budget they have,” says Alison.

Like her and Chris, Prince William and his bride have scaled down their wedding plans in the wake of the recession but there are few other similarities between the two celebrations.

Even so, each will be just as special in its own way, insists Alison: “It’s what the day means that counts – whether you’ve got the whole world watching or just a few family and friends.”