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Kent's most romantic couple Stuart and Kirsty Baxter, from Chattenden, now married with a baby

By Jade Edwards

They were named the most romantic couple in Kent when they got engaged.

Now Stuart and Kirsty Baxter have got married and, like the proposal, there were a few surprises in store.

When Stuart, of Searchlight Heights, Chattenden, proposed to Kirsty Ryder, he had a banner-trailing plane fly over Leeds Castle and an owl called Twiglet delivered the ring.

Stuart, Kirsty and Riley Baxter
Stuart, Kirsty and Riley Baxter

The sales manager proposed six months after the couple lost their first child Skye, who was stillborn. At the time, Stuart said: “I wanted it to go from being one of the worst things that could happen to two people to being one of the happiest things possible.”

Kirsty, 39, who works for the The Education Company, said: “We booked the wedding that December in 2013 and we found in January 2014 that we were expecting Riley, our extra special rainbow baby.”

A “rainbow baby” is a child born following a miscarriage or stillbirth. Riley was born with trisomy 21, more commonly known as Down’s syndrome.

Stuart and Kirsty on their wedding day
Stuart and Kirsty on their wedding day

Stuart, 37, said: “I know Riley is going to need that little bit extra care and love. We have just been positive with everything.

“We’ve met different people through Sands, Cherished Whispers, Little Buddies and Kent Wide Down Syndrome Group – so many nice people who we would not have met.”

Riley is now a year old and he and his cousin were page boys at the wedding held at Leeds Castle last month. In a touch that echoed the proposal, the rings were flown into the Maiden’s Tower by Twiglet.

The couple also met a falcon which the staff at Leeds Castle had named Skye, after their daughter.

Former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson made a guest appearance at Stuart and Kirsty's wedding
Former EastEnders star Shaun Williamson made a guest appearance at Stuart and Kirsty's wedding

When Kirsty and Stuart were named most romantic couple, former EastEnders’ actor Shaun Williamson did the honours – so it was fitting that he paid a surprise visit during the wedding celebrations.

But Stuart said the best thing about the day was marrying Kirsty. “I feel like the luckiest man alive.

“I do feel that things do happen for a reason. It’s hard to believe how much good can come out of something so horrible.”

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