We got married as fast as we couldMarry in haste and repent at leisure – or so the sayinggoes. Lena Corner meets five couples who tied the knotas soon as possible and are glad they didLena CornerThe Guardian, Saturday 11 February 2012Miranda and Gregory DillonMiranda: I was 35 and had been living in California for a while. I was feelinghomesick and tired of American men. Whenever I came across anyone with a Britishaccent, I would latch on to them. I just wanted a piece of home. So I decided to putmy profile up on a website called iloveyouraccent.com.There were a few hundred people on the site but when I saw Gregorys face I wasimmediately drawn to him. It was so, so weird and I cant explain it. Just from lookingat him I knew I was going to be with him. I knew. In my head I started planning things,planning years ahead. It was just ridiculous.We met in February 2010. He had to go to New York for work and said hed like tobuy me dinner there. We arranged to meet in the Hyatt hotel. I was really nervous butwhen I met him I knew it was meant to be. Every single thing clicked. It was just soright. I was meant to be in his arms. It wasnt like we are into all the same things – weare quite different – but it was very comfortable.Immediately, I started to worry. In my head I was going, "Oh my God, what if hedoesnt feel the same way? What if he says Very nice to meet you, Ill call you – thennever does? Then what am I going to do?" Id totally set myself up.He had to go off to a meeting. We arranged to meet again after. I went for a walkround the shops – I was on cloud nine, but also in a bit of a state, thinking he mightnot come back. Bang on time when he said his meeting would be finished, he wasback. The moment I saw him I blurted it all out. I said: "If you want to run away,theres the door. Ive got high heels on so I wont be able to catch you, but Ive totallyfallen in love with you."He said, "Its uncanny but I feel exactly the same way." Then he started joking abouthow his single days were finally over.Ten days later, we got married on the beach in Santa Monica. My family came and sodid his mum. She was very nice. I thought she might be like, "What have you done tomy poor son?" but she was lovely.We had a baby girl in July. Its all terribly romantic. Im sickly sweet and happy. I stillhave butterflies in my tummy when I see him. Its the best thing I have ever done inmy life. It was a total whirlwind, but I dont regret any of it for a moment.
Nerina Pallot and Andrew ChatterleyNerina: I grew up in Jersey very close to where Andy grew up. We both went to thesame primary school but never met. Then he went to the boys school that wastwinned with my girls school, and I knew loads of people in his year – but again wenever met. Then we both moved to London and got jobs in the music industry, butstill we never met.About five years ago, Andy was randomly flicking through the TV channels and sawme being interviewed on a music show. He had a premonition that he was meant tobe with me. He got hold of my email from the drummer in my band and in December2006 wrote to me out of the blue. I was snowed in in Edinburgh trying to get back toLondon for a gig and had a few hours to kill so was just catching up on emails whenhis popped through. So we started an email conversation.A couple of weeks later, over Christmas, I went on holiday with my cousin. I had beenengaged earlier that year to someone and it had spectacularly exploded. Wedbooked ourselves an all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean and decided we were going tolive like we were in a George Gissing novel and just swear off men forever. But everyday I found myself waiting for Andys email and every day I would write back. Wediscovered weird coincidences about each other – our dads knew each other, hisuncle had worked with my dad and we had grown up a little over a mile apart. Wearranged to meet when I got back.So at 6pm on 4 January we met in London, at Wapping tube station. I got out of thecab, looked at him and thought, Im marrying this man. I just knew. He waseverything. I cant explain, he even smelled right. It was like Id known him my wholelife.We looked at each other, gave each other a chaste little kiss, held hands and walkedto a nearby pub. I had a port and lemon and he had a whisky and we sat chatting.Half an hour later, he said: "You could just run out of here and Ill never see youagain, but I really think were meant to be together. I think we should get married." Iwas immediately, like: "Yes, lets do it." We went for dinner round the corner andweve never been apart since. A week later we booked our wedding.We decided to get married on Valentines day. My parents live in Australia and Icalled my mum to tell her and she said: "But I thought youd broken up with him? Ithink youre making a big mistake." She thought I had got back with my previousboyfriend. When I told her it was someone else, there was a really long silence, thenshe said: "Are you on drugs?" Then she started crying and put the phone down onme.I talked to my brother about it and introduced him to Andy and immediately heunderstood. He called my parents and somehow, six weeks from the day we met, wepulled together a wedding. Andy met my parents the night before and the momentthey met him nobody thought it was weird. Everyone said, "Of course these twopeople should be together, they are just like two peas in a pod."Its really hard to articulate something that is such a gut instinct. I can only say that all
the weird coincidences supported how we felt. When we met, we were both readingThe Dice Man, which is all about probability and chance.We have been lucky. We could have got married and the honeymoon period couldhave worn off and it could have gone completely tits up but it hasnt. We met when Iwas 32. Im now 37, and have been married for four and a half years. We now alsohave a son called Wolfie, whos nearly one.Now I cant imagine how I was ever with anybody else. I think everything else wasjust waiting to meet him. Im a big believer in chemistry, not just sexual chemistry, butspiritual chemistry. You cant manufacture that.Karen Kennaby and John DegnanKaren: I met John four years ago. We were introduced on a dating website. I had justmoved into a new place in Windsor and he lived in Denver, Colorado. We werechatting on the phone and I said, almost as a joke, "So, Im having a house-warmingparty on Saturday, fancy coming over?"He got a flight the next day.I had 40 people coming, so it was quite hectic. He was brilliant, helping me to getready. In the evening he did the bar, laughing and joking with all my friends, sayinghe was cheap foreign labour who had been flown in from the States.The first time we had any time on our own was the Sunday after the party. Wewandered round Windsor and Eton, and got round to the more normal stuff such as"Whats your surname? and "What do you do for a living?" We went into an art galleryand wandered round, and both ended up in front of one particular piece. The artistwho had painted it was there and she told us it was one of a pair. We just looked ateach other obviously thinking the same thing. We each bought one for the other – hiswas packaged up and flown to Denver on the basis that one day they would bereunited.He flew back on the Monday and we talked and emailed every day. Then on theFriday, a week to the day after we met, he said to me: "You know were going to getmarried dont you." And I said, "Yep."It was all so easy. The thing that struck us was that it was just like we had alwaysknown each other. It was a really powerful, deep knowing. It wasnt like bulbs goingoff or anything – it felt just like coming home.For our second date, we met in Philadelphia and spent the weekend looking atengagement rings. Our third date was in Dublin and then I went to see him in Denver.While I was there, we went to Telluride, in Colorado, in the mountains. We were in aski gondola on a beautiful snowy, sunny day and he got down on one knee andasked me to marry him.Our wedding was a few months later. It was a very, very special day. That was threeand a half years ago and our marriage is wonderful. The only thing that has been astruggle is that weve had to spend a lot of time apart and Ive been to-ing and fro-ing
between the US and here.On our first wedding anniversary, I told him I never believed that I could feel anyhappier or any more in love with him than I did on our wedding day, but I do. It justcontinues to grow deeper and deeper.Keith and Marcela HoldenKeith: I spelled my wifes name wrong on our wedding invitation because I hadntknown her long enough to know how to spell it. Shes called Marcela – I spelled itMarcella.She was managing a tapas bar in Camden, north London, which I liked going to a lot.Someone introduced us and said: "This is Keith." She said, "Keith, what a beautifulname," and smiled from ear to ear.I was 29 and she was four years younger. We went out on a date and stayedtogether for a week – the most astonishing week Ive ever had. But, stupidly, I gotcold feet and said: "Youre not the mother of my children," which was anextraordinarily strange thing to say, and off I went.A year later, it dawned on me what I had done. So I went chasing her. She wasreluctant at first but we were married three weeks later. That was 15 years ago andnow weve got two boys, aged 13 and 10.Neither of us really thought it through – I think we both just knew. And when youknow you dont need to ask any questions. She is Spanish Argentinian and had onlycome to Britain for a few months to learn the language. It dawned on her when shegot back from our honeymoon – "oh my God, Im going to have to live in Londonnow".We are mind-bogglingly different but thats what makes it so fulfilling. Were aware ofeach others values; we listen to them and respect them. Its been an amazing,amazing process.Katie and Simon MaloyKatie: I got engaged to my husband on our first date. I was employed by a client ofmine to look after the Cheeky Girls brand of beauty products. We were doing apromotional tour of the UK and our first stop was a store in Norwich. Simon had beenemployed as security for the Cheeky Girls and was there all day too. I didnt noticehim until the afternoon because I had been so busy dealing with the media. Finally,when the event was over and customers were queuing up to get the Cheeky Girlsautographs, I was able to relax. That was when I saw him. I looked across the storeand was overcome with a feeling of, oh my God, thats him.It must have been sixth sense because there was nothing about him that wouldimmediately suggest that he was deserving of the adoration I had for him. He lookedgood and he is cute, but it was very weird. I arranged it so that for the next batch ofstore openings, Simon would do the security. We worked together for three days,very professionally and on the first night we stayed up talking until 5am discussing
our lives, relationships and stuff. Nothing romantic happened – we were both justvery open and honest.On the Friday when the job came to an end he dropped me off so I could get the trainand I found myself crying all the way home.We kept in touch and as soon as he had a few days off we arranged to spend theweekend together. He picked me up from work on Friday and that evening on our firstdate he said to me: "So, when do you want to get married?" I said next year – andthat was that.I got a huge amount of support from my friends and my family. No one thought I wasbeing too hasty. Id been in an awful relationship for five years before that andeveryone was just happy to see me so happy.I knew as soon as I looked at him that I trusted him and that he was a good person.And now weve got an incredible marriage.