Not even War or Cancer could keep Leanne and Ross apart so as they celebrated their Hero’s Wedding they didn’t want to miss a single minute more without being man and wife.
On June 13th 2013 the couple were wed at after being the Winners of a very special prize.
Military wives Hayley Oats (Hayley Ruth Photography) and Emma Waring (Military Wedding Discounts) along with SEO expert Steve Hooper (UK Wedding SEO) joined forces in 2012 to create a Dream Wedding package worth over £16,000.
With all 3 working in the wedding industry, they wanted to do something to show our appreciation for the amazing job our Forces continue to do and for the sacrifices they make in order to protect and serve our country.
With the support and generosity of some of the UK’s top bridal brands, Hero’s Wedding was born…
Leanne and Paul were chosen to win after sharing their amazing story.
How & Where did you meet ?
I met Ross in London on the 7th August 2009 at a Club called the Church, he was there on a Stag do dressed as Miami Vice and I was there for a friends Birthday dressed as Moulin Rouge.
As soon as all Ross’s Marine Friends saw our group we couldn’t get rid of them all day, we played drinking games etc etc, and later on Ross came over and took my drink and downed but struggled and said he wish he had never drank it as it was too strong!
He then kept saying Sorry as it was a dare he was given, and he showed me the dare Card (which I still have to this day).
I snapped it up, ran off and put it down my top. He chased after me to the bar and I challenged him if he could drink 10 drink to drinks with me, then I would fund the rest of his night.
So the game started…. To cut a long story short, it ended up in me taking Ross back to his Hotel as he was in a bit of a state! But I left him my number.
Next day I got a call from him and he asked whether he could see me before he travelled back home to Somerset, so I went to meet him and he made a picnic and we had our first date.
The date ended in us both getting very drunk again with a crate of Strongbow!
How did he propose?
Ross and I moved to Plymouth and we had a spot on the beach where we go and sit and watch the sea and just chat about things.
The day he was leaving for his Second Tour of Afghan (Herrick 17) he took me for a picnic to our spot on the beach. Ross was being all strange and he isn’t usually one for being romantic or good with words but he kept telling me how much he loved me and he will be coming home and he can’t wait to grow old and bring our kids down to this spot etc.
This was not like Ross as he is a kind of live for today guy … no forward planning. We stayed for a couple of hours then I got cold so wanted to go. We went back home and he packed all his stuff up ready to leave for camp to get his flight to Afghan and he got really emotional.
He got dressed into his Desert combats and we got in the car to leave … we started driving but then he said there was something he needed to do. He took me to our spot again and it was pitch black this time with just the stars and the ships out at sea lighting up the sea, this time he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and I said Yes…. we then drove for an hour and he left for Afghan.
I received a text just after I left explain how he wanted to do it during the day but just got scared, he was about to go to a war zone and that doesn’t scare him but the thought of me saying no petrified him.
He had brought in his bag at the beach that day.. all the same food that we had on our first date when we had a picnic, and he even brought 2 cans of strongbow for a laugh … to re create our first date.
When I got home from dropping him off, I was so happy he had proposed but was so upset he was leaving so I opened the bag and found everything he had packed, and it was the most romantic and thoughtful gesture.
The Winning Entry – The Hero’s
I think of Ross as not only my Boyfriend, but my best friend and the love of my life.
We have been together a long time and through out that we have probably seen each other half of that time with him constantly being away with Op Cougar, Libya, Afghan and many more.
When myself and Ross first moved in together I moved from London to Yeovil as he was based in Taunton so wanted to be closer to camp for him. He left for his first tour of Afghan (Herrick 12) shortly after I moved and those 7 months were Hell, for both of us.
It was one of the worst afghan tours and we lost a lot of friends and many were injured.
After the tour I decided I wanted to help give back and applied to university to become a Physiotherapist working with amputees.
The Process was long but I finally got accepted and myself and Ross started organising moving down to Plymouth.
During this Time I found out I had Breast Cancer, and I went through an operation and radiotherapy and I didn’t think I was going to make it to Uni.
Months on I now have the all clear and I now live in Plymouth and I’m about to start uni.
During this time I have started fundraising with other Girlfriends and Wives of Marines and we have done a Calendar for the Royal Marines Trust Fund to Raise Money and during my Cancer that’s what I focused on raising money for Charity.
Ross has just left for his Second Tour of Afghan and it breaks my heart. Over the last 3 or so Years we have been through so many obstacles which to me I think most couples would struggle with, Ill Health – Mentally and Physically, not seeing or speaking to each other for months on end, constantly moving around the Country and yet we are still as strong as ever.
Ross and I haven’t really had the best of luck.
With Ross and his Career I never know what is going to happen and whether this could be the last time I see him, and now he feels the same way with me just having Cancer.
We can’t afford a wedding yet and we want to be married more then anything.
The Big Day
The big day arrived and sadly the weather was grey, overcast, blooming windy, and a bit damp.
This less than perfect weather did not however dampen any of the excitement and glee as the Hero and his bride prepared to tie the knot at the beautiful Parklands wedding venue.
Beautiful Order’s of service set the tone of the day, created by the talented Emma from A Bespoke Design.
In true Leanne style her footwear was relaxed and comfortable.
The gorgeous wedding rings were from Michael Frank.
Music Wedding Video shot Leanne and Ross’s Wedding video, an epic and fun reminder of their wedding day.
Claire from The Sweet Shop really got into the theme of Leanne and Ross’s vision including having some bespoke chocolate bar wrappers made to go with Leanne’s shoes, how cute!
The beautiful cake was also from Love CupCake.
Guests left their mark on the finger print guest book from Faithful Designs a lovely reminder and keepsake.
Images of Leanne and Ross’s Big Day were captured by Hayley Ruth Photography
Thank you to Hayley and all the Hero’s Wedding team for allowing me to share this beautiful day and best wishes to Leanne and Ross for a wonderful and blessed future.