Sitting under the stars in Sorrento, listening to two ‘old Italian chaps’ singing and playing mandolins, Dean Critchley decided it was the perfect moment to propose to Nicola Moss.
And when her father, David, recreated the same song for their first dance, it made their wedding day all the more romantic.
“One evening, in our hotel gardens, we were sitting out after dinner listening to two old Italian chaps singing Italian songs and playing mandolins, and Dean decided this was his moment.”Nicola Moss
The couple started dating after meeting on the match.com website in 2009, but soon discovered they knew each other from school.
The proposal took place in July 2014.
Nicola, who works as a brand coordinator for Barr Soft Drinks, says: “Unbeknownst to me, Dean had bought a ring a couple of months earlier and decided he would propose on holiday.
“He sneaked the ring abroad with him, and spent a few nervous nights waiting for the ‘right moment’.
“One evening, in our hotel gardens, we were sitting out after dinner listening to two old Italian chaps singing Italian songs and playing mandolins, and Dean decided this was his moment.
“It was a lovely moment, and we then noticed far away up on the hillside, a big red heart flashing away - Dean says he had arranged this, but I’m not convinced!
“I also found out that for the previous few nights, he’d been walking around with the ring in his sock, just in case the right moment happened to present itself.”
One the morning of the wedding on August 28, the couple read letters from each other and opened specially engraved gifts - but another surprise awaited Nicola.
She explains: “I was due to drive to the venue, Samlesbury Hall, with my mum and bridesmaids in the morning, and because we were getting ready at the Lodge at Samlesbury Hall I decided to keep my pyjamas on.
“When we left the house to get in the cars, there was a white stretch limo waiting outside.
“My chief bridesmaid, aunt, gran and grandad had clubbed together to surprise me. We sat in the back and had flutes of Champagne poured for us, before setting off to arrive at the venue in style - with me, still in my PJs!”
Following the ceremony and afternoon tea, Nicola’s dad sang ‘Volare’ for the couple’s first dance as newlyweds.
Nicola and Dean, a quantity surveyor, then jetted off to a private villa in Nice, France, for their honeymoon.