Tess & Vernon's Wedding | Absolutely Brian // the official website of TV and Radio personality Brian Dowling

One Wedding and a Brian! (September 2003)

The Wedding of Vernon Charles Kay to Helen Tess Daly. St Mary's Church Horwich. 2.30pm Friday 12th September 2003 - Usher Brian Dowling

It was beautiful day! The sun shining, a gorgeous bride, a handsome groom, plus seeing, and getting to chat, with the absolutely lovely Brian! What more could a girl ask for?

Living just over half an hour's journey from Horwich my daughter Nicolette and I just couldn't miss going to watch Vernon and Tess get married, especially when Brian was going to be an Usher for them. Armed with our camera, a couple of spare films and a box of confetti we headed off to watch the wedding, just hoping at some point we might catch the odd glimpse of Brian, but little knowing what the day ahead held for us.

The chance meeting

We arrived a bit too early so we went to the Reebok Retail Village situated behind the De Vere Whites Hotel to get a coffee at McDonalds, when, all of sudden who should appear walking across the Car Park but Brian.

To say I was in total shock was an understatement! Taking all my courage I shouted over to him, explained whom I was and he greeted me warmly. He was in his casual clothes as it was still a while before the wedding, a white vest top, black cardigan, jeans and trainers, and as an added bonus, lots of stubble!

Firstly, he told me how much he loved the website - he thinks it is brilliant! He thanked us profusely for all the hard work we put into it

He then proceeded to tell me that just a few minutes earlier while in one of the shops on the retail park someone had stopped him for an autograph,. Saying that people usually recognise him from SM:tv or Brian's Boyfriends, Brian said this particular person asked hadn't he been in Big Brother, Brian said 'Yes!', but then the person continued to ask who had won his particular series! Brian said 'Err me!' How ruuude was that!!

We then took a few pictures and had some general chitchat. Brian enthusiastically telling us about his extended run in the Salon, and that he hoped everyone would watch him in Celebrities Under Pressure the following evening. He was excited about winning and said how proud his mum had been of him winning all the prizes for his designated family. I really don't know how I would have coped the following night watching the show not knowing the result, as it was still heart-stopping knowing the outcome.

Brian asked if we were going to the wedding, and I said we were, and he proceeded to tell us about the preparations. We had a good 10 minutes chat with him before he got a phone call wondering where he was, so with a fond farewell for the time being - he said he would see us at the Wedding, and that we could see him all scrubbed up and in his suit.

He then left to get ready for the wedding, after giving me a message to send his love to everyone on the site.

The Wedding

There were numerous people watching the wedding, mainly local, exactly what Tess and Vernon wanted. There was security - men in black- but they were extremely charming and helpful. Putting the needs of the locals before the press, as requested, by the couple, and allowed us to stand extremely close in the churchyard.

Unbelievably the first words I heard were from someone saying that they had come along to the wedding to see Brian, - wasn't that lovely. The ice broken, a group of us got chatting, about Brian of course, having a great laugh while we passed the time and even entertaining the PAPS.

A short time after, Brian arrived, looking stunning in his grey suit. He posed for the press, and then spotted us and came to chat once again, saying he was glad we had managed to get there and asked if we had we been able to grab some lunch. He was then in constant demand, from all the watchers, people wanting to shake his hand, take pictures, or get autographs, and in the case of one elderly lady, give him a hug. He then entered the church, with the other usher.

Shortly after, a white suited Vernon and his best man arrived. He spent far more time posing for the locals to take pictures, than he did the press, and was his usual jovial self.

A constant stream of guests continued to arrive, a number of people in limos and two 50-seater coaches packed with guests. Amongst them were a number of celebrity guests, including June Sarpong, Joe Mace and one of the actors from Holyoaks.

Finally, nearly half an hour late, Tess arrived, with her bridesmaids. Looking extremely beautiful and as natural as the day is long, she informed everyone how nervous she was, posed for the locals to take pictures, and laughingly told everyone she was losing her veil.

Whilst the wedding was taking place, the wedding co-ordinator came out with baskets of confetti for the local people to throw. I was fortunate to get a basket to hold.

Tess and Vernon came out from the church to huge applause and a flurry of activity from the press. People were throwing confetti, and from across the churchyard Brian spotted the basket I had, he motioned to me could he come and get some, so trying to creep under the bank of photographers taking pics of Tess and Vernon he came over, and asked if he could take the basket, which I duly obliged. He then proceeded to throw it all over them, Vernon even suggesting he put some down Tess's top. The happy couple then came to stop for the press just in front of us, and the Press asked us to throw confetti on them from the baskets - which I no longer had. Luckily, however we had taken a box with us, and we tipped that over Tess and Vernon, so if you see any pictures with brightly coloured confetti on it - that is ours! Oops! Maybe I shouldn't have said that, if Tess ended up with colour on her dress!

Vernon and Tess then left in the now infamous camper van, complete with balloons, tins, and shoes tied to the back, and with Vernon driving.

Brian was left holding centre stage, with everyone wanting either to meet him, have a picture taken with him, or to get his autograph, guests and locals alike. He has a word for everyone who goes to him, has endless patience, and makes everyone feel special; in fact, he is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. People were asking me, 'Is Brian always like this?' and I readily admitted, after meeting him on two previous occasions at SM:tv, and earlier that day, "Yes he is, he is an absolute darling."

Before he finally left Brian came over to say his goodbyes. A hug, quick kisses on the cheek and with a 'See you again!' he was gone. Sigh!!

A HUGE thanks to Brian, Tess and Vernon for making this a truly memorable day, I am sure everyone who went to watch felt exactly as we did, that we had been able to partake, however small, in a lovely family wedding.

There are more fantastic pictures from Vernon and Tess' wedding in our gallery here.


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