A bride and groom got married on a train to Wales on Friday. The couple, and all their wedding guests, boarded the 12.18pm Great Western Railway (GWR) Service from London Paddington to Swansea and said 'I Do' as they were whisked through the countryside at more than 100mph.

Leah Anderson and Vince Smith, from Guildford said train journeys had played a momentous part in their relationship and they first met on board a GWR service from Wokingham to Reading. After that, the couple travelled to their first date by train together - and even had their first kiss on a train too.

With this in mind, when it came to planning their wedding, the couple approached GWR and asked if they could have a train-themed centrepiece for their big day. In response, the GWR team offered to host the couple's wedding on a train - thought to be the first wedding to ever be held on a national rail service. You can get more story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

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Despite being from the south of England, GWR suggested the couple take the London to Swansea route as it’s one of their longer ones and meant they could have a full wedding day on the train.

Leah, 38, had her hair and make-up done in the Queen Victoria Lounge at platform one at London Paddington, before joining her groom, 39, and the wedding party on board the train. She was given away by her father, who was a signal officer on the railway for 51 years, and her six-year-old son, Teddy.

The wedding ceremony, vows and exchange of rings were conducted by a railway chaplain while the London Paddington to Swansea service was travelling at 125mph, a spokesperson for GWR said. After the couple said 'I do', speeches, a wedding breakfast, and a champagne toast were held in the dining car.

The special train travelled through Berkshire, Wiltshire and Somerset before heading into Wales. The wedding guests were expected to disembark in Cardiff while the happy couple continued on to Swansea where they were due to stay overnight before more wedding festivities on Saturday. Support award-winning journalism with WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

Invitation to Leah and Vince's wedding on a GWR train
Invitation to Leah and Vince's wedding on a GWR train
Couple toast unusual wedding day on a train
The couple toast their unusual wedding day!

Sharing how trains have played a crucial part in their relationship, Leah said: "We went for a coffee and then a pizza and just got on really, really well. On the way back Vince was getting off at Wokingham. He went to leave and then ran back and kissed me. I knew from that first date we had something special.

"In those early days we travelled on the train all the time before Vince moved up to Farncombe [in Surrey]. My dad worked on the railways for 51 years so trains have always been a big part of my life."

The couple arrived into a sunny Swansea Station just after 4.30pm as bride and groom where they will continue their special day with a stay at a Swansea hotel - and GWR say they have some surprises in store. The wedding came together in just six weeks and the couple have praised GWR for paying attention to every little detail and really going above and beyond what they could have expected.

Couple get married on a train
The couple's family and friends were part of the special day

As well as getting married and exchanging rings the couple enjoyed a "fantastic" three-course dinner. For starters they had pumpkin soup while for main they enjoyed Coq au Vin with dauphinoise potatoes and for dessert sticky toffee pudding. GWR surprised them with wedding cake with little icing trains on it and they also received some GWR themed gifts.

Speaking from the platform in Swansea Leah told WalesOnline: "It was fab – more than we ever imagined. I literally asked for a business card with a logo that I could use to make a centrepiece and it escalated and GWR said: 'How would you feel if we hosted the wedding?

“My dad has just retired after 51 years working in the railway, since he was 16. The trains have always been important to me.

"We met for the first time on the train on the way to our first date [after chatting online] and we had our first kiss after our first date. Vince went to get off the train and then came back and kissed me"

Husband Vince added: "It's been unbelievable, we're just so eternally grateful. It's a dream come true. All our family have been really excited."

GWR sales and marketing director, Amanda Burns, said: "When we heard of Leah and Vince's story we asked ourselves what more we could do to help them as they embark on this very special journey together. Rail and rail travel is often romanticised; offering a gateway to new adventures, so what better way to embrace this than by actually holding their wedding on board? It tickets all the right boxes."

Arriving in Swansea

Here's the lovely couple after they got off their Wedding Train in Swansea!


Vince and Leah on the platform at Swansea after getting married on a train (Image: Molly Dowrick/WalesOnline)
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First look at the bride's dress and bouquet

GWR have shared this gorgeous picture of the bride holding her bouquet - we can't wait to see more photos from the special day very soon!

First look at bride's dress and bouquet (Image: GWR)

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GWR: 'Something a little special is happening today'

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Leah Anderson and Vince Smith will tie the knot very soon

Leah and Vince, both from Guildford in south England, first met on a train, commuted by train to their dates and had their first kiss on a train.

In a few minutes, the pair will say I Do on a train, too!

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What's happened so far?

Earlier today, bride Leah Anderson had her hair and make-up done in the Queen Victoria Lounge at Platform 1 at London Paddington, before joining her groom and the wedding party on board the 12.18 service from London Paddington to Swansea.

The service appears to have been removed from Trainline, so is understood to be closed to the public and only available to the wedding party.

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They're on the train!

The bride and groom and their families and friends have just boarded the 12.18pm service from London Paddington to Swansea. It's understood the Railway Chaplain will start the ceremony very soon, between London Paddington and Reading.

The couple will say their vows, exhange rings, before wedding speeches and a wedding breakfast in the Pullman Dining Car.

Photos to follow very soon

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