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Couple tie the knot eight years after sweet leap year proposal

A leap year proposal exactly eight years ago led to a couple getting married at Gretna Green.

Heather Black took matters into her own hands on February 29, 2008 with a handmade proposal for partner Neil Hutchison created from Love Heart sweets and Haribo rings.

She said: "I made cards with a story on each card and Love Heart sweets in place of some of the words. The last card had two Haribo jelly rings stuck on it.

"Neil thought I was joking at first - but he said yes."

The couple, of Comber near Belfast, said they put the wedding on hold after the birth of their youngest child Hollie, who is now seven, and as they both faced health setbacks.

Mrs Hutchison, 42, said with the family back in full health she wanted to have the wedding this year, and she could not think of a better date than the eighth anniversary of her proposal.

She said: "We had to do it this year. Gretna is renowned for it and it is such a beautiful place. It's been absolutely fantastic. We wanted to have a family adventure as well."

Her son Alper, 15, gave her away and eldest daughter Gomul, 18, was a witness.

Mr Hutchison, 36, said he had been "very surprised" by the proposal but found it "very romantic".

He added: "We wanted something romantic for the wedding too. We wanted a quiet wedding - just the five of us. We only told our parents on Saturday and got the boat over on Sunday so it was big surprise and a shock to everybody. We're going to go back home a have a big party with friends and family."

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