Intrigued by his cheeky confidence, Hannah couldn’t help but smile. Fresh from college, an 18 year old Hannah had been working at a beauty salon when, enter Mat, on cue and bold as brass – strolling in right up to the reception desk to ask her whether she was going to be out that night. Curiosity well and truly piqued, Hannah did head out that night (because what girl doesn’t dream of being singled out by a handsome stranger?!). Finding Mat, the man with apparently all the confidence in the world, a handful of nights out together followed before Hannah started to suspect that as an adventurous 20 year old with nothing to lose he might have been playing the field. As her feelings for Mat grew stronger, Hannah’s suspicions were confirmed – Mat may have not been ready for a relationship then, but, as their story shows, persistence paid off…
“We had this back and forth relationship for years after that, dating, falling out, rekindling, dating, falling out, it was a very hectic time as I wanted to be with him but he wanted to be a 20 year old and go out and have a good time!”
Years of back and forth followed in a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ style relationship – with the couple falling in and out together in what proved to quite the emotional rollercoaster. Not blaming Mat for wanting to go out and have a good time, Hannah had well and truly fallen in the romantic sense. The same feeling from Mat, though, was never quite there. More time passed, with both finding themselves in other relationships, but one thing remained the same: Whenever they were single, their paths would cross, without fail, for another date. Hannah also received a little reminder every birthday, Christmas and New Year – in the form of a text message from Mat.
It got to the point where Mat started to say all the right things: In an end of series twist, he’d grown up, admitted his feelings and was ready for a relationship with Hannah. With Mat now the version Hannah would’ve liked at 18, nothing came from the change at first – this time on Hannah’s part, because, well, it had been years. With their roles reversed, it could’ve been a case of too little too late; as Hannah put it, time had definitely been lost. No longer teenagers, the two would occasionally see each other in their hometown of Abingdon. Naturally, it was only a matter of time until they’d both be invited to the same friend’s wedding…
“I wanted to tell him how I felt….For some reason he was all I could think about in the months running up to the wedding. I really liked him and wanted to finally give ‘us’ a try. My mum had always said to me ‘he’s the one Hannah’ and of course I didn’t believe her!”
Very much wanting to break the ice, Hannah toyed with the idea of reaching out to Mat with a text ahead of the wedding, to avoid any awkwardness. Nerves, however, held her back. This was a sign. Hannah had been feeling strange and the thought of Mat occupied her mind in the months leading up to the wedding, her mum had even told her ‘he’s the one’. Not believing this at first, Hannah did, in spite of everything, want to give them another try. The night of the wedding, it was Mat who approached Hannah. Cheeks hurting from smiling, Hannah chatted the night away with Mat, finally explaining how she felt. They danced it out and were the last two standing on the dance floor, walking home together into the metaphorical sunset.
“Mat proposed with the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, a platinum emerald cut from the Reading store. He had taken my sister Rebecca shopping with him a few weeks before as he wanted her opinion on what I’d like. He knew that I loved emerald cut and Rebecca was the best person he could have asked as she used to work in the Abingdon store! After looking in the Reading store and not being able to find something he loved, Karen advised Mat that there was a ring in Abingdon that might be ‘the one’ and Keith was able to bring it over from Abingdon to Reading that day. As soon as he saw it he knew it was the one he was going to propose with!”
They’ve been inseparable ever since, with Hannah making the big move in with Mat in the spring of 2017; the perfect time for change and new beginnings. July came and the couple were heading off on their first holiday together in Prague – what Hannah didn’t know was that she’d come back as a fiancé! The day before her 31st birthday Mat got down on one knee on the Charles Bridge, right there in front of the crowds, to ask her to marry him. He couldn’t have picked a better day: The sun was shining and, as he cheekily put, Hannah could that way say they got engaged when she was 30!
Mat’s proposal came with the most beautiful ring that Hannah had ever seen: A sparkling platinum and emerald cut creation chosen especially from Robert Gatward Jewellers in Reading. He’d taken Hannah’s sister Rebecca ring shopping, who had given her approval on the engagement ring – Rebecca was an expert on sparkle, having worked at Robert Gatward’s Abingdon store, so he knew that it was a winning choice!
I never thought in a million years I would be marrying Mat, but it just goes to show that you should never give up on love and Mat never gave up on me.
The couple returned to Robert Gatward Jewellers Abingdon in the January of this year to pick out their wedding rings. Served by Julie, who recognised Hannah from when her sister worked there, they were advised to have a coffee to think about it and came away with the most beautiful rings imaginable.
Hannah and Mat cannot wait to tie the knot in September and Hannah tells us that she can’t believe she’s getting to marry someone who had been under her nose the whole time!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Hannah, it was a pleasure to follow your ups and downs through to a happily ever after! We wish you both all the love in the world.
If you’d like to feature in #ShareMyEngagement, please email any photos and details of the proposal to Chloë (Social Media at Robert Gatward) via [email protected] with the subject heading “#ShareMyEngagement”. We also run a competition across our social media channels (facebook, twitterand instagram) where you could #WIN a £750 wedding ring voucher. Simply share a snap of your engagement ring along with your story to any of our social media channels with the hashtag #ShareMyEngagement and tag ‘Robert Gatward Jewellers’ to be entered.