Transgender Army officer Hannah Winterbourne has married actor Jake Graf — who used to be a woman.
Captain Hannah, 31, who spent her first few years in the Army as a man, wed Jake, 40, in London.
The delighted bride said on Monday night: “I never thought when I was younger this could happen to me. It was always a pipe dream.”
The couple tied the knot with a romantic white wedding — saying: “We’re just like any other bride and groom.”
Captain Hannah wed Jake in a ceremony that she described as “like a Disney movie”.
Hannah who will now be living with Jake in Army married quarters near her barracks, added: “To me, I’m just another girl married to another guy. As you transition and meet someone new you kind of forget about your past.”
Actor Jake, 40, said: “We’re just the same as everyone else, with our flaws and ups and downs — but a little bit different.”
Hannah and Jake revealed they first got together because of a Sun front-page story in January 2015 telling of her courageous decision to become a woman while still on Army active service.
Jake said: “I saw Hannah in The Sun and thought she was beautiful. She was on the front cover so it was hard to miss her!”
He told a mutual friend named Rebecca that he thought Hannah looked cute.
Jake said: “A week later I saw Rebecca again and she said, ‘I spoke to Captain Winterbourne and she thinks you’re quite cute too!’ So it really was school playground stuff.”
The pair made contact on Facebook and swapped messages and finally phone numbers.
Jake, who was in the Eddie Redmayne movie The Danish Girl, said: “In our first phone conversation I asked, ‘Do you think you’d like to have kids because I really want them?’
“It seemed like the right thing to do before we even met. I like to get things out in the open quite early.
She said, ‘I’m certainly not adverse to kids.’ Had she said, ‘No, I hate kids’, that would have been that.”
Hannah said: “I thought, ‘Wow this has got serious very quickly’. But I quite admired it because Jake wanted something serious. He didn’t want a fling.
“He wasn’t asking me to have kids with him there and then as long as I was happy to have them in future.”
She admitted she was “absolutely terrified” ahead of their first meeting on London’s South Bank — because she had never had a boyfriend, let alone been on a date.
But the fact that Jake was also transgender made things easier.
Hannah, who is in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers, said: “I didn’t have to explain myself. He knew how to deal with it. I’ve got a low voice but he understood.
“All that unsaid stuff made me relax. Before then, the idea of opening myself up to someone was really difficult.
“I was really insecure about dating. But I decided now was the time to push myself out there and see if there was a person out there who could love me.
“And I hit the jackpot first time.”
For Friday’s wedding at Chelsea Town Hall she wore a strapless figure-hugging dress.
Hannah said: “Growing up, I’d watch Disney films and there would always be a beautiful woman in a beautiful gown.
“You’d always look at feminine things and wish it could be you but I wasn’t able to express it.
“There are not many more things that are feminine than a bride in a beautiful wedding dress.
“I never thought when I was young it could happen to me. It was a pipe dream. Until I met Jake, I never realised it was a goal I could achieve. It’s not sunk in yet.”
Jake added: “I never thought any of this was a possibility. Now I’ve got this beautiful Army captain wife and I’m so happy.”
Hannah, who has taken her husband’s last name, wept as they prepared to tie the knot on Friday.
But she joked afterwards: “I’m partial to a bit of a cry anyway.”
The couple, patrons of transgender children’s charity Mermaids, got engaged while on holiday in New York in September.
Jake got down on one knee in a rowing boat in a Central Park lake.
Jake said most people simply do not realise they are a transgender couple. He added: “We’re lucky enough that we both look like any other person walking down the street.
“Occasionally people will register Hannah’s deep voice.
“By and large we pass through life without the abuse and harassment that a lot of trans people get.”
Both prefer not to reveal their previous names. He said: “We’re trying to move away from who we were before.”
Jake, who stars alongside Anna Friel in the upcoming ITV series Butterfly, admits he went through hell growing up.
He said: “I used to pray every night I’d wake up a boy. It made me very angry and I cut myself off.”
But at the age of 25 he met a trans man while visiting New York and realised there was hope.