Written by Louise Holt Last updated: September 15, 2006
Jenny and Paul met in their first year of uni and got together after six months. Two years later, Paul popped the question on a rather romantic cliff‐top walk in Cornwall! Jenny is 23, and a writer. She grew up in Bewdley, Worcestershire before moving to Merseyside. She now works and studies at Liverpool John Moores University, which is where she met her fiancé, Paul. He was born in Liverpool, is 23, and is also a writer.
How we met
Paul and I met in the first year of Uni. There was a spark between us from the moment we saw each other (you know – that all important “Fworr” moment…) but for six months we were too shy to ask each other out. Paul finally plucked up the courage to talk to me when we had a field trip to an Iron Age Roundhouse in North Wales, for an evening of storytelling.
When the tales had all been told, and our friends all drifted off to bed, we finally got the chance to get to know each other properly. By the light of the campfire, we huddled under a blanket and listened to the sounds from the woods outside. He was so deep and thoughtful. We talked all through the night, about all kinds of things ‐ by the time we both decided to get some sleep, it was already light again outside.
From that day on, I knew Paul was the man for me!
We’d been together for two years when Paul decided to pop the question. After graduating in July 2002, we went on a romantic holiday in Cornwall. I had been to Crantock Bay with my family before, and it’s my favourite place in the whole world. It’s often wild and windswept (and brilliant for surfing!) but it can also be tranquil, like a tropical paradise. He must have planned the proposal for weeks.
One perfect evening, he took me on a cliff‐top walk at sunset. We sat at the end of the headland together, watching the sun melt into the sea. The waves frothed on the rocks below, and the wind was warm and fresh.
I stared out at the horizon and said, “Last time I was right here, I was watching the sunset and wishing you were with me.” Then he turned and faced me. He looked really serious, and said: “And I bet you never thought that one day I would be here, sitting right beside you and asking you to marry me…”
I couldn’t speak for a moment, and he got down on one knee, and asked me again. “Will you marry me?” When I could find my voice, I gave him a massive hug and said “Yes, of course I will!” I’d never been so sure about anything in my whole life, and I’d never been so happy.
We told our families the next day. They were extremely happy for us, and I think my Dad was a little bit choked. His little girl was getting married! Once all the squealing and laughing had died down, the nightmare dawned on us all – we had a wedding to plan!!
Later that week, Paul whisked me off to Cornish Goldsmiths for my ring. He wanted to let me choose one for myself, as he wanted it to be perfect for me. I found a white gold ring with five small diamonds set into it. It was just my ring – very subtle, and so beautiful. Having a Cornish gold ring felt very special. Now, wherever I went, I would have a little bit of Cornwall around my finger, and it would remind me of that wonderful moment out on the cliff-tops.
When we told my Grandparents, it was hilarious. Grandma beamed at us both, and gave us a hug, and then said “Congratulations! Well, it’s not like we weren’t expecting it, is it?”
I think she had bought her Big Hat the day I first introduced her to Paul!
The wedding plans so far
The minute we got engaged, Paul reckons I just became Monica from “Friends.” I insisted on making lists for everything – lists of guests, lists of suppliers, lists of the lists we hadn’t thought about yet… I know it sounds obsessive, but we wanted to start the planning as early as possible. We thought that the more time we had, the less stressful it would be. WRONG! … (But that’s another story!)
Paul and I are not very well off, so we’ve decided to keep our plans more traditional. We want a church wedding, and probably an informal reception, with a buffet and a Ceilidh. This is because we have a lot of friends and relatives between us, and we don’t want to leave any of them out.
But just because we’re saving money, doesn’t mean we’re compromising. It just means the planning will be that little bit trickier. Which reception venues will give us what we need and still not break the bank? Which caterers don’t charge the earth, and still work with us to make every little thing perfect? And which luxuries – no matter how expensive – will we have to afford?
We want a wedding, full of traditions and ideas that are centuries old, and – above all – we want people to look back on the 18th June 2005 and say “Yeah – we had a really good time that day!”
It’s a challenge – but we’re at our best when we face challenges together, so I know it’ll be all right.
Read Jenny’s diary next month to see how her wedding planning is going and to pick up some handy tips along the way.