Earlier this year, actress Beverley Callard and her husband Jon McEwan were excitedly talking about their hopes of renewing their wedding vows after celebrating 10 years of marriage in 2020. Well, fast forward a few months and their dream is set to become a reality.
The pair are planning to go ahead with a ceremony at a friend’s villa in Mojácar, Spain, before throwing a party at the beach bar where Jon, 56, first proposed.
Jon, who became known to the nation as “Mega Sh*g” during Beverley’s appearance on I’m A Celebrity last year, had suggested they say “I do” all over again when she left the ITV reality show.
“We were going to go back to Spain, just the two of us, back to the beach bar where he proposed to me, and renew our vows in private. But I mentioned it on I’m A Celeb and it snowballed a little bit!” laughs the former Coronation Street star as we catch up following a glamorous bridal-inspired photoshoot ahead of the celebrations.
Beverley, 64, looks gorgeous but says she’ll be taking a more relaxed approach to the big day.
It will be an informal affair, with just close family and friends joining them.
Here, Bev talks us through the shoot and laid-back plans for a romantic beach party…
Hi, Bev! Did you enjoy doing this shoot?
It was amazing. It was at the Mandarin Oriental and when I went to the ladies,
I was shocked that the toilet seat was heated! It was very luxurious. It was just incredible and the clothes were amazing.
So tell us, what did you try on?
Some very glamorous outfits! Maybe even a bit too glamorous for me. They weren’t traditional wedding dresses. Everyone liked the first one best – a peach layered net maxi with a black ribbon round the waist. I felt like a princess, a bit of an old one, but a princess!
Did Jon like his outfits?
He tried on all sorts, from gorgeous suits to casual trousers with linen shirts, which is what I think he’ll go for.
Which of the dresses you tried on did he like the most?
He liked the powder blue jumpsuit. He’s the same as most men in that he thinks the more revealing the better. But that’s not for me at all. It would have been for Liz McDonald [her Corrie character] – but not for Beverley!
What colours are you thinking of for the big day?
Muted tropical colours, something quite soft. Definitely not white as I don’t want to look like a geriatric bride!
So how would you describe your style?
I’m very casual. I don’t really wear skirts or dresses. I’m always in jeans, leggings or baggy tracksuit bottoms. I much prefer having no make-up on at all.
Will you wear trousers for the vow renewal?
No, I think it might be a floaty beach dress kind of thing. It’s in August, so it will be hot. I think the less we wear the better, but I won’t wear anything revealing.
Describe your original wedding dress…
I had two Suzanne Neville dresses. An ivory one for daytime and then a cerise-coloured one for the evening. They were very corseted and fitted, so this one will be just the opposite.
What’s your favourite memory from your wedding day?
All my dearest friends were bridesmaids. There were 22 of them and they all wore little black dresses in different styles. It was in Hazlewood Castle in Yorkshire.
There is a photograph of them all together on the grand staircase and I just thought, “I’ve got the best friends in the whole world.” It was amazing.
What made you want to renew your marriage vows?
Last October, Jon and I had been married for 10 years. We’ve been together for 20-odd years but we’d been married for 10. Lockdown meant we couldn’t celebrate. Then Jon actually proposed to me again when I came out of I’m A Celeb. He said he was so proud of me and if we weren’t married he’d ask me to do it all over again, so why not? We were just going to go back to Spain, just the two of us, back to the beach bar where he first proposed to me, and renew our vows in private. But I mentioned it on I’m A Celeb and it snowballed a little bit! We’re still going back to that bar, which will be lovely. It’s a wooden beach bar and is still very old-fashioned. It’s Spanish-owned, by two brothers, and they know us really well as we’ve been going for years. The food is exceptional. It’s not glamorous at all, it’s just proper traditional Spanish and we love it.
Who’s on the guest list?
It’s going to be small, just 20 of our very close friends and family. It’s not a showbiz thing at all, just the opposite. I’ve told them all it’s not formal, so to wear comfy clothes and just enjoy themselves.
How will the day work?
We’re going to do the vows in a friend’s villa, by the pool with an archway of flowers. We’re having tapas and sangria on arrival, then we’re having a massive Spanish barbecue and a huge paella – and a vegan paella for me. Then we’re having a little party at the beach bar later on. It’s very laid-back but we’ve booked some flamenco dancers and a Spanish band.
Will you write your own vows?
We’re in the process of writing them but we keep changing them. We don’t know what each other is going to say. They won’t last very long, it will just be brief and intimate. I think some of our friends are going to surprise us with speeches, because some of them have known us for many years.
Are yours and Jon’s kids excited for you both?
Yes, they’re really excited. We’re not having a wedding party as such, everyone will just be there together. The kids are so happy – any excuse for a party!
Will you get more rings?
We think we’re going to get each other a personal gift but we just don’t know what yet.
Are you still planning to move to Kent?
We’re certainly moving south, as soon as we can get it organised. I think it will be Kent but we’re not sure exactly yet. Most of my work is down there now. Our children are all grown up and scattered everywhere, so we don’t have to be tied to one area.
I think it will happen within the next six months or so.
Have you managed to do your motorhome trip across Europe?
Not yet. If we’re allowed, we might travel back from the vow renewal in the motorhome. It just depends on travelling through France. We’d really like to go to Lake Como in Italy, too.
What makes your relationship work?
It sounds really mushy and romantic but we have a love like no other. We fight to talk to each other and listen to each other, and he makes me laugh every single day. He is amazing and he is my world.
Jon has said you’ve had more time together since you left Corrie. Has it made your relationship stronger?
It’s just amazing. If we’re apart from each other now we speak on the phone 50 times a day!