Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's a True Love Story; Planning Your Wedding Is One of the Most Exciting Times of Your Life. Editor LAURA STUART-COOK Shares Her and Fiance Rian's Love Story - from Lazy Students to Bride and Groom-to-Be

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's a True Love Story; Planning Your Wedding Is One of the Most Exciting Times of Your Life. Editor LAURA STUART-COOK Shares Her and Fiance Rian's Love Story - from Lazy Students to Bride and Groom-to-Be

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA STUART-COOK

It sounds contrived, but I sometimes think fate led Rian and I to meet. You see we were never even meant to go to the same university, and with me being from Worcestershire and him from Cleethorpes, the chances of our paths crossing otherwise would have been pretty slim.

But after I decided to turn down my place at Oxford to stay closer to home, and Rian got better grades than he expected, we both found ourselves heading to the University of Birmingham to study geography.

Unbeknown to both of us until years later, we actually first met during Freshers' Week when we were sent out in groups on a walking tour of the city. Of the 200 people on our course, only two decided to be uber-lazy and take our cars instead - me and him.

We spoke for the first time when we were both late for a lecture in our second year and trying to sneak in at the same time.

But it was only when Rian, who is a qualified pilot, decided to talk to ease the woes of scared red-head girl on the flight back from a field trip in Berlin, that our paths became entwined forever. The petrified flyer, one of my best friends, decided to show him the photographs of her recent birthday party to take her mind off the turbulence - and he spotted me wearing a dodgy silver wig and recognised me.

I was on my way to bed (my field trip was in the slightly less cosmopolitan Wales) when I received two texts in quick succession; the first from Rian introducing himself, and the second from Liz asking if it was okay to give my number out - luckily it was!

Six years later, we found ourselves on a hired speedboat in the middle of Lake Garda when Rian "pulled" a message in a bottle out of the water and asked me to marry him.

As he tried to balance on one knee as the boat rocked back and forth, there was only one answer - yes!

I'm not known for being the most emotional person, but when Rian explained how he pretended to be away with work the week before but had actually driven to Worcestershire to ask my dad's permission to marry me and to buy my ring in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, I burst into tears.

To say it was a holiday to remember is an understatement.

Having edited last season's Wedding Journal, picking up a copy and re-reading it in minute detail as soon as we landed was my first port of call on our return.

I'm not one of those girls who has planned their wedding in minute detail since they were a girl, but I had always thought it would be nice to wed in the church and stately home near to my parents' house. After enquiring about the price (more than most new cars) and considering where the majority of our guests would be travelling from, we decided to look closer to our home in Humberston.

I began collecting brochures for every potential wedding venue in the area - from hotels and golf clubs, to purpose-built function suites and stately homes. …

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