Ciara and Mark's relationship story
I have been in a relationship with my fiancé Mark Lawrence for 9 and a half years. I met Mark at Guildford College in September 1996. We were on the same course together.
On the first day of our course, our tutor got us to do an ice-breaker game so that we could get to know other people in our tutor group. I was sitting next to him, so we started chatting and I found out that he liked films and music.
After a little while of knowing each other, he asked me out and I said yes. We were together as a boyfriend and girlfriend for 2 years. We saw each other at weekends and went on lots of dates such as going out for meals and going to the cinema and theatre. One day we broke up over a silly argument. We didn’t talk to each other for about 2 and a half years.
One day when I was at home, I sent him a text message to say hello and he sent one back to me. We met up to talk about things. A few weeks later, we got back together. We decided that we wanted to try and start our relationship again. We went on a few dates and we soon got to know each other again.
In 2006 we started to talk about our future. We talked to our families about us getting engaged. They said that we would need to make sure that we were making the right decision, but they supported us in what we wanted to do.
We then made our decision together about getting engaged, so we started looking at engagement rings. Mark and I got my engagement ring from a local jewellery store.
In December 2007 we went over to Ireland for Christmas and New Year as my cousin Sarah was getting married to her fiancé, Jason, on New Year's Eve. On New Year’s Day Mark and I got engaged. It was a special moment for us. To celebrate our news, my mum and dad opened a bottle of champagne.
In 2009 Mark and I decided to live together so we contacted some local estate agents. They showed us around a few flats in our local area. We said that we needed to live somewhere near a train station and that it needed to have somewhere for Mark to park his car.
The estate agent then showed us a 2 bedroom flat that was up for rent in Leatherhead in Surrey. We went and looked around and we really liked it. Afterwards we went home and did some sums to see if we could afford to live there. We moved in 2 weeks later. We love living together. It has been a really good experience for both of us.
Last Christmas, Mark and I decided to set a date for our wedding day. In January we started looking at venues for our legal ceremony and reception. We talked to both of our families about it and they were supportive. With their support we have been able to put together a money budget for everything that we will need to do.
Mark and I will be getting married on Saturday 4th May 2013 next year. We will be having our legal ceremony at our local registry office and we are having a reception afterwards.
You can watch a video Mark and I made about us getting engaged and about our relationship.
I will be writing another blog later this year about how the rest of my wedding plans are going. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.