North West Blood Bikes volunteer Matt Reissiger had a surprise for his bride Vicki Grimer on their wedding day.
He’d planned for his friends to bring the bikes and blue lights to escort her vehicle - a Volkswagon camper van - to the venue, and she absolutely loved it!
And it turns out their relationship has been full of surprises, from the first date which almost didn’t happen, to a teasing proposal.
Matt, a bus driver from Preston, explains: “We met online via plentyoffish.com in 2009.
“I’d actually just decided to close my account down following a few horrific dates with crazy people, and was a single click away from doing so when a message arrived from Vicki.
“I would have just ignored it, but curiosity got the better of me so I opened the message and something about her profile grabbed my interest.
“We met and went on a few dates, and it soon became clear that we were made for each other, and by the end of September the same year, we moved in together to a house in St Helens.”
A month later, Matt popped the question to Vicki, who is originally from Northampton and works as an office manager in the NHS.
“We were at Frankie and Benny’s restaurant in St Helens and between courses, I slid a little square box across the table,” he says. “Vicki opened it and looked so disappointed - I was worried that she might cry - but thanked me all the same for the earrings.
“The look she gave me told me that she had maybe hoped for something else, and that if I proposed I would get a ‘yes’.
“As Vicki sat there pretending to look happy, I asked her if she thought maybe I’d bought her something different, to which she mumbled and looked at her hands.
“Meanwhile I slid down on to one knee, held up another, identical box and asked, “were you hoping for one of these?”
“As I opened the box with the ring in it, I asked her to marry me and without a moment’s hesitation she said ‘yes’ and burst into tears!
“When the staff at the restaurant realised that we had gotten engaged, they made such a fuss of us and all the staff clubbed together to pay for our meal and would not take ‘no’ for an answer.”
The couple, who live in Centenary Mill, Preston, enjoyed a ceremony and reception at Haighton Manor on July 10, with Matt’s Blood Bikes buddies along for the ride.
He says: “North West Blood Bikes Lancs and Lakes provides a vital service to the NHS, covering over a dozen hospitals delivering blood and urgent medical supplies, including donor breast milk during the night, over weekends and bank holidays.
“This service is provided to the NHS free of charge, 365 days, and nights, a year.
“The charity relies on an army of volunteers to ride, despatch riders and fund-raise, along with many other important tasks in order to run the organisation, all in their own time and often at their own expense.
“Members were so kind to take the time to provide a presence at my wedding (during off-duty hours) in order to help me make the day even more memorable for my wife.”
The newlyweds honeymooned in Llandrindod Wells, Wales.
To find out more about the North West Blood Bikes, visit www.nwbb-lancs.org.