I’m Sarah. I was born and raised in a hill-top village in possibly the remotest part of the Derbyshire countryside and that’s also the spot where I’m marrying Steve, my boyfriend of two-and-a-half years, this August. I could cut to the chase and tell you all about how we got engaged but think it’s essential that I first offer you a little bit of context…
I still think that Steve and I should have met way sooner than we did but it seems the planets, moon and stars were wholly against us. Instead our paths were annoyingly fated to almost-but-not-quite collide as we lived near each other in London for five years but never met!
I often wonder how many times we unknowingly stood next to each other on a busy train platform as we did our respective daily commutes to work. And how many times we obliviously marched past each other on Richmond high street as he made a beeline for HMV to add to his Madchester collection and I made a beeline for Topshop to stockpile more Kate Moss tea-dresses (it was 2008) or Space NK to empty my purse for a sublime but extortionate candle (I failed to out-grow that addiction). We even drank at the same pubs and it actually makes me cry a little bit inside to think of us both standing at the bar without uttering a syllable to each other.
Poor Steve would have had no idea that the high-spirited 23-year-old carrying an inexplicably large bag of books would one day know everything about him. And I would have had no clue that the six-foot-three Mancunian carrying his guitar over to the stage for a sound-check was my future husband.
We seriously needed to meet each other during those London wilderness years but instead we had to wait patiently until a sunny evening in the summer of 2014 and by then Steve had moved back to his Manchester fatherland to build his own business and I had left the world of publishing behind in London and moved, to teach, in Leeds. Only the M62 divided us. But the M62 is not a barrier but a vital link when you have a dating website with a powerful algorithm for matching compatible couples inside a 50 mile radius! Thank you, OkCupid.
And that’s how we ended up sitting next to each other in Leeds’s notorious North Bar that night with Steve laughing at me and calling me a nutcase for opening with: tell me what would be on your ideal cheeseboard. Suffice to say, that night we totally clicked and being in each other’s company felt like coming home. From then we were pretty much inseparable; things moved forward swimmingly and just a year later we bought a house on the edge of a cute town in the Derbyshire countryside where he runs his design business and I teach English at the nearby secondary school.
Although we talked about getting married from quite early on, it still came as the most unexpected surprise when Steve asked me, last August, if I’d like us to make it official. We were halfway through a gorgeous getaway on the Greek isle of Paxos and we decided we would hire a boat and use it to explore the beaches of the island and even head across the strait to Antipaxos where we’d heard there was deep, azure water and amazing swimming. I thought the highlight of our day would be jumping off our boat at this heavenly cove at Antipaxos but that was before I found out what my Mancunian counterpart had been plotting.
We stopped at a bay with a taverna for a drink and a stroll along this pretty path next to crystal clear sea and paused at a particularly scenic spot to take some photos. He was being really romantic and sweet but I was a bit distracted because my bikini bottoms were full of sand from sitting on Antipaxos beach and thought he was just being an old softy.
But then he asked me whether I’d do him a favour. I got a bit alert and suspicious then because he had a funny voice but before I could figure him out he placed a small, square box in my hand and asked me to marry him. All I could manage was to open and shut my mouth gormlessly like some kind of disconcerted seabass. Eventually I managed to squeal an affirmative, fling my arms around him ecstatically and get his T-shirt all wet because my bikini was still drenched from jumping off our boat.
That evening was the happiest of evenings spent drinking copious quantities of ice-cold prosecco next to the sea, feeling thankful that the planets had finally decided to align and bring us together.
And now, with six months to go, we are still revelling in happy memories of that glorious day last August but also looking forward to our wedding day and everything that’s to come afterwards! I’m so thrilled to be documenting our experiences of wedding planning with you fabulous SYGM followers. Watch this space for the story of our journey to ‘I do’.
P.S. I bet there are loads of you out there with interesting ‘how-we-met’ stories and even more intriguing proposal accounts? I’d love to hear your tales!