Footballer’s love match played out in secret ... on TV

The unconventional wedding of Tiage Andrade and Karlette Palmer   Photo: Simon Trussell Photography
The unconventional wedding of Tiage Andrade and Karlette Palmer Photo: Simon Trussell Photography

It was a match made in heaven when local footballer Tiago Andrade married Karlette Palmer.

But it could all have been very different with Tiago getting a red card from his bride-to-be on their wedding day.

Wedding breakfast: Burger and chips     Photo: Simon Trussell Photography

Wedding breakfast: Burger and chips Photo: Simon Trussell Photography

For bridegroom Tiago, who plays for Loxwood FC, arranged the whole wedding behind Karlette’s back. Everything was kept secret from the anxious bride - including the ceremony venue, her bridesmaids’ outfits, the cake and even her own wedding dress.

The secrecy was because Tiago and Karlette had signed up to take part in the E4 television show Don’t Tell The Bride in which the bridegroom has to organise the whole wedding from start to finish on his own.

The show was screened on Wednesday last week and viewers were treated to some nail-biting scenes when Karlette’s numerous bridesmaids threw a wobbly when Tiago, 26, revealed their bridesmaid outfits.

The girls described their colourful polka-dot dresses - bought by Tiago on eBay for £9.68 each - as ‘tacky,’ a ‘joke’ and ‘more like fancy dress.’

But Tiago won the hearts of the nation when he explained that he wanted to make the day perfect for Karlette and was budgetting to spend all his money on her. He even gave up a stag do so that he could splash more cash on his soon-to-be-bride.

He had planned a 1950s-style drive-in wedding, although Karlette had wanted something modern and Hollywood-ish.

But it all worked out well in the end. Said Tiago, who works at Gatwick: “The best thing for me was making Karlette happy - doing everything on the day for Karlette. I knew, from a child, her wedding day had always been a big deal for her.”

Karlette later described the day as “amazing. The most surprising part was finding my dress.

“I thought I wanted long sleeves and found just what I wanted, but when I tried it on I looked like a stuffed sausage roll.”

Tiago chose a strapless, sleeveless wedding dress and veil for her - at a cost of £1,150 - which turned out to be the perfect choice. “He knows me better than I know myself,” said Karlette.

On the day itself, Karlette was led blindfolded into the wedding venue - an aircraft hangar in Basingstoke - and heard the first strains of her favourite song, My Girl by The Temptations.

As her blindfold was removed, she was greeted by the sight of an array of classic Cadillacs. Then glimpsed her proud dad. “My dad is ex-military and never cries, but he had a tear in his eye.” Even the couple’s son Alijah, two, played a part and carried the marriage rings.

The couple, who live in Crawley, first met around four years ago when their paths crossed at a nightclub. “He asked someone my name and stalked me,” joked Karlette, “then he found me on Instagram. He will say that I told him he was gorgeous - and that’s why he stalked me.” It was the start of a fairytale romance - and wedding.