Emilie the Bride: I was told to pack a bag, and get ready for a surprise weekend away to Snowdonia in West Wales, to celebrate my 26th Birthday. Jon and I met in Wales in 2008, on our first day at University. We had both enrolled on the Fashion Photography and advertising course, and had also been placed in the same flat, with Jon's room directly opposite mine. Jon was the first person I saw every morning, and the last person I saw before I went to sleep. For 3 years, both being on the same course, and house mates, we spent nearly everyday together and quickly became best friends. Jon was the only person that could make me laugh to the point of tears, I'd laugh so much my face would ache, and my sides would hurt! I remember Jon used to joke that we spent too much time together, and I was the reason he couldn't get a girlfriend, as people thought we were a couple, I'd always joke and say it's ok, one day you'll marry me...not ever thinking it would actually be a reality.
When you’re so close to someone, sometimes it's hard to see what's really in front of you. I remember falling asleep under Jon's arm one night, with a little help of dutch courage, I nervously asked for a kiss...I remember waking up the next morning and thinking...did that really happen?! I whispered across the breakfast table to our mutual friend Bei (Owen) that Jon and I had kissed, he automatically stood up, raised his hand in the air and shouted 'I call best man, I call best man' haha and after that first kiss we quickly realised we were more than just friends, but we had fallen in love.
I remember the first time we went out as a couple, walking to a christmas party, Jon reached down and grabbed my hand, I'd never been so nervous and excited at the same time. That night was also the first time our friendship group had seen us together, not just as Jon and Emilie, but as a couple. We had our first public kiss, which was then quickly interrupted by all of our friends clapping and cheering...it seemed everyone but us knew we were meant for each other.
5 years on, with each year filled with so much love, laughter, and fun than the one before, we set off for a weekend away, back to where we first met and fell in love, climbing the highest mountain in Wales. We spent 9 hours, hand in hand walking to reach the 3,560ft summit. Afterwards, wrapped up in our sleeping bags, we set up camp at the bottom of Snowdon, with our tent overlooking a lake, surrounded by nothing but mountains. Jon lit a fire, and started to cook our dinner on our camping stove, as we watched the fog rise up and cover where we had just walked. He wrapped me in more blankets and told me to try and stay awake...after all that walking I was fighting to keep my eyes open. I had my head rested on Jon's chest, and noticed his heart started to race so I sat up, by the time I turned around Jon was down on one knee, by camp fire, in front of a moonlit lake, surrounded by mountains in Wales, asking me to marry him...I couldn't believe it! I couldn't believe my best friend was asking me to become his wife. I burst into tears, too scared to take my hands away from my face...I'd always dreamt of marrying Jon, but never really imaged when, or how it would happen, so when it finally did I was lost for words.
Jon said it was the first time he had ever seen me speechless (haha). I said yes, and Jon placed a beautiful engagement ring on my finger, but not just any engagement ring, it was a ring that had belonged to my beautiful Nan, Elaine. Elaine was the head and heart of our family, and since she passed, our family had never been the same. We were incredibly close, so it was so special that Jon had proposed with Nan's ring, and she was able to a part of that moment with us.
In 2008 we met in Wales as strangers, in 2015 we left Wales engaged as husband and wife to be, and in 2017 we returned to get married back at our favourite beach.