I’ve got some fantastic news to share! Fiona (my now gorgeous wife) and I recently got engaged, married and went on honeymoon! Its obviously not as frantic as it sounds but as I am sure you can imagine we’ve been pretty busy over the last couple of months and therefore I haven’t been able to publish too many updates. So here’s a quick catch-up.
The story of our meeting started many moons ago (in September 1985 to be exact), when Fiona joined Combe Bank School, in Sundridge, Kent. Once the first day nerves were out the way, she quickly became friends with a little girl by the name of Sarah Jane Lawrence, who wore her hair in pigtails.
Fast forward 25 years to New Years Eve 2010, when the once pigtailed Miss Lawrence (now residing in Dubai) floated elegantly down the aisle on a crisp winters day in Sussex to become Mrs Mike Hardaker.
As is usually the case with Fiona, she arrived at the Hardaker wedding with moments to spare and dashed into the church just minutes ahead of the bride. She was directed to one of the few seats left in the church and quietly slipped into the pew, trying not to be noticed. Lost in her inconspicuousness she failed to see the handsome gent in the pew directly in front. Fear not, he had seen her!
As the wedding party sat down to enjoy the wedding breakfast of the now Mr & Mrs Hardaker, Fiona & James found themselves, not just at the same table but right next to one another – aided by Sarah’s efficient table planning / cupid skills.
James returned to London 3 weeks later and after just two dates, 2011 became a year of The Air miles, as the love struck couple flew back and forth between London and Dubai.Unable to be apart any longer, Fiona moved to Dubai a few days before Christmas 2011. Sharing their first Christmas together in the only way that would have been right…with Sarah & Mike Hardaker.
In early 2014, James decided it was time to make things official. Whilst starting to save his dirhams, he contacted a friend in London to design the ring.
Tired of the intense summer heat and completely oblivious to James’ scheming, Fiona planned to spend a long weekend in England visiting family.
Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to collect the ring in secret and surprise his soon-to-be bride, James leapt on a flight, just hours after she’d left.
On a typical July day in England (pouring with rain), having just arrived at her parents’ house, Fiona sat drinking a cup of tea and catching up on family news, when there was a knock at the door.
Opening the door, there was James with a rose in hand, saying that he’d come to surprise her. Elated and surprise to see her handsome beau, she stood blocking the doorway. Eventually James managed to cross the threshold, getting down on one knee he produced the sparkliest ring she had ever seen and said, simply….
“And I’ve got another surprise for you… Will you marry me?”
We had a phenominal wedding day in London on Friday, 6 March 2015 at Chelsea and Westminster Old Town Hall with lunch at Rules in Covent Garden afterwards with our immediate family.
Followed by an amazing wedding celebration on Saturday, 21 March 2015 at Magnolia, Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai with our family and friends.
Thank you to all our family and friends that helped to make our wedding so special.
Also a big thanks to our wedding dream team:
- Cena Dinning – Henry & Susie
- Madinate Hotel – Lucile & the hotel staff
- My Lovely Wedding – Joelle
- JVR Photography – Liz (wedding blog)
- DJ – Dave Craig
- Emirates Entertainment – Roger
- Goldfish – Claire & Andrew
We were then lucky enough to go away on honeymoon to South Africa on safari for a few days and then onto Cape Town.