Two proposals, two weddings, and two women very much in love.
When Deborah Hinds asked for Nicola Shuttleworth’s hand in marriage back in 2005, she never expected they would get the chance to say their vows twice.
But after a civil partnership at Leyland’s Farington Lodge in 2008, the happy couple got to do it all over again.
New laws mean same-sex couples can formally marry, so Deborah saw it as an ideal opportunity to pop the question again!
Deborah, who lives in Leyland and owns her own fire protection company in the town, says: “The first time round I did it at Bolton Abbey and I think Nicola twigged that I was going to ask her to marry me.
“We’d talked about it a bit and discussed living together, but I was still really nervous.
I asked for her dad’s blessing - I wanted to do things right - and I practised what I wanted to say, but I still tripped over my words.
“I asked for her dad’s blessing - I wanted to do things right - and I practised what I wanted to say, but I still tripped over my words.
“This time round was a bit more spur of the moment.
“We got home from work and had a glass of wine, and she just wasn’t expecting it at all. I dropped down on one knee and it blew her away, and she just burst into tears.
“I just said: ‘will you marry me, again?’
“It just felt like the right thing to do.”
And so 18 months later, the couple said ‘I do’ all over again at 1pm on May 22 - the exact same time and date as their first ceremony.
They became the first couple to officially wed inside the glass case of the Leyland TL fire engine at the Leyland Hotel, with 17 friends and family.
“It was much smaller and more intimate this time,” Deborah adds. “And it was much more relaxed. Nicola wore a dress last time and I wore a suit, but it was jeans and jackets this time round.
“It was just as special though. We got our hair done and had Champagne and strawberries in the morning.
“Nicola’s daughter Katie was only young the first time too, but she’s 14 now, so she gave her mum away and wrote a speech, which was really nice.”
Deborah admits she was initially warned to stay away from Nicola, a fire alarm tester, because of the commitment getting involved with a single mum would bring - but she couldn’t help herself.
“We met at a party which neither of us had even wanted to go to,” she explains. “But the minute I saw her, I just fell in love with her instantly.
“She was a bit bashful, but a week after we met, I started a job at Tesco, and she worked there too!
“We just clicked, it was fabulous. We had so much in common.
“And the rest is history.”