Sabina and Saleem June 1999 - How did you meet? We met in the Summer of 1996, when she was over here on a holiday, she came back and we…
Written by Paula Jones Last updated: August 10, 2006
How did you meet?
We met at a Greyhound Racing Stadium. Rob and my cousin had just returned from a six month tour of Northern Ireland with the Army and we were all there to celebrate. Rob’s friend tried and failed to chat me up but I quite liked the look of Rob so I made my move and we spent the rest of the night talking. He asked for my number and I said no. It was a test – if he was a typical soldier he would forget about me in a day or two but if he was truly interested he would brave my over protective cousin and ask him for my number, I will leave you to guess which he did.
Describe the marriage proposal.
Rob is a romantic but was against marriage and swore he would never marry until he had left the army and finished his degree. I pointed out a beautifully unique ring to him but there was no response. Six months later we were off to Amsterdam for the weekend and I asked him if he would like to pack a few things in my bag just in case the airline lost one of the bags. I was told that he had travelled the world and had not lost a bag yet. Low and behold the airline misplaced his bag.
Rob is usually very calm but was beginning to panic and all I could say was I told you so (between laughs). They eventually found his bag and we went to the hotel but he was still on edge. The rain was pouring down when we left the hotel so I chose the closest restaurant I could find for our meal – Mexican – not romantic at all. Rob ordered my favourite wine and asked me how much I loved him, I said infinitely and he produced a heart shaped box with you guessed it, my ring inside. I started to cry before he could ask me to marry him and all the people in restaurant clapped. It turned out that he had hidden the ring in his shoe in the infamous missing bag and was really upset that all his plans were falling apart. It was still pouring with rain and the restaurant owner took pity on us and gave us an umbrella, we still have it at home!
How long did you spend preparing for the day and how was it?
We spent two years planning the wedding and needed every minute. It was one of the best and worst experiences of my life and I certainly realised who my true friends were during the process.
What type of wedding ceremony did you have and where?
We had a civil ceremony in the Great Hall of a country Mansion in Matfen Northumberland. The Hall had a huge staircase and stained glass window and was truly amazing. I came down the stairs to Dome Epais (better known as the theme to BA advert). We personalised the ceremony with readings and we each read a poem to each other. promising our love. Everyone thought it was beautiful. Our friends were very touched that they had been asked to give a reading
Where did you hold your reception and what was it like?
We also had the reception at Matfen, it was the traditional three course meal followed by drinking, dancing and general frivolity. The party went on until 3am and we had a bottle of champagne in our room after all our guests had gone to bed, it was so lovely.
What advice would you give to couples currently planning their wedding?
Enjoy planning it together. We made all the decisions together and it made it more special than we could have imagined. Also take five minutes to slip away from the guests and have a quiet chat. We sat in the bridal suite for a few minutes and just talked about how beautiful the day had been and how happy we were – it made it feel real rather than just a dream.
We were so worried about getting the words of the poems right that we forgot to practice the rest of the ceremony and Rob got his words wrong. He thought the registrar was speaking in the third person and changed the words from “you” to “me” so it sounded like he was demanding more of me than he was going to give, everyone was trying not to laugh
(me included). It made it worse when a bird flew into the hall and perched itself above Rob’s head for the rest of the ceremony. It certainly made the day memorable.
Make sure your florist is capable if they are doing more than one wedding in a day. Our florist arrived so late that she was still putting up flowers when I arrived. Also make sure the venue are capable of getting things right. My wedding was certainly one of the ‘if anything could go wrong it did go wrong’ type mainly because they were so disorganised.
However, all that said, they could not have spoiled our day whatever they did or didn’t do!