It’s not often that you meet the love of your life on a night out, but that’s what happened seven years ago while Leanne Rees was having some bank holiday fun.
The 33-year-old mortgage broker from Portsmouth was in a bar in Guildhall Walk when she started chatting to Gary Robinson, a 35-year-old business owner.
Leanne says: ‘Gary was out with someone I knew.
‘He came over and started to talk to me and we ended up speaking for an hour.
‘He added me on Facebook afterwards and we carried on talking.’
Gary, who was already a father to Charlie, 11, and Alfie, nine, took Leanne to the cinema on their first date and to Longleat for their second.
‘We got on really well and chatted loads, but I’ll admit that at first I didn’t think Gary was the one.
‘I kept going out with him even though I wasn’t sure at first. I thought he might grow on me, and he did.
‘Everything he did he went above and beyond with. He always makes the effort.’
Leanne had fallen head-over-heels for her man by the time he popped the question at the Red Lounge at Cowplain.
The bride says that because Gary was acting so oddly, she thought he was going to break up with her.
‘I didn’t have a clue. I thought he wanted to have a big talk with me.
‘He got down on one knee in the restaurant and I cried when he got the ring out, and then said yes!’
When it came to choosing a wedding location, the couple had a hot, sunny beach somewhere in mind.
Gary and Leanne deliberated over a few places but in the end chose to wed in Turkey at Billie’s Blue Lagoon, Ölüdeniz. They stayed at the Sensatori Fethiye.
Forty-three friends and family members attended the wedding, including the couple’s one-year-old daughter, Ronnie.
Leanne had her best friend Ian as her gay-of-honour, while her two brothers Edward and Michael gave her away.
Gary was joined by his brother Ben and friends Christopher and Nicolaou, who were best men.
Alfie and Charlie were ushers and Ronnie and Leanne’s friend’s daughter, Mia-Rose, were flower girls.
Leanne says: ‘It was so emotional, all I did was cry.
‘I’ve only seen Gary cry once, but from the minute I stepped on to the carpet he was crying his eyes out.
‘It was the best day of my life and I wouldn’t change it for the world.’
The newlyweds had a sit-down meal and their own private bar, and partied until the early hours of the morning.
The reception was held a week later at the Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea.
Leanne says: ‘It feels amazing to be married to Gary and it’s lovely to share the same surname as him. We are a proper family unit now.’
The couple went to Las Vegas for a week after the wedding and are looking forward to seeing what the future holds.