Holly and Joe
How We Met
It’s so strange to think about how we met. Because, it sounds so hilariously cliche, but I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know him. I met Joe when I was in high school, I was 15 years old. He was in high school too. We met through a local church we were both going to at the time, and I had actually met both of his siblings before meeting him. I think we met and were unassuming friends for quite a long time. Our friends were friends, so we spent a lot of time around each other, just kicking about together probably doing what teenagers do, which wasn’t much!
We fell in love bit by bit I think, we’re both pretty musical, Joe plays guitar and sings, and I sing too. So, we got to do that together, we both loved music and we both went on to study music at college. We share heaps in common, big life goals and visions, and the silly little details. But I think more than anything, more than our similarities & differences, we got to grow up to together. We got to change and be changed together, and navigate difficult seasons and cities together as best friends. We got to be kids together in Newcastle, and we’re now adults together in London.
So, long story short, it’s hard to say when we met! We didn’t really have one specific meeting day or occasion, not something to pin point at least. It was more like we met several times, at different stages in our lives, and that’s the more like the story of our meeting. We met as teenagers. Joe was young & I was stubborn (and uninterested, 15 going on 50). Then we met again in College. With a little bit more brain between our ears, and became best friends. Then we met again when I was working & Joe was studying, and we (unbeknown to ourselves) started falling in love. And then I guess, over 8 years of knowing each other, we met as acquaintances, faces that we’d seen, then as friends, and best friends and best of all we now meet as husband & wife to be!
How He Asked
I think I’ve told this story a million time to countless individuals, yet I never get bored of telling it! First of all, the city, Newcastle is my heart’s home and although we find ourselves living in London at the moment, Newcastle is where I was born, where I grew up. And has an irreplaceable & HUGE part of my heart. So Joe set our proposal in Newcastle!
We both live & work in London. But Joe and I had taken a rare week long break at home in Newcastle.We spent heaps of time seeing our close friends & family and of course visiting our favourite places and doing all those things that make home truly feel like home! (Seaside visits, excessive amounts of ice cream, late night chats with girlfriends, good coffee in cute coffee houses! And of course many glasses of red wine!) We had spent the most perfect week together! And on Thursday night Joe had shared that he had booked a table in our favourite restaurant on the quayside that overlooks my beloved city, the restaurant is in a glass-walled top floor level of an art gallery, and I love it there! (Joe regularly wines & dines me, so this actually didn’t make me suspicious at all!) And also on Thursday one of my best girlfriends and her husband had asked if we wanted to grab a drink at a quayside bar after our meal! So naturally, I thought Friday is shaping up to be a great evening! Tea at my favourite place & drinks with some of my favourite people.
Friday April 7th. My favourite day of my life so far! We went to the seaside during the day, because honestly there is nothing like the north east coastline. So we had gone for a long walk on a blustery beach, which is one of my all time favourite things to do! And then we had polished it off with huge ice creams from an amazing old fifties ice cream parlour. We headed home early afternoon & started to get ready for our evening out. Joe was so insistent that I wore a dress on the evening! (that out of pure stubbornness I actually put on jeans. Then with some convincing from my mum changed into a little white dress & some casual boots). We headed into city centre, and of course documented our evening (as you do) on Instagram. We had a gorgeous three course meal and spend the evening chatting through our plans for the year ahead and generally talking the about the rhythms of life, as couples do. Then just before 8pm joe hurried me out and said we ought to be getting off to meet our friends for a drink across the river, so we hurried down to the ground floor and then started to cross over the river via the millennium bridge.
Let me take a moment to talk about this bridge. For me and Joe, this is the bridge where big things happen. Where we have made big life decisions, (moving cities, choosing next steps in studying etc etc) and where we have generally sat and fallen in love over again with our city, with our lives and with each other. So we began to cross the bridge. Let me state that I am still oblivious to the goings on of the evening!! And half way across the bridge my man knelt down and spoke sweet words about his love for me and asked me to spend forever with him! And I of course said YES!
This is all so gorgeously captured in the photos that Nat took for us. Yet again as a complete surprise! I think I yelped after about five minutes of her snapping way because I’m hadn’t noticed that she was even there (she had surprised me and travelled all the way up from London, just for a NCL sunset proposal!)
And as if that wasn’t perfect enough, we crossed the river to a beautiful quayside bar and Joe had arranged a celebration with all my closest friends and family! Who had all managed to watch the entire thing from their side of the bridge and were waiting with bouquets of flowers and bottles of champagne for us!
The evening couldn’t have been more special and memorable for me at all. It completely exposed how well Joe knows me! Every detail was thoroughly planned and so carefully thought through, which is just so Joe like! From arranging a train to get my girl Nat here at sunset, to face timing in my best friends from other cities to join our special evening, we had the sweetest night imaginable!
And the ring. The ring is ridiculous! I used to work in fashion, trading vintage, so I really value vintage cuts and those timeless looks! And I know that choosing this was probably a huge labour of love for Joe, because I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I wear! But honestly, I couldn’t have even chosen a ring I love this much. I hadn’t even seen one like it before! So boy done good! A perfect proposal for me!