Lauren McGrail spotted Pete Sutcliffe, an Emergency Response Paramedic, in the office where she worked as an Emergency Dispatcher at Broughton Headquarters nearly six years ago.
“In that green uniform he made quite an impression,” says Lauren, “he was totally the opposite of anybody I had dated previously.”
Pete, in turn, had also noticed Lauren.
“I thought no chance,” he says, “I thought she was way out of my league.”
The couple continued as colleagues and friends and when they worked on the same shift pattern Lauren’s cheeks always had a rosy glow to them when Pete would pop into her office.
“In 2011 we realised how much we enjoyed each other’s company, and romance blossomed quickly,” say the couple, who live in Fulwood.
In July of the same year, Laurenspent three weeks away on trip to Thailand with one of her friends.
It was while Lauren was away that Pete realised how much he missed her and decided he was going to pop the question on her return.
Pete says, “I asked one of her close friends, Wanda for assistance as I was going to design an engagement ring for Lauren – it had to be something really special,
“It was such a closely guarded secret only Wanda and one of my friends knew about what was going on.”
In 2012 the pair flew to Mexico where the Pete had decided to pop the question.
“Though I very nearly didn’t!” he says,
“I had it all planned. One evening after a really nice meal I asked Lauren to come out on the balcony, but she said she was too tired and wanted to sleep, so I ended up proposing to her in the room instead.”
“Of course I said yes,” adds Lauren, “but I cried because I felt like I had spoilt the moment for him.
“The ring was perfect, I couldn’t believe it had been so long in the making without me having any idea at all.”
On September 5, Lauren and Pete were married at Broughton Church, followed by the wedding breakfast at The Great Hall at Mains, Singleton.
“There had been a little apprehension about the wedding cake,” says Lauren. “My sister-in-law, Cherie, offered to make it before she found out she was pregnant, and the baby was due in September.
“I would have been devastated if, my youngest brother, Geoff, who is a Sergeant in the Royal Engineers, hadn’t been unable to attend, as they would have to travel from Berkshire with a very heavily pregnant Cherie.”
“But she was assured there were lots of Paramedics on hand!”
The cake and the couple arrived safely, and fortunately baby Hollie arrived late.
So late in fact that the newlyweds had been on their honeymoon and back before she made an appearance on September 27.