Forget about Sophie – I want to be centre of attention at our wedding, says Jamie Laing

JAMIE Laing and Sophie Habboo have 11 months left until they tie the knot, and the couple have barely started planning their big day.

That’s plenty of time, right? Well, maybe not when you’re organising a four-day extravaganza at a private club in Spain.

From the moment they got engaged in December, the couple – who met on Made In Chelsea five years ago and have been together since 2019 – knew they wanted to marry abroad.

After agonising over different venues near where Sophie, 28, grew up in Spain, the pair have finally settled on the stunning Marbella Club, a five-star hotel boasting a private beach, and are now throwing themselves into the overwhelming world of wedmin.

“The guest list has been a source of conflict. It’s currently at 200 and we can only have 140 in the venue, says Sophie.

Jamie, 33, adds: “While we were still figuring out what kind of wedding we were going to have, I told Sophie: “If we don’t have 150 people on our guest list, then it isn’t worth doing.

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We sit down with the couple to talk romantic proposals, the search for a dress and why Sophie had to sack one bridesmaid…

Hi, both! Jamie, when did you know you wanted to marry Sophie?

Jamie: It’s pretty romantic, actually. In December 2020, we were in the Maldives and we went swimming in the sea one day. I saw a shark swim under Sophie and I just freaked out and swam to shore. By the time I got to safety, I thought: “God, I’d be so sad if she was eaten by a shark right now – that must mean I want to marry her!”

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Sophie: He left me to die, effectively.

J: No, I didn’t! You’re an amazing swimmer, just like Michael Phelps. I knew you’d be fine.

What happened next? How did you pick a ring?

J: I spent months thinking about how to do it. Originally, I wanted to propose on a beach in Portugal with all her family there, but travel restrictions made that impossible. I found ring shopping so confusing – there are so many choices. Cushioned or solitaire diamonds? Gold or silver bands? It’s a lot.

S: I was really clear about what I wanted. In 2021, I probably said: “I want Hailey Bieber’s ring,” about a million times.

How was the proposal – did everything go to plan?

J: Not at all. I told Sophie we were filming something for my sweet company Candy Kittens in the Rosewood Hotel, where we had our first date. I booked a suite, filled it with balloons and white roses and laid tea lights out on the floor. I was wearing a suit and had piano music on in the background. But Sophie called and told me she was running late. I blew out some of the candles and wax went everywhere. When she arrived, I’d forgotten to unlock the door so had to run and open it, which was a bit awkward, as I’d left letters on the floor for her to read in order.

S: As soon as I walked into the room, I knew what was happening. I had to read these four long letters and I was crying my eyes out – I couldn’t see through my tears. All I wanted was to get to where Jamie was, but he was on the other side of the suite.

What does your dream wedding look like?

J: Sophie’s dream wedding is a relaxed beach ceremony with friends and family, and then a big party. Mine would involve zip-wiring to the altar, eight outfit changes and being the centre of attention all day. Forget all the focus being on the bride!

S: So we’re trying to find a middle ground. We’re going to do it abroad and spread it over four days. We’re going to have a meal with loved ones that we fly out on the Thursday, get married on the Friday, have a pool party on the Saturday and wrap up on the Sunday. Ultimately, I just want everyone to have a great time.

Has there been any awkwardness over picking bridesmaids and groomsmen?

S: I over-asked people by mistake, so I had eight and unfortunately had to demote someone. I told her that I would have loved to have her but I didn’t have the numbers.

J: For your next wedding, you’ll know how to do it. I have three best men and seven groomsmen. That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? Spencer [Matthews] is going to be master of ceremonies.

How are you finding dress shopping, Sophie?

S: I thought I’d found The One, but then I saw someone else wearing it and that really put me off. I don’t want to wear a dress that anyone else has worn! I’ve tried about 15 so far and am now going to have a bespoke one made for me in Manchester.

J: I’ve had three calls from her now saying: “I’ve found the dress, I love it!” She says something different every time. My stepfather cheekily said Sophie should wear red like a lady of the night.

Will there be any exes on the guest list?

S: Yes, we’ll be inviting my ex-boyfriend [fellow MIC star] Sam Thompson. There’s no weirdness there any more.

J: When they were together, Sophie and I were just buddies. But I always told him: “She’s a keeper. You’ve got to keep hold of her!”

Will you pull out your Strictly moves (Jamie was a contestant on the show in 2019) for your first dance?

J: Definitely. I want to learn a routine, but Sophie isn’t convinced. I’ll give everyone paddles and they can give us a score at the end.

Where are you going on your honeymoon?

S: As we’re getting married in Spain, I want to fly to Ibiza and stay for a week, then go on a three-week trip somewhere further afield.

What’s the plan for after the wedding?

S: Loads of babies. We’d love to have a family in the future.

J: I think the purpose of life is to give love in whatever way you can, so it’s my dream to become a dad. Before meeting Sophie, I didn’t really believe in monogamy, but now I realise that being with someone you love is much more fulfilling than being alone.

Will you be showing any of the wedding on MIC?

S: We’ve shared so much of our lives on the show, so we want to keep this private.

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J: But we’re going to podcast the whole process. It doesn’t matter how big or small your wedding is, every couple goes through this journey. It’s stressful, sometimes upsetting and mostly wonderful – and we wanted to capture that for everyone. We’re trying to create a community who are going through the same things as we are and hopefully make them feel better.

  • NearlyWeds is available on all podcast providers now.

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