Charlotte Balbier

our love story: hettie & tabz

July 10th, 2017 | Laura McDonagh

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (15)

Today’s wild and windy engagement shoot photos of Hettie and Tabz braving the elements on Lancashire’s Pendle Hill are a heart-warming reminder that love endures all weathers, all climates and all, err, topographical features. The views, the palette, the bobble hat (seriously, that is one fine bobble hat) are simply breath-taking.

Tabz popped the question after a whirlwind eight months together, and knock me down with a blade of Pendle Hill grass if this isn’t the sweetest, most elaborate engagement story you’ll come across this season!

Hettie tells us more…

With photography Paul & Nanda.

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (10)

hettie says: On our eight ‘monthiversary’, Tabz said he’d pick me up from work and we’d go out to celebrate. When my mum came to pick me up, I knew something was going on. He’s so adorable about celebrating every month that we’ve been together; I had a feeling that this was it!

So I went on a tour that contained clues in videos to go to special places and get the next clue from significant people in my life. The answer to each clue was a word – and yeah, you’ve guessed it, the words were ‘will’, ‘you’, ‘marry’… which then took us to a church building where loads of my friends and family were waiting. They lined the driveway, corridors and stairs with signs clapping me as I walked through them. In the main room was a band and Tabz at the bottom of the stairs.

I walked down the stairs, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said “yes” then the band played For Once In My Life (our song) and we had a party with food, drinks and lots of celebratory hugs! It was absolutely brilliant!

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (3)

We first met at conferences through The Pais Project, an organisation for Christian gap years (although we now call it ‘The Pairs Project’) At one conference we totally hit it off after I climbed through a window instead of using the door. Apparently, it got his attention…

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (8)

Tabz was really busy with work so I ended up planning our first date. I wanted to do a fun, active day – but being pretty sporty, I didn’t want to beat him on the first date, either. We went to a driving range and he hit the ball further than me – phew! We then went to a lovely bistro and wine bar and chatted for hours. We very quickly established that we wanted to be together.

Pretty soon into the relationship we realised how perfect we are for each other and that our paths had crossed for a reason.

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (20)

He loves me just as I am and that gives me so much confidence in myself. His love for people and passion for seeing the lives of others filled with love, joy, hope and peace inspires me so much.

We hope that in our marriage we can be a blessing to other people and to show the young people that we work with a positive example of a loving relationship.

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (14)

We decided to have an engagement shoot prior to our wedding for the simple reason that Paul and Nanda are incredible photographers and we wanted to have quality photos to commemorate our decision to get married.

We headed to Pendle Hill in Lancashire, suggested by Paul and Nanda as a great natural location for the shoot.  We had so much fun! We laughed a lot and were encouraged to be ourselves, which really helped us to relax.

Our Love Story - Hettie & Tabz (c) Paul & Nanda (11)

Our wedding day was on 27th May. The ceremony was at my church building, Life Church Lancashire, we then headed to Burrs Country Park for a festival-feel afternoon of food, fun, games and live music.

We included the engagement shoot photos on our wedding invitations and also used them as part of our wedding day. They’re beautiful and capture us perfectly. And now we’re so excited to see the creative photos that Paul and Nanda shot on our big day!

the big picture

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about the author

Laura McDonagh
Laura is a true Northophile: she married Adam in Durham in 2011 accompanied by 200 Northumbrian lamb shanks and a Mackem 1950s tribute band who did a rockabilly cover version of Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. They honeymooned in Northumberland in a 1972 MG convertible, went surfing in Alnmouth and made it to the Edinburgh Fringe (let's ignore the fact that it rained all week). Her big mantra is 'no regrets'...but if she could travel back in time and wear a wedding dress with a Peter Pan collar and pockets, she'd pretty much die happy.

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