For many people, their first meeting with their future spouse conjures up images of love at first sight and stolen glances.
But when Natalie Hoare first met her husband Chris Brown in quite a normal setting almost 10 years ago, it wasn’t until four years later that they started dating. The pair first met through a mutual friend in a supermarket.
Natalie, 29, says: ‘We didn’t start seeing each other until about 2007. He kept asking me out but I kept saying no! I’m glad I said yes in the end though.’
Now living in Eastleigh, they grew up in Portchester and Fareham. This month, they were married and held their reception at the Marriotts Hotel in Portsmouth.
Chris works in IT while Natalie works in customer service. She says: ‘It was brilliant. Everything went well and everyone really enjoyed themselves, which is exactly what we wanted to happen. It was quite traditional but we put our own spin on it, so it really meant something to us.
‘We had Alice the Goon from Popeye, the cartoon character, on top of the cake because that’s what I always call him.’
Their action-packed day even included a performance by the steel band that Natalie belongs too. It means so much to her that they were even involved when Chris proposed.
Natalie says: ‘They played at the wedding and I had them at the reception. We had a DJ so everyone could dance too.
‘He proposed when we were up at Notting Hill Carnival because we were taking part in a competition. I was playing to the crowd and then I came off stage and he did it there and then.’
She adds: ‘I loved the way he did it. All of my friends were there although some of them didn’t even notice.’
Natalie was nervous ahead of her wedding day, as any blushing bride would be, but all her fears left her when she saw Chris waiting for her at the end of the aisle.
She says: ‘Everyone turned to stare at me, but then I saw him and I wasn’t worried any more. I noticed him and it calmed me instantly.
‘I think he was more scared than me. The speeches were the best bit for me. Chris had a video of him singing Olly Murs’ Thinking Of You and we showed it, which he was pretty embarrassed about.’
The newly weds spent their honeymoon in Mexico for 12 days, which involved ‘lots of sunbathing and eating lots of good food.’