Written by Louise Holt Last updated: September 28, 2006
Diary of a bride-to-be. Sam and James get together until a school reunion years later.
Sam and James first met at boarding school but didn’t get together until a school reunion years later. Read Sam’s top tips for choosing a venue and a dress – as well as their romantic story and his version of events.
Henrietta knew early on into her relationship with Russell (RT) that she wanted to be Mrs T. She even wrote a diary on the morning of her big day!
Samantha is Travel Editor for AOL UK. She’s 32, lives in london and has been a travel journalist for nine years. She is engaged to James, also 32 and a former marine, who has just returned to civilian life after five years of service.
Sam and James first met at boarding school in Devon, although romance didn’t blossom until a school reunion in 1994. At that time, action man James was in the French Foreign Legion and whether it was the uniform or their shared past, this was love.
We’ll be following Sam as she begins preparations for her wedding next Summer. Tune in to find out how her plans are shaping up by reading her diary here.
Sam and James’s engagement
Got off to a bad start. My boyfriend James, a marine, was posted on a six-month tour of Northern Ireland, which meant yet another summer apart from each other.
To cheer ourselves up, before he left, we chatted about how we’d like to get married soon. He also asked the type of ring I’d like (a three-stone emerald-cut diamond ring) as he said I was far too fussy to surprise!
After three months (and a huge phone bill), he was finally given two weeks leave so I booked a couple of days in Ibiza (to party and let our hair down) and then a few days on the nearby sleepy island of Formentera to relax and recover from the exploits of Ibiza’s night life.
I felt certain he would propose at some time during his leave, but didn’t know when and, after we’d been on holiday a couple of days, I gave up guessing!
However, one night when we were having dinner in a restaurant with beautiful views out to sea, he began to get agitated and impatient with the waiters. He said he didn’t want coffee, paid the bill, then told me to hurry, running ahead of me to the moped.
After fishing out a plastic bag he asked me to follow him over the rocks, towards the sea, which was admittedly a little difficult in high heels and a short skirt. After several minutes, I conquered the task and reached a tiny jetty that protruded out to sea.
There was a full moon and as we reached the end of the jetty James turned around and asked me to marry him and began to take out the ring. He wasn’t on one knee but I didn’t care. I was nervous and excited…not about accepting (I said, “Yes” straight away), but I was a little worried he’d drop the ring through the planks and into the sea and we’d end up spending the rest of our holiday scuba diving in search of it!
Despite his nerves, he slipped the ring on and it fitted perfectly. Then out of the plastic bag he produced a bottle of champagne and we celebrated under the stars!
We chatted until midnight and he admitted that if I’d said, “No” he was going to push me off the jetty and into the sea!