A couple who got married on their first date in Last Vegas have arrived back in the UK – and say they want to start a family together.
Paul Edwards and Sarah Elliot tied the knot on Christmas Day, just 12 weeks after matching on dating app Bumble.
Paul, 36, and Sarah, 34, only met face-to-face the previous day – but now say they’re “comfortable” using the bathroom together.
The couple only spoke on the phone for the first time on December 22, having matched on December 13 – and the very next day they decided to get married.
After meeting for the first time at Gatwick Airport on Christmas Eve – wearing their full wedding outfits – they boarded a plane to Las Vegas to get hitched.
Paul even got down on one knee to pop the question.
The lovebirds flew back into Gatwick on Sunday afternoon following their whirlwind wedding – and described their big day as “perfect.”
Sarah, originally from New Zealand, and Paul held hands throughout their entire stay in Vegas where they wed in front of the famous Fountains of Bellagio.
Now they are looking forward to ‘married life’ and plan to move in together immediately.
They were heading to Brighton, East Sussex, for Paul to meet the first of Sarah’s friends.
And they will begin searching for rental properties straight away in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, close to where Sarah works as a nanny and just an hour’s drive from Paul’s new electrician course.
Sarah said: “The wedding was so romantic – it was the perfect day.
“Our wedding kiss was our first and there aren’t many couples who can say that.
“We kissed in front of the Bellagio; the fountains went off and Christmas music was playing in the background with bells ringing – I even got bells on my wedding day.
“The minister kept telling us how strong a connection we had and told us to stay cute and to stay adorable.
“Tourists were cheering and then we walked around the city in our wedding outfits taking it all in. It was magical.”
Sarah said: “We share so many of the same values and passions, we are both ambitious and want to support each other to be the best we can be.
“We’ve both said we want children in the future – it will have to be through IVF, but Paul and I already discussed that before the engagement.
“I am also very excited to meet Paul’s two daughters – they will be my girls too now as you don’t just marry a person, you marry into the family.”
Paul, who has two daughters, aged 13 and 15, is also looking forward to living with Sarah who he described as ‘a beautiful, wonderful person.’
He said: “Some interesting things I’ve learned about Sarah in the six days we’ve spent together is that her favourite meal is plain rice and mince meat – just that.
“She also loves taking baths and we are even comfortable using the bathroom at the same time.
“We can just be ourselves while we are getting to know one another and it feels like we have known each other for so much longer than just a few weeks.”
The lovebirds said they first began talking via text on December 13 and spent hours talking on the phone in the days that followed.
Sarah said: “I had started to feel disillusioned with online dating and was going to delete my account.
“But when I went online, I saw Paul had sent me his phone number so I thought ‘I’ll just give this a chance and it was like fate – everything had been leading me to that moment.
“We spoke for two-and-a-half hours, and again the next day and the next.”
Paul added: “The third time we spoke for three hours and the phone line cut out.
“I didn’t even know that could happen since I usually don’t like speaking on the phone for more than a few minutes.”
Four days after they matched on Bumble, Paul joked about getting married and Sarah played along.
Neither of them had fixed plans for Christmas and they said they would have their first date on Christmas Day.
The more they spoke, the more they realised their common interests and the values they shared.
And they discussed how they both had failed relationships that started with a physical attraction compared with the connection they felt for one another before they had even met.
After Sarah mentioned the TV programme Married At First Sight, they decided to get hitched.
Sarah said: “I told Paul ‘don’t tempt me, why not?’
“Then later I said jokingly I had bought the dress.”
Paul replied and said ‘go on then, let’s get married.’
The pair spent a frantic seven days planning the wedding, when Paul hunting for an antique wedding ring in Hatton Garden, central London, and hunted down a suit at short notice.
Sarah trawled the internet for the perfect wedding dress and hotel where they would spend their first night together.
But when her frock arrived, the train was too long and Paul managed to find a local seamstress who could trim it in time for their flight.
Sarah said: “I have been married before and I actually picked my own wedding ring the first time so of course I liked it.
“I didn’t think Paul could get another ring I liked as much but I absolutely loved it and it was perfect – I can’t believe how much he already knows me.
“We thought it would be cool to tell our future children that the first time we met, I was wearing a wedding dress and Paul was in a suit and that was the day we got married.”
Sarah wanted a ‘proper proposal’ so the pair agreed to meet in person for the first time in full wedding attire at Gatwick Airport where Paul popped the question.
Paul said: “I asked her to be my girlfriend two days before the proposal because I thought we can’t get married if you aren’t my girlfriend yet.
“Then we did it in the airport – I got down on one knee and asked Sarah to marry me.”
The couple first hit the headlines when they shared their story in an attempt to raise money for charity.
Sarah said: “We thought our story may appear in a small part of a magazine and hoped to raise some money for a homeless charity.
“Paul was homeless for six months when he was just 17 and homelessness is something I feel very strongly about too.
“It’s great people have been very supportive and positive but we didn’t expect such a big reaction all over the world.”
Paul added: “It was quite surreal receiving so much attention in the media – we are both shy people, but everyone was so supportive.
“My friends back home were saying you are on Facebook and Snapchat and in all the newspapers and we didn’t expect any of it.
“When I saw the story had blown up, I kept in contact with my two girls to make sure they were okay and we were being contacting by people throughout the holiday from people wanting to hear how we got on.”
The couple are now making plans to meet their respective in-laws.
Sarah said: “My parents and my cousins are all still in New Zealand, on North Island, so of course I’d love for Paul to meet them, but we haven’t got that far yet.
“I’m also looking forward to introducing Paul to my friends, getting back to normality and just enjoying married life with him.
“When I first told them about Paul and our plans to get married, they were speechless and they asked ‘why the rush?’
“But after they spoke with him on the phone and saw what an amazing person he was, they understood and wished us well for the wedding.
“I was amazed because they are very traditional, but they were very positive and that shows what kind of a person Paul is.”
But Sarah has not spoken with her two best friends since she told them about the wedding, when they said ‘it was a bad idea’ and that she was ‘making a mistake.’
Sarah added: “So many people think we did this on a whim but we discussed it and take this seriously – for us, it is a commitment for life.
“It was hard to be alone the weekend before my wedding – my friends were not there – but I was so adamant this can work and I believe in the power of my convictions.”
Paul also told close friends and family about his plans to wed Sarah before the wedding and said his children were pleased and said they ‘want him to be happy.’
Sarah, who is currently living with her ex partner in a house they bought to renovate and sell on, added: “My ex is away at the moment, but I have told him about Paul and it isn’t awkward between us at all.
“We decided to have this living arrangement while we finished renovations on the property and wait for it to be sold.
“After that, and once Paul has finished his course which I am very excited about as he is following his passion, we can think about buying our own place.
“When you meet people online, you are always looking for something wrong or reasons not to do things.
“Paul and I had a few conversations about our previous relationships where we were first physically attracted to people which did not work out.”