Inside Emmerdale star Fiona Wade’s wedding as she bravely opens up on her battle with anxiety and reveals why she didn’t live with husband Simon Cotton until they were married

On our screens she plays the unlucky in love Priya Kotecha in Emmerdale, but in real life Fiona Wade couldn’t be happier after her fairytale wedding to actor Simon Cotton.

Actress Fiona, 41, recently bravely opened up about her nearly three-decade-long battle with anxiety, and now exclusively for OK! VIP members, she and Simon, 37, are offering a glimpse inside their beautiful winter wedding and revealing all on why they didn’t live together until they were married.

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Fiona and Simon tied the knot in October 2019 at the stunning Euridge Manor and Orangery in the Cotswolds, and while it may have been drizzling outside, inside the venue it was full of warmth and love.

Fiona was walked down the aisle by her mum Tessie after losing her father Colin to oesophageal cancer 16 years ago.

With not a dry eye in the house, Fiona told OK! of the moment: “I was so emotional. When I was getting ready, me, my mum and my best friend Kirsty had a bit of a cry.

“You always dream of that moment and you hope your dad is going to walk you down the aisle, and in the months approaching the wedding I was more emotional about my dad.”

The star, who whore a gorgeous Berta gown and Jimmy Choo heels, continued: “I’ve had moments thinking about that and crying, but I was with my mum and it was really special.

"I’m very spiritual and I believe my dad is around me and I really felt him there that day. I think he was giving me a lot of strength.”

As well as being spiritual, Fiona also practices the Baháʼí faith.

And in keeping with her faith, she and Simon chose not to live together until they were married, with Fiona explaining to OK!: “Marriage is when you get to start your life.

“We haven’t even moved in together yet so we have all that to look forward to.

"We’re old-fashioned but it’s the Baháʼí belief and marriage is really important in order for us to move forward with our lives.

“Thankfully Simon wanted to marry me and didnm’t want to wait too long! I love that way of doing things and he’s been very patient with me as it’s not necessarily the norm.”

Simon added: “I was happy to wait as it was important to Fiona and her faith.”


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The picture perfect pair’s dreams came true a year later when they purchased their dream home in Hertfordshire and moved in in October 2020.

Fiona also has a place in Leeds where she says whilst she is filming Emmerdale.

And there were of course plenty of her co-stars in attendance on her with big day, with Emma Atkins, Laura Norton, Michelle Hardwick, Amy Walsh, Charley Webb, Matthew Wolfenden, Gaynor Faye and her on-screen brother Chris Bisson all there to celebrate the happy couple.

Dancing On Ice star Joe-Warren Plant also attended the evening celebrations with his former girlfriend Nicole Hadlow.

Being on a soap and reality shows such as Dance Dance Dance Fiona has always appeared confident, but she recently made the admission that she has been suffering from anxiety for much of her life.

She told Fabulous magazine: “I’m a very positive person, so it’s weird to think I can be anxious and worried about things all the time.

But that’s the thing: you can be confident, love your life and be happy and still have the most crippling anxiety,” she says. “You just never know what’s going on with someone.”

Fiona says her anxiety began when she was 16 and juggling her GCSEs with West End shows and filming Grange Hill.

“At my lowest point, when I was a little bit older, I literally couldn’t even get on the train. I couldn’t do anything.

"Looking back, it was because I’d taken on so much. I was at a young age when I didn’t understand myself. Now I do and so it doesn’t stop me from doing anything,” she says.

Of how her anxiety presents itself, she adds: “It used to be panic attacks, which would be awful. Now it’s [more] worry. At times I feel so calm and that nothing can touch me.

“Then it’s huge in my life and I can worry about every little thing, even whether I said hello to someone in the morning.

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"I’ve had therapy over the years and it gets better, but it’s never gone.”

Fiona, who loves yoga and how it benefits her mental health, has often gushed about how supportive Simon has been with her since they met in 2017.

She told OK! after their wedding day: “Everything with Simon is just so easy. He’s also amazing with my mum, which is really important.”

She added: “It’s lovely to think I’m going to have my best friend with me every day now.”

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