We first met online on Plenty of Fish where we quickly hit it off. A week or so later, we met in person for the first time – on 22nd June 2018 – first, having lunch at Battesford Court in Witham and then going for a walk around Tiptree (see photo above).
We soon established a routine of seeing each other every weekend, Denis collecting Alex from work on a Thursday, taking him to and from work on Saturday and then dropping him home Sunday evening.
In August 2018, we spent a week in Brighton, combining a varied holiday of walks in the country and fairground rides on the Pier with Brighton Pride, in which we took part with LGBTIQA+ Greens and Brighton & Hove Green Party.
Denis proposed to Alex on the anniversary of our first meeting on 22nd June 2019 and Alex said “Yes”!
We planned our wedding for 22nd August 2020 with a ceremony in Prittlewell Priory followed by a picnic in the park and a party at The Railway Hotel in central Southend, which is managed by our best men, James and RJ. We had been helping them with the renovation of the pub and had planned to have the function room done up with new curtains courtesy of Alex’s Aunty Kim in time for the ceremony.
In September 2019, we took Denis’s new Tesla up to Scotland for 10 days on the west coast, spending 5 days just outside Portpatrick and another five in Ayr. We took the car on the ferry to the Isle of Arran, planning to drive round the island over the course of the day, but that all went wrong when Denis had to swerve to avoid a van on a corner and punctured a tyre. We were really lucky that the garage in Brodick had the right tyre in stock and was able to fix it in time for us to catch our ferry back.
When it started becoming clear that the Coronavirus pandemic was becoming serious in the UK in March of 2020, Denis and his parents asked Alex to move in to their house and we went into our own lockdown about ten days before the Government announced the nationwide lockdown. Because of Denis’s kidney transplant, he is extremely vulnerable and Alex gave up work to avoid exposure. He’s now on a year’s “Lifestyle Break” from his job at Tesco.
It was soon clear that our wedding wouldn’t be going ahead in August and we were advised to speak to the Register Office to reschedule.
With wedding plans on hold, we started looking for a house and soon found a nice semi-detached house just one road away from Denis’s parents and in the same road as his Aunty Sue. We moved in on 7th July.
At the beginning of September, the Register Office started taking bookings for weddings again and we booked the earliest date we could for as minimal a wedding as possible to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.
We were married on 16th October 2020 at 2:45pm at the Civic Centre in Southend. A video of the ceremony is available.