I went on a date to stop him from pestering me and ended up married

Laura McKenna & John Keighley Pictures: Stillshot Photography - www.smileatus.co.uk
Laura McKenna & John Keighley Pictures: Stillshot Photography - www.smileatus.co.uk
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As the saying goes, God loves a trier.

And when Laura McKenna told John Keighley to “go away and stop pestering” her, he knew he wasn’t going to give up without a fight.

The pair, from Longridge, met 11 years ago at a friend’s party where Laura dismissed John’s efforts to get to know her.

Laura, a dog groomer, says, “After I had originally told him to go away he persisted to annoy me and I eventually gave into a date.

“He later said to friends after the party, ‘I’m going to marry that girl’, and we’ve been childhood sweethearts ever since.”

As John, a property developer, kindly walked Laura home after their first date, there was a surprise waiting at the door.

“My brother was there waiting for him and in so many words told poor John to sling his hook,” says Laura, “I made my brother go and find John to apologise and they have been good mates ever since – so much so John asked my brother to be his best man.”

Two years ago, John surprised Laura with a ride in a hot air balloon, flying over the romantic countryside of Crook O’Lune.

Laura says: “I was admiring the scenery when John turned towards me and popped the question 1,000 feet up in the air even though he’s petrified of heights.

“I was in total shock but after I realised I wasn’t dreaming I said, ‘yes’ and was completely over the moon.”

But Laura had had the ring less than 10 minutes when she managed to lose it.

“It was too big so when we had landed and was helping to pack the balloon away in a field I lost it,” adds Laura, “luckily I soon found it glistening in the sun – phew!”

On October 5, Laura and John finally made it down the aisle at St John’s Baptist Church, Broughton.

“We both love autumn so we tied the knot in October with all the beautiful autumnal colours and countryside around us,” says Laura.

The newlyweds then travelled to Garstang County Club to celebrate with friends and family.

“October 5 was also a very special date for me as it would have been my grandad’s 90th birthday had he still been with us,” adds the new Mrs 
Keighley.