If Kelly Smith hadn’t been looking for a new home in the right place at the right time in 2011, she would never have met the love of her life, Ashley Head.
The 28-year-old project co-ordinator from Portsmouth went to view a flat that her husband-to-be was selling at the time.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ashley, who is in the navy, got hold of Kelly’s number afterwards and asked her on a date.
Kelly says: ‘I was apprehensive at first, but it felt like we knew each other. The conversation just flowed.
‘Ashley then went away for eight weeks and we spent the time texting and e-mailing.
‘When he came back we became official. I got the keys to the flat and he never moved out.
‘We didn’t speak about living together, it just kind of happened.’
Things continued to move quickly for the couple, who found out they were expecting their three-year-old daughter Lily-Anne in 2012.
When she was born, Ashley almost didn’t make it to the birth because Kelly went into labour earlier than expected.
‘I phoned him and luckily he was in the Channel,’ says Kelly.
‘He managed to beg a fishery boat to take him to shore from his navy boat, then he made his way from Dover to Portsmouth and got there just in time.
‘I was so happy he made it!’
It was then before Kelly’s birthday dinner in London in 2014 that Ashley popped the question.
‘He’s never usually with me on my birthdays and that year he was,’ she says.
‘Before we went out Ashley made a point of saying I’d forgotten my jewellery.
‘Then he handed me a box and said “here, wear these earrings”.
‘I opened the box and there was a ring. I gasped because I wasn’t expecting it at all.’
The couple originally planned to have a big wedding last year, but decided that a smaller ceremony was more their style.
They recently married at the Portsmouth Register Office in the company of 15 people, then had lunch at The Bridge Tavern.
At 2pm they headed off on a road trip to Alicante, Spain, where they would have another ceremony in the area where Ashley lived for 10 years.
Kelly says: ‘My mother and father-in-law live in Spain in the summer and made the arrangements for us.
‘We married at a chapel called Ermita Mare de Deu Negreta.
‘It was personal and quiet and just what we wanted.
‘We weren’t crying because we both had an overwhelming feeling of happiness. We are very content.’
The newlyweds visited Disneyland Paris with Lily-Anne on the way back from Spain. They are now in the process of buying a new home.
Kelly says: ‘It’s nice to be able to call Ashley my husband. I can be myself around him. He’s very private and would never make a display in front of people, but he’s a secret romantic really.’