Love wins! A longtime couple in the U.K. are now symbolically husband and wife after the septuagenarians tied the knot in an informal wedding blessing ceremony on Valentine’s Day.
Though Pauline Young, age 72, had continuously rejected marriage proposals from her longtime beau Colin Jones, age 74, the woman recently changed her tune – and asked her boyfriend of 43 years to marry her.
“When Pauline asked me, I almost fell off the bed,” Jones told Yahoo Lifestyle of the life changing question, which she popped in December 2018. “I’d been asking her all this time so now she was asking me, I said, ‘Of course I will.’”
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The pair first met in 1976 at a playgroup for their kids, Metro reports. Both were previously married and had five children between them.
The partners in life also spent much of their careers as partners in business. The lovebirds ran a cabinet-making business in Wales for 30 years, before relocating to Malta 14 years ago to run a bed and breakfast, Yahoo reports.
Three years ago, Young moved to a nursing home in Telford, England, in relation to her complications with corticobasal degeneration. The rare neurological condition can cause slower movements and stiffness, in addition to cognitive, speech and language difficulties, as per Mayo Clinic.
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Despite challenges, Jones didn’t let the diagnosis affect their relationship; the dedicated partner continued to run the couple’s business in Malta while traveling to visit Young at her care home every two weeks.
During a visit in December, Young surprised Jones as she popped the question — and he, naturally, said yes.
On Feb. 14, the septuagenarians tied the knot at last in a blessing ceremony (which is not legally recognized) at St. George’s Methodist Church in Telford, Yahoo reports. The sweet couple dressed up in their best outfits for the special occasion, and Young’s wheelchair was even decorated with flowers.
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“People say they’ve been together years but really they have maybe an hour before work and then they see each other in the evenings — we were always together,” Jones told the outlet of their lifelong love story. “When we saw each other it was instant, we fell in love — hook, line and sinker.”
“I had given up all hope of us getting married. I thought it would never ever happen,” he added. “The service was a blessing ceremony, but as far as we’re concerned it’s a marriage, it’s a show of love.”
From an especially thoughtful service written by their officiant to a festive reception thrown by the nursing home, Jones said that the big day could not have been better.
“There is so much love here at the moment. Everyone round about us is so happy,” he dished.