Shaun and Laura will #SayIDoin Somerset

A teen romance that blossomed in Somerset is all set for a happy ending thanks to Somerset County Council’s Registration Service.

Laura Payne and Shaun Pilbrow made a spur of the moment decision to enter the Registration Service’s competition to win a wedding – and their answer to the question ‘Why do you want to #SayIDoInSomerset’ proved the winner.

The Registration Service teamed up with Taunton-based Who Is Benjamin Photography offering a wedding ceremony and photography package for a couple and up to 100 guests in the historic Tudor Hall at Taunton Register Office.

The Facebook competition, launched in November 2019, caught the public’s imagination – and Laura and Shaun were no exception. The Bishops Lydeard couple, who have two daughters, decided to enter and are delighted to be announced the winners.

They first met as teens at Dunster Beach in West Somerset where Shaun’s family owned a holiday business and Laura got a job selling ice creams. They dated for a while but lost touch when Shaun moved to London.

Years later they got back in touch and have now been together for 12 years and engaged for six. But they never quite found the time to marry. They had set a vague date for next year and started saving. That’s when Laura spotted the competition.

And why do they want to #SayIDoInSomerset’? It’s a shared love of the countryside. “We’re country bumpkins at heart,” said Laura. “We love walking on the Quantocks and being near our family. It’s great living somewhere people are so friendly.”

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet member responsible for Somerset Registration Service, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to help this family start the next chapter in their lives. “