STEVE NORMAN’S WEDDING PHOTOS
❚ ONLY THE KEENEST OF FANS will have noticed the small addition to popstar Steve Norman’s daywear: a solid gold band on his third finger left hand. And the ring that makes a matching pair? On the hand of his singing partner in Cloudfish, Shelley Preston. Fact is, they’ve been married for months but only today have they revealed all to Shapersofthe80s by letting their favourite website have a world exclusive: first sight of their wedding photos, even before their families have had a proper look.
You see here pictures from their celebratory service last May, taken at an undisclosed location deep in the Hampshire countryside, far from the madding crowd. These shots show the newly-wed Mr & Mrs Norman so blissfully happy that they will leave many of the heart-throb’s fans broken-hearted.
When the wedding plans leaked out, OK magazine and the Four Weddings TV show offered small fortunes for the photo opportunity, but bride and groom declined. Shelley, a member of Bucks Fizz for more than a decade from the late 80s (and the one reputed to have put the fizz back into the act), told Shapersofthe80s: “We wanted to keep the big day small and really personal. I was lucky to be able to call on my own talented friends — Sandie Pickersgill, a dear friend from years back, to make my beautiful wedding dress, Lillian Highmore to organise the fabulous flowers, Debbie Cooper-Brown to dream up a sensational wedding cake, and another who’s a professional opera singer, Kathryn Turpin, who sang a romantic aria by Handel in the church.”
“We didn’t invite any celebrity guests, because that always changes an intimate event into a media hoo-ha,” Steve said. As a co-founder, guitarist, saxophonist, percussionist and co-song-writer in Spandau Ballet who were one of the UK’s half dozen global supergroups during the 80s, Steve naturally wanted to invite his lifelong bandmates Gary and Martin Kemp, John Keeble and Tony Hadley. “But we decided against any celebrities, because, with Spandau’s world tour fresh in peoples’ minds, that would have escalated the whole thing. And what we really wanted was a private celebration for our immediate families and friends.”
He added: “These days, we live in our comfortable little cottage in the countryside, we don’t go in for lots of fancy trimmings and the wedding was just an extension of who we are now. After we’d invited the new friends we’ve made locally, the numbers for our evening reception had got up to about 100.”
The truth Steve is effectively confessing is that his hell-raising rock’n’roll days are over. And nothing seems to underline that more than the overwhelmingly romantic choices of music throughout the service, with four pieces from the classical repertoire. Shelley’s father walked her up the aisle to the theme from the film Jean de Florette, a sinuous orchestral showpiece inspired by Verdi’s opera La forza del destino, which is best known to many of us from those reassuringly expensive Stella Artois commercials.
By the end of Spandau’s Reformation tour Gary Kemp was introducing Steve as “The most soulful saxophone this side of Young Americans”, and soul runs hot and cold through the wedding-day playlist. Most tell-tale of all the music, though, was Stuff We Did, chosen by bride and groom specifically because it had been the soundtrack to the unashamedly soppy film Up, produced by Pixar Animation Studios in 2009. We have to assume Steve sees himself eventually turning into 78-year-old Carl, the story’s daydreaming hero [below]. “It’s one of our favourites,” said Mr & Mrs. What a pair of old softies!
Fashionistas will be dying to know who wore what. Shelley’s delicate and sylphlike layered dress was handmade by Sandie Pickersgill using Italian beaded lace in a vintage rose colour over pale peach liquid satin with French beaded lace trim. Shelley was thrilled that Lillian Highmore of Divine Flowers had ensured the signature flower was the bride’s favourite, the Amnesia rose, which itself inspired the dress’s subtle colours. The groom wore a very sharp and slimly cut one-button, single-vent, three-piece suit in light tan wool, made by Marc Wallace of London and Bath. The day-long proceedings were recorded by posterity by Nikos Wedding Photography.
Steve said: “The sun shone, the ale flowed and there was much merriment. We finished the day off onstage with a few mates doing what we love best — making uptempo music as Cloudfish.” And for a honeymoon, the Normans zoomed off to Cornwall — a bracing contrast to Ibiza which Steve used to call home a long, long time ago.
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