Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard to finally tie knot in intimate winter wedding
It's going to be a wonderful winter wedding for Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard.
The TV star and New York City FC footballer are to tie the knot on December 20 after years of intense speculation over the date and venue of their big day.
Newry-born Christine and her 37-year-old London beau have chosen The Arts Club - a private members' club in central London - for their reception and are only inviting close friends to the nuptials.
The couple, who have been engaged since 2011, are planning an extra-special low-key Christmas celebration with family and close friends.
The 36-year-old bride-to-be has invited This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Good Morning Britain presenter Suzanne Reid. Meanwhile, the groom's guests are believed to include his former England team-mates John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney, as well as Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
The loved-up duo have asked Brit-Award winner Ed Sheeran, to be their official wedding singer, although his appearance is currently up in the air because of a clash in scheduling.
A source said: "Christine and Frank have had the date set for a while but they have been trying to keep it under wraps.
"They want it to be an intimate affair and have only invited close friends and family. They haven't signed a big magazine deal like a lot of stars do because it's not their style.
"Ed is keen but already has something in the diary that day, so he is trying to move things in order to make it."
The Wild Ireland presenter and former Chelsea ace began dating in October 2009, and their engagement was announced on June 15, 2011 by his agent.
One-time Strictly Come Dancing contestant Christine admitted in 2012 that she was in no rush to walk down the aisle and they both refused to succumb to any pressure to tie the knot throughout their four-year engagement.
Six months ago, however, Frank admitted that he was finally "very ready" to make an honest woman of the Former Dancing On Ice and The One Show host.
During an appearance on ITV's Loose Women, he said: "We are very ready. We are going to do a small and pretty intimate (wedding), not a surprise thing. We like our privacy and keeping it to ourselves."
Frank signed a two-year contract with New York City FC in 2014, which has put the wedding on hold.
However, the couple have always been sure of their plans once the big day arrives, as Christine revealed in an interview with OK! magazine in April.
"We know exactly what we want to do, so that's half the battle," she said.
"Frank is slightly up in the air. We don't know when he is heading off, so we're on standby a little bit."