Lucy McDonald & Simon Ritchie: Our holiday romance resulted in New Years’ Eve wedding day

Simon Ritchie & Lucy McDonald

Simon Ritchie & Lucy McDonald

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A family heirloom made the day Simon Ritchie proposed to Lucy McDonald extra special.

The couple met in July 2010 on holiday in Crete.

“After two weeks of partying, it’s safe to say we had seen each other at our best and worst so all the awkwardness was already gone,” says Lucy, a primary school teacher from Grimsargh.

Simon, a student, flew home before Lucy, and returned to Lostock Hall but it wasn’t the end of the holiday romance.

“We were constantly in contact and saw each other every day, even when I returned to Liverpool University, Simon would travel up every night after work and get up at 5am to get back,” adds Lucy.

Two years later in August 2012, the couple had their first holiday together to Marrakesh, Morocco.

But before they left Simon made sure he had something special in his suitcase.

“Three days before we left Simon had looked ill all day,” says Lucy, “we were planning on moving in together the following month so I thought he was nervous and was actually going to split up with me.”

Instead, Simon spoke to the unsuspecting bride-to-be’s dad to ask his permission to marry his daughter.

The next day, Lucy’s dad gave Simon her grandmother’s engagement ring to pop the question with.

And three days into the holiday, a walk before dinner turned into the surprise of Lucy’s life.

“We stopped off and sat in a hammock and he pulled out the ring - before he asked anything I started to cry and ask if he was serious,” says Lucy.

The couple were married at Stanley House Hotel, Mellor on December 31.

The bride arrived in a white Rolls Royce and instead of traditional wedding favours the newlyweds donated to the Motor Neurone Association in memory of Lucy’s grandmother.

“We also decided to hold an auction for the times of the speeches, which created a fantastic competition,” say the new Mr and Mrs Ritchie.

“We raised over £400 for a cause very close to our hearts.”

And, as midnight struck, the pair welcomed in their first New Year as man and wife with confetti cannons and a rendition of Auld Lang Syne.