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It's a leap year, let's take the plunge and get married

Heather and Neil: saying it with sweets

By Laura Paterson

Published 01/03/2016

Neil and Heather at Gretna Green
Neil and Heather at Gretna Green

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

Heather Black took matters into her own hands on February 29, 2008, with a hand-made 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, from Comber, said they put the wedding on hold after the birth of their youngest child Hollie, who is now seven, and after they both faced health setbacks.

Heather (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.

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

Neil (36) said he had been "very surprised" by Heather's proposal but found it "very romantic".

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