When Emma Langley decided she wanted to go to Bali to celebrate her birthday, she didn’t quite realise that her determination was putting a spanner in the works for boyfriend Mark Salisbury.
Mark, who had always said he didn’t want to get married, was secretly planning a proposal, and knew that booking a big holiday would halt any future wedding and honeymoon plans.
“I was on a mission to find out why he wouldn’t go away for my birthday and felt so guilty when he said that I had forced his hand and made him propose earlier than he’d wanted to!”Emma Salisbury
“I couldn’t understand and was so annoyed that he didn’t want to go away,” Emma explains.
“Mark is an obsessed Man Utd season ticket holder who rarely misses a game, so I was adamant that was the reason he didn’t want to go to Bali.
“That evening we went out for a meal at the Italian Cottage in Chorley and I still had a bee in my bonnet.
“I was on a mission to find out why he wouldn’t go away for my birthday and felt so guilty when he said that I had forced his hand and made him propose earlier than he’d wanted to!
“I was absolutely gob-smacked, but it was like a dream come true.”
The couple met at Newcastle University and sustained a five-year long-distance romance, travelling between Newcastle and Horwich after Mark moved back to his hometown.
Bank manager Mark then got a job in Edinburgh, and Emma, a bank’s policy analyst, took the plunge and relocated with him.
The pair have now settled in Adlington, Chorley, and tied the knot at Ashfield House Hotel in Wigan.
“We wanted to keep the day small with just family,” Emma says. “We had 35 family members and decided we didn’t want a bells and whistles evening do, but just quiet drinks in Ashfield House’s amazing bar.
“We didn’t do things traditionally so we weren’t introduced for the wedding breakfast, we didn’t have the standard people sat on the top table and we didn’t have a first dance.
“Speeches were done by the bride, maid of honour, best man and then the groom.
“What we hadn’t told the guests prior to the wedding (except our parents) was that we had found out a couple of weeks before the wedding that we were expecting our first baby!
“Mark announced this as part of his speech, and it was great to see the faces of our guests when they realised they were going to be aunties, uncles, grandparents and great grandparents for the first time.
“It was amazing and so special to be able to make that announcement when everyone was together.”
She adds: “Staff at Ashfield House were amazing in helping us keep the secret until the speeches too.
“They devised a last-minute menu change for me, sourcing non-alcoholic drinks to look like the same reception and Champagne drinks the guests were having.”
The newlyweds travelled to Bangkok and Koh Samui for their honeymoon.