Jess and Josh

Image 1 of Jess and Josh

How We Met

Josh and I met when we were 13 and 14! 10 years ago! Such little babies thinking back on it now. I was with my mum picking my sister up from band practice at our local church where Josh was volunteering being the musical genius that he is. Anyway, my sister (11 at the time) was showing me a DVD she had been given to watch by a friend which was rated an 18 and Josh was joking around with us saying she was too young to watch it. I remember thinking that I’d never seen him before in our church, which was odd because we had been going for a little while at that point. But he was funny and confident and I liked chatting to him, even if he was being overly sarcastic (story of my life) He told me he would check with me to see if I was being a responsible sister (lol) and not letting her watch it, and later that evening, he slid into the Twitter DM’s and we started talking on the app before he tried one of the cheesiest lines I’ve heard that went something like ‘140 characters isn’t long enough to chat really, so can I have your number to text you instead?’

Image 2 of Jess and Josh

A week later he asked my mum permission if he could take me out on a date (cute) and although we actually never ended up going, I still remember the conversation where he told he the restaurant he wanted to take me to and thinking, wow…this guy actually likes me? We spoke every single day for about 3 years. And I’m not exaggerating that. Every day we would message morning, during school and in the evening chatting about our days, our lives, our friends, our plans and dreams and slowly we became best friends who were always more than best friends but never made it officially more than friends. But of course, we were only kids and we had our fair share of ups and downs. When we were 17 and 18, we both realised we needed to take a breather and spend some time apart whilst we figured out what we really wanted and I still remember it as one of the worst conversations ever. Knowing we had a relationship that was really good, but being too young and immature and apprehensive to go forward. So Josh moved to London for university and I finished up sixthform college with my friends. It was weird not speaking to each other and wondering what each other was getting up to, but the break did us the world of good.

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Fast forward five months, it was my birthday and I had a message come up on my phone from him. I remember sitting in the lounge with my mum and sister (who had to suffer the weeks and weeks of me moping because I realised how much I actually liked Josh but by then I thought it was too late) and I had always had a specific text tone for him, which everyone took the mick out of me for, so whilst we were just sitting watching TV, his personal text tone went off, and after not hearing it in months, we all just looked at each other like… what?!

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Long story short, we met up in London for a little picnic and it felt so comfortable like nothing had changed. That same week he rang me on his way home from an event and we had a looooong talk about everything we wanted, and what would be different this time around. We had both grown up a bit and realized if we went for it, there had to be no messing about. Two weeks later, after going on actual DATES, not just casual hangs, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and almost 5 years later we’re engaged. What an adventure!

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(The first ever picture we took together as an actual couple. To think, we couldn’t ever know then all the years of fun things ahead of us)

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how they asked

So Josh, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend and I set off bright and early to Bournemouth and Studlands, picnic basket packed and great Spotify playlists blaring, with only two of us in the car knowing what was about to go down that afternoon.

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Bit of background, Josh and I are both slightly nerdy when it comes to the beach and Josh is annoyingly good at geography (like literally, put him anywhere in the world without a map and he will find his way home). So, if you basically went to any school in the UK you probably would have studied Old Harry’s Rocks in one of your geography units (promise this is actually romantic) and both of us wanted to go and see the rock formations on the beautiful British coast. If you hop on the ferry from Bournemouth to Studlands and drive a little longer down through narrow little lanes, you can visit these beautiful white cliffs on the most gorgeous secluded coastal walk.

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Image 9 of Jess and Josh

A few years ago we went for a little trip there and it became a bit of a tradition – parking the car with only enough change for 20 minutes to do the 25 minute walk and having to run most of the way to the best spot, standing on the edge of the cliffs and staring at the turquoise blue water below, breathing the sea air before getting fish and chips on the way home. Whenever we went, it was just us spending time away from our busy lives together, and we always had the best day visiting good ol’ harry.

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So of course, Josh being the secret romantic that he is, decided this trip to the coast was going to be extra special. After parking the car and walking down towards the edge of the cliffs, Josh called me to come join him. I’d just like to point out here that I am actually quite scared of heights. I don’t like walking over bridges and definitely not up or down stairs with holes in between, So when Josh walked out toward the very edge of the cliff top and then beckoned me to join him, my first thought was absolutely not.

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Image 14 of Jess and Josh

I was doubting how much he actually knew about me from the 10 years of knowing each other, but something told me to go over there so I joined him, thinking he wanted to show me what was on the water horizon. But instead, he put his arm around me and shared some sweet words before turning to face me. At which point I had a feeling what he was about to do but before I could process it, he dropped to one knee and asked if I wanted to spend forever with him.

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Image 16 of Jess and Josh

After saying “Are you joking?” about 20 times, he looked all lonely there on the ground so I joined him to check one last time he was being serious. And, well, he was. So I said yes! People cheered and his brother (well prepped by Josh) captured the most perfect images on his camera. Of course, after it had sunk in a little bit, I wanted to ring everyone and tell them the news, but there was really bad signal so Josh said we were heading to a hotel and restaurant called The Pig for some drinks – we had seen it last time we were there and thought it looked so sweet – so I could call them all there. And I had promised my sister I would call her first, but I was kind of dreading the whole ‘who do I call next?’ thing…

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Image 18 of Jess and Josh

Image 19 of Jess and Josh

But I didn’t have to worry because OF COURSE he had thought of that too, and had planned all of our family to meet us there to join in the celebrations. So obviously I cried because it was the perfect day! After toasting with champagne and enjoying the beautiful weather, we headed to a restaurant he had booked that he used to come to with his family when he was younger for some dinner by the water’s edge. Everything was perfect and so well thought out. He had even visited the places with his parents the week before to suss out the best spot to ask me.

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And he asked the restaurant to even change up the table layout a bit because he knows how much I dislike chair covers (lol don’t ask) and he wanted everything to be perfect. He knew how important my family is to me, and his to him, so wanted everyone to be there to celebrate with us and make it extra special.

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Image 34 of Jess and Josh

What a DREAM guy.

Special Thanks

Joe Grimett
 | Photographer