June 2003. I was almost 20 and using the last months of my teens to overhaul my life. I had split from my boyfriend, quit my job and given notice on my flat. My Dad helped me move my belongings back into my old room at home in west London and I began applying for college courses with a view to starting my A Levels in September.

A seemingly endless summer stretched before me. I needed a job to tide me over and fund my course fees, so I spent a day pounding the hot pavements of my local high street in search of work. I enquired in every shop, cafe and bar, brandishing my CV with pride and completing countless application forms. Just before heading home, I turned on to a quiet side road. I tried my luck in a small gift shop before crossing the road and walking into the large cocktail bar and restaurant on the opposite side of the street.

All imagery on this page Copyright (c) 2013, Eliza Claire – you can see Franky and Carl's wedding in full here

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The bar was empty. I remember the dark wood and eclectic decor of the place, as well as the cool breeze blowing in through the vast open windows at the front of the building. I sat on a stool at the bar to fill in the short application form and watched the young man serving drinks. As I slid the sheet of paper across the polished wood I pondered my lack of waitressing experience. 'How hard can it be?' I thought before thanking the bar tender and turning to leave.

In my mind's eye, I can still see the man that changed my life bounding across the road towards me as I stepped through the huge double doors of the restaurant into the sunshine. He waved and motioned for me to stop as he weaved through the traffic. I smiled, confused, but curious. 

The next few minutes passed in a blur. Mark was the manager, and having been sat outside to eat his lunch, he'd seen me trawl the local businesses in search of work. With a huge grin on his face, he proceeded to interview me in the street, probing my employment history in his cheeky northern accent. Moments later I had secured my first shift and unknowingly changed the course of my life forever.

9 years later, on our wedding day, my husband invoked a powerful cultural reference to describe the impact Mark had on our relationship. Star Wars.

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In the cult television program Spaced, Simon Pegg's character attributes everything, and I mean everything, that transpires in the original trilogy to the actions of one very minor character – the gunner on the Star Destroyer at the beginning of the first film.

If the gunner had shot the pod that CP30 and R2 were in they wouldn't have got to Tatooine. They wouldn't have met Luke, Luke wouldn't have met Ben, they wouldn't have met Han and Chewie and they wouldn't have rescued princess Leia. None of it would have happened.

You don't have to be as big a geek as my husband to appreciate that Mark was our gunner. On my first shift a week or so later I met the man that would eventually become my husband. By summer the following year I was expecting our first child.

If Mark hadn't seen me or had simply let me pass him by, I might never have got the job. Carl and I might not have crossed paths and we may never have fallen in love. Of course, the fatalist in me believes we would have somehow found our way to each other no matter what, but I still subscribe to the view that sometimes apparently insignificant moments can turn out to be the most momentous.

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Generally speaking, the discussion posts in our Life & Love section tend to broach complex, thought provoking subjects. Not only are they intended to spark conversation and open a dialogue with our readers, we also aim to exploit the amazing community that has developed around the blog for the benefit of anyone that might be looking for help or guidance

Countless brides have shared advice and reassurance in the wake of features I have written about divorce, bereavement, unplanned pregnancy and much, much more. In this sense, Love My Dress has developed into a fabulous resource for anyone planning a wedding, not just in terms of inspiration, but because you can come here to learn from the experiences of others.

Recently, while working on another project for the blog, it occurred to me that a discussion post doesn't necessarily have to be about expressing an opinion or arguing a point. 'Why not just have a nice chat with out readers?' I thought. 'Let's talk about love. After all, when you stop and think about it, that's why we're all here.'

As a hopeless romantic and compulsive story teller, I never tire of hearing how two people met and fell in love, and it is this that I hope you will share in the comments section below. What was your beginning, the genesis of your jouney to becoming a bride?

Much love,

Franky

Heart

 

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Leave a Comment!

32 thoughts on The Story Begins ~ When Two People Meet

  1. What a brilliant idea Franky, love hearing people’s stories (and telling mine!)
    I was studying fine art at uni and for one module we had to set up a creative project that involved people in art. One group decided to hold a “silent speed dating” event where instead of talking people would draw for each other. The money raised from ticket sales was going towards fundin catalogues for our degree show and it sounded like fun so I went with a few friends.
    About half way through the evening a cute guy in geeky glasses sat opposite me for our 2 minute “chat” and announced all the girls there were stupid because they didn’t understand his pictures. “Maybe you just can’t draw” I countered. “No, I drew a hoe and said change the first letter, one girl knew it was a hoe but still didn’t get it” was his reply. “So you must be Joe” “Yes!”. We exchanged pictures and, much later in the night, numbers.
    Joe told me a long time after this night that he had whinged to a friend the way he’d whinged to me about the stupid girls there and they told him that when he found the girl who understood his pictures, he’d found The One. I’m not sure if the guy meant that seriously, but it’s funny that it turned out to be true.

  2. I don’t comment very often but felt compelled to by this! (Also, any mention of Spaced gets my attention). So in 11 weeks I will be marrying my gorgeous Mr H, and we met in that most modern of ways, on match.com. I LOVE telling people I am marrying the man of my dreams and that we met online – I think that sadly there is still some stigma attached to the whole online dating thing, and I am delighted to be a poster girl for the fact it can work perfectly. I think perhaps we’d have met eventually anyway – living close to each other, going to the same pubs and gigs – but this just hastened the process, for which I am very grateful. Maybe not a big romantio eyes-meet-across-a-crowded-room moment, but one I still treasure. After a few weeks of emails we met for the first time in a bar for a drink and have not been apart since.

  3. If I had a pound for every time someone said to me “oh god, I could never work with my boyfriend” I would literally have a million pound!
    I started working for an accountancy firm back in 2006 and thats where I met DB. (Daniel B) We both had partners but clicked straight away so developed a really solid friendship (based mainly on our mutual love for indie music and Bruce Willis films!) After 2 breakups, 3 years later, we started dating. Soooo many people couldnt understand how me managed to work together and date but we worked in different departments so wasnt always in each others pockets, plus, I like his company, hence the reason for our datingness! A year later we were engaged (romantic beach sunset do in LA) and a year after that we bought our first home together.
    We get married September 2014 and I really cannot wait to marry my best friend! x

  4. Yay for Spaced! So glad it prompted you to leave a comment :)
    I’m fascinated by couples who have met online. In fact my sister is currently dating a lovely chap she met through Plenty of Fish! In the past I might have been a little skeptical, but since I started blogging 4 years ago I’ve made so many amazing real life friends, falling in love with someone you’ve met online suddenly seems much more plausible.
    And 11 weeks to go, how exciting!
    xxx

  5. What a brilliant story! I hope there’s going to be some kind of clever prison reference at the wedding?! First dance to Jailhouse Rock perhaps! ;)
    xxx

  6. It’s wonderful when a friendship successfully develops into something more isn’t it? Carl and I were friends for a long time before we got together too. Of course, I had a HUGE crush on him the whole time, but still! ;)
    Thank you for your comment Kerry and good luck with the rest of your planning!
    xxx

  7. Never posted on here before but loved the story so wanted to have my say! My other half and I met on plenty of fish when we were 16/17 years old. Everyone always said we were too young to meet online but now 8 years on we are still going strong. He has recently popped the question so I can not wait to marry my best friend.

  8. Exciting/a bit scary :) Don’t get me wrong, I met quite a few VERY odd chaps online beforehand, but it was all worth it in the end!

  9. We were both invited to watch our mutual friend perform at an amateur dramatics performance near where they live. I sat down next to one of our other friends, he arrived a few minutes later. We looked down the aisle and caught one another’s eye. He remembered my smile I remembered his shocking blonde spiky hair and piercing blue unusual shaped eyes.
    We sat through the very tedious play and spent the rest of the evening getting drunk and energetically talking about Muse, Linkin Park and nerdy TV Shows. Unfortunately at the time he had a girlfriend and I was sort of interested in someone else. After a month or so of no contact we met up again on a friend’s night out. Realising we really fancied each other, we found each other through mutual friends on MySpace, yes Myspace! He and his gf had split up and I was about to split up with the said interested guy. he invited me ( and it turns out all our other friends) to a themed Uni night, ( ha ha! I know, right?!) I was the only one to turn up. The rest is history. XD
    I LOVE your story Franky. Would love to hear Annabel’s!x

  10. A year ago, after five years working for the same company, I needed a change. I’d ended a four and a half year relationship and moved house within the preceding six months so it seemed like I might as well give the job the elbow as well, completing my life overhaul. I started my new job last August. I was happily single and ready to throw myself into my new job and enjoy it plus I was living in a nice flat with friends. Everything was just perfect as it was.
    At the same time as I started at my new company, so did a guy. A guy called Ruari. Initially I had little to do with him (despite there being only 12 of us in the office) but soon I began to realise how funny he was, which always piques my interest.
    As the weeks and months went by, I realised I liked him. Like, really liked him. But I quickly dismissed the idea of anything ever happening. We worked together for a start, in a tiny office, and he is nearly five years younger than me. Never going to happen.
    In October, I went to New York. Shortly before I left, he mentioned in passing how much he used to love cinnamon Tic Tacs, which are no longer available (at least in the UK). I am ashamed to admit I spent a fair amount of my holiday dragging my sister and mother around any newsagent and sweet shop I could find, looking for the Tic Tacs. They were bemused at my determination but I persevered. They never materialised, but I snapped up as many other cinnamon-flavoured treats as I could find, and presented him with them on my return, leaving them in a pile on his desk.
    That didn’t seem to get the message to him that I liked him, so I assumed it wasn’t going to go any further.
    Sadly, the job didn’t work out and I left in January to start somewhere new. I miss working with him; seeing him all day every day was the biggest (non-cinnamon-flavoured) treat.
    It’s ok though because we’re moving in together in October.
    P.S. Turns out you can order cinnamon Tic Tacs on Amazon. If only I’d known.

  11. Exactly 5 years ago I ended a relationship I had unsuccessfully been trying to end for years. Exactly one week later I went to an audition I had been considering giving a miss. There was a very cute guy – D – sat at the back of the room, who was asked to read with me when I was recalled for the first time. As we were chatting outside, I discovered he had only moved to the UK from Canada that very week and was helping out with the auditions as he was currently staying with the director, an old friend of his. I ended up being cast as the lead in a play set in a 1930′s depression era dance marathon, where the rules stipulate you must keep moving at all times and musn’t let go of your dance partner. Just before rehearsals began, the male lead dropped out – and the director asked his old friend D to step into the role. We danced and never let go! He travelled half way across the world to find me in the first place…then when I went to work in Australia 2 and a half years ago he followed me the rest of the way there to propose – on an island in the South Pacific! I am marrying my very best friend 2 weeks tomorrow!

  12. Me and my other half had worked in the same superstore for years on different departments until we spotted each other one day on a charity event day in our store. He was taking part in the charity 24 hour bike marathon (raced on exercise bikes in the main foyer!) and I was returning baskets to the front of the shop, dressed in my fancy dress costume of a super glamorous builder!
    With a cheeky smile I have now come to associate with boot polish on my lovely cream carpet or spending spree’s on eBay, he gave me a wink and laughed ‘Ay girrrl! Show us your builders bum!!’ It might not be the stuff of fairy tales and great romance, but he made me laugh out loud and I became truly smitten with the cheeky guy off frozen. A few weeks later, we went on our first date around a museum and have pretty much lived happily ever after since..
    Since then, he has challenged and pushed me to follow my dreams. We’ve moved away from Liverpool to return to university and we’re pursuing careers we’ve always dreamt of. We live together quite happily in our cosy Victorian terrace on the canal and, after a surprising proposal on a walk in the Lake District with a beautiful antique ring, we are planning our big day in April 2015, with lots of inspiration from Love My Dress!
    Even on a bad day, I know that life couldn’t be better and I don’t thank him for that often enough!

  13. This is such a great idea for a discussion :)
    I’m originally from sussex and come from a little commuter town. After a bad break up, I decided to move out of the tiny town and get any job I could in the big city. I ended up living with some old friends and had the time of my life.
    I then started a new temp job at an ad agency, and I was pretty happy because it was the company that made these really beautiful and emotional ads which I loved. I quickly got to know everyone and made great friends – and then one day, in the pub after work, this proper London cockney bloke came bowling over to me and was introduced as the guy who wrote the ad that I loved. He says I looked at him in shock, but I was just naively stunned that such a rough-around-the-edges guy could write such beautiful things!!
    Well, this golden-hearted cockney boy is now mine, and although we laugh about his grammer more than anything else (“Darlin’ let’s go down battle for a coupla-la nelsons?” translates as “Darling, let’s go to the pub for a beer?”) he has me in stitches every day and I’ve never met a more sensitive and well-rounded bloke.
    I’ve always been looking, and never knew quite what I was looking for, but when I fell in love with him, I just knew. It was like “Oh there you are…”.
    And Kerry – we still work together now and I wouldn’t change it for the world either! :)

  14. ‘I’ve always been looking, and never knew quite what I was looking for, but when I fell in love with him, I just knew. It was like “Oh there you are…”.’
    *sob* One of the most beautiful things I’ve read all day, thank you Alex. Your fella sounds fabulous :)
    xxx

  15. Oh this is a wonderful blog post! And the comments are amazing. I’m welling up! I love your story, Libby :) Everyone’s is just inspiring – Franky’s as well :)
    I’m just starting out with my new guy, but it feels as though I’ve known him forever – and I wish he’d been in my life for longer, it’s as though I’ve missed some time with him.
    But we’ve fallen in love.
    It’s true you can meet the man / girl of your dreams online – I signed up for Match.com for one day, decided I didn’t like the way it worked, changed my mind, tried to phone and cancel but they wouldn’t have it.
    So I went back onto the site for a couple of hours one evening… and I found S. We clicked through a love of the beaches we live by and a shared taste in music. We were sharing Spotify playlists before we met – and I think I knew even then that I wanted to keep him!
    Our first date was a walk on the beach where I live. Our second, a walk along the beach where he lives. A few weeks later, our first concert together – and we’ve never looked back.
    I only needed a few minutes on Match.com to find my other half, and I paid £30 for the privilege of finding him on there! But he’s worth every penny a thousand times over :)

  16. When you’re 15 you need a little job to make sure you can afford all the important things – phone credit, bus fare to town, occasional maccies – but when you’re under 16, there aren’t many options open to you.
    So I decided to utilise my talents (stay with me) and offer my services as a baby sitter to the local estate opposite my house. What teenager doesn’t enjoy having a house to themselves of an evening?
    I set to work creating a little advert that I would stick up on the noticeboard of the local Co-op, basically a piece of cardboard with my deets on.
    And I got a couple of phone calls! Win!
    The first house I visited had three, you might say feral, children and their (single) mum said I could stop at her house overnight while she went out on the tiles. Safe to say I said I’d get back to her.
    The second was a couple who were new parents. They’d caused quite a stir when they erected a seven foot stork on their front lawn to announce the birth of their daughter, Millie, so I was familiar with their house. As they lived opposite a pub they were looking for someone who could listen out for Millie who was now about six months old while they popped out for a swift one but were still close enough to nip back should I be in dire need.
    Anyway….to cut a long story short, a year or so passed of me babysitting for Katie and Ian and, as they were getting married in August 2002, they invited me to their evening wedding reception. I was now 16 going on 17 (like the song)and thought “bonus, night out on Friday!”.
    At the reception I spotted a cutie sitting with his family across the room who looked roughly the same age as my friend and I. She was having bf troubles so we were on a girlie night out. As we were sat on a table right by the dance floor, the cutie often passed our table taking his younger brothers over to do skids on the wooden flooring (his brothers, not him – ha!) giving me an opportunity to give him the once over ;)
    My friend disappeared outside an hour or so later to speak to her bf on the phone. As I was sat on my own the cutie came over and said “I don’t normally do this but I was wondering if I could have your number,” I had nothing to lose so said sure and he disappeared off to the bar to borrow a notepad (so retro – his phone had died). After I gave him my number he said he had to leave with his family and get back to Liverpool so our exchange was short but sweet.
    A couple of days later he called, we went out and this year we will have been together 11 years :)
    No ring on my finger yet but I’m assured it’s in the pipeline! I’m in no rush but it would be nice, though I suspect I’d burst into fits of laughter when he does ask!
    Sorry for the ramble!!

  17. YES Alex! That phrase sums it up exactly! That is precisely how it feels – you recognise him the minute you see him and it all makes sense. The nature of my job means that I work with a lot of people who are a bit younger than me, who ask me all the time ‘But how did you KNOW? I thought I knew…’, but you really do know – and feel that the searching for that elusive ‘something’ has finally ended – and living has begun. And it is just as simple, natural, quiet and EASY as you so beautifully put it. x

  18. At nearly 30 I really was beginning to accept the fact that I was officially ‘on the shelf’. On the advice of a friend I gave online dating a whirl, my first attempt resulted in a weird and wonderful collection of potential suitors but nothing that tickled my fancy. I gave it one last go, this boy emailed me, his picture was blurry and fuzzy, but his emails were cheeky and funny, so after a week of daily emails we arranged to meet. I concocted an elaborate plan of getting him to meet me on the seat outside Harvey Nichols in Leeds, that way I could walk down the adjoining street, get a good peek at him and if he looked like an axe murderer, keep walking.
    He didn’t look like an axe murderer, he was gorgeous, if a little short (deeply regretting the immense high heels I was wearing!). We went to a bar and had a nervous, clumsy, funny and extremely enjoyable first date, he walked me to my bus stop and arranged to come and pick me up the next day and take me out – I was giddy with excitement.
    I was up the next day at some ungodly hour getting ready, then he was late, not just a bit, THREE hours late!!! My heart was sinking, turns out though that there is many streets in Leeds with the same name as the one I lived on and the poor guy had been to them all – he was mortified when he arrived but we went on to have a beautiful day at Castle Howard. I dared not believe that this was really it but after a couple of months I knew I was totally head over heels, then he said those wonderful, beautiful words to me, I knew he was the one. Nearly ten years later we are happily married, with one beautiful child and another due any time now – we’ve had good times and bad, but we grow together through all these experiences and he is still the most wonderful, amazing person in the universe to me, even if I don’t get to wear high heels much these days : – )xxx

  19. It felt like destiny, however, there was a ‘gunner’ involved in our meeting because a colleague who understandably wished to avoid booking a holiday during school holiday time, requested leave at a time when her place of work needed staffing. I was sent to cover her post. This is how I ended up meeting my husband as I checked him into his conference accommodation accompanied by the romantic sound of our family dog chomping bones under my desk (I was dog sitting)
    Undaunted by the dog he returned to ask me out that evening.
    Weeks later he was on a sailing trip with the Navy and when they stopped in Sri Lanka he bought a sapphire and had a ring made to give to me on his return. This all happened in 1987 – we’ve been married 24 years now xx

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