We are delighted to share Greg and Vicki's story on the blog. Our story starts almost 20 years ago on the day I joined Air Cadets as a very shy 13 year old. I walked into the room and instantly noticed a young boy in a lime green fleece with a cheeky smile and hazel eyes - Greg. He was my first boyfriend and I his first girlfriend - of course at this age our relationship mostly consisted of getting lifts to one another’s houses from very patient parents and talking for hours on corded landlines (the joys of not having mobiles!).
We didn’t last more than 8 months as a couple but we were firm friends for the following few years and always migrated towards each other when we having a bad time or had fallen out with girlfriends/boyfriends. Many a late night was spent on MSN talking about my bad taste in music and his hopes of being a Game designer; we were always there for each other.
Shortly before we were due to go to university Greg designed a tattoo for me (which I still have, albeit a bit faded now) and that was one of the last times I saw him for a period of 13 years. Greg is a school year older than me so he went to uni first and we lost contact. Skip from 2002 to 2013 and I really needed a friend, facebook now existed so I nervously typed in Greg’s name and there were those hazel eyes and smile! What followed was a period of ‘do I contact him, should I just leave it, maybe he won’t remember me, sod it I’ll try’.
He messaged back almost instantly, and my heart skipped.
Sometimes you look back and you realise some things were meant to be - our paths have crossed several times but we didn’t always notice, we knew as kids we had something different but were too young to commit to it and our families have connections over several generations. Meeting Greg again after all those years, things were just like they always had been. So now we are adults and adults do adult things like move in together, get engaged, have babies!
The moving in part happened quite quickly but the engagement part took a little longer - but I’m a patient person, honest… We were in Madeira and went on a trip to the Monte Palace gardens. This involved getting Greg in a chair lift so his nerves were already shot and I was being the dutiful tourist rushing round to make sure we saw everything in the allotted time - much to his displeasure.
When we got to the Japanese pagoda he started being ‘awkward’ and wanting to sit down and look at the view, so I patiently agreed and got the biggest surprise of my life. Out of his bag came a box - handmade and covered in pictures of me. I had made the box for Greg when we were 13 to take with him to RAF camp and had put a little note and bunny rabbit in it.
All these years later he was giving me the box back, but this time there was a ring in it. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I think my first reaction was ‘Really? Are you really asking me?’ followed by a YES.
The said ring was not my actual engagement ring as Greg explained he had been too nervous to take one abroad and had arranged for me to go and pick one from the London Victorian Ring Company. So off we went to London and into a secret world I never knew existed. We were shown the most stunning collection of engagement rings - each one was unique and nothing like what you get on the high-street, timeless classics.
I spent ages trying them on, looking at them, asking Greg what he thought and trying to narrow it down to just one. When I had it, it was time to customise it with a diamond of my choice, of course I chose the biggest one available as Greg sweated next to me! The whole experience was pleasant and unpressured, I wasn’t rushed or encouraged to pick a more expensive option - the only downside was I now had to wait three weeks while it was handmade before being delivered to us back home, but as I said, I’m a very patient person!
Back at home I was letting the wait get to me a little tiny bit, just a smidgen...when one night Greg came home and started packing up our camping stuff. We are lucky to live in the countryside and we set off, walking until Greg found a spot with only a few nettles in it. I began to wonder if I’d forgotten an anniversary of some kind when he pulled out a small emerald green box. My ring was inside and it was more beautiful than I remembered - hand crafted to perfection. The wait was totally worth it.
So that’s us, we’re getting married next year, 20 years after we first met. The wedding venue is a beautiful farm and we’ll have friends of old and new surrounding us and families we wouldn’t be without, who knew us as those nervous teenagers constantly ringing up and asking ‘is Greg there please?’.