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Today I get to share the beautiful in love story of Ian & Robyn… take the time to read their in love story.

Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy sweeps girl off her feet. Girl falls head-over-heels in love with boy.

That is NOT how our story goes.

When I met Robyn (an amazing, young, beautiful and talented 15 year old) I immediately took notice of her, but the fact that I was 7 years older than her kept me at a distance.  6 Years go by and we remain nothing more than acquaintances. I didn’t know how to talk to her! Even though she was my junior in age, I just felt like she was way out of my league.

One Sunday after church, we have a casual conversation about our December holidays and suddenly, cupid hit and he hit hard. I realised she wasn’t a young, 15 year old girl anymore. Now, she stood before me as a remarkable young woman, and I would no longer be sent to jail if I pursued her ;).

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It took me 6 months to work up the courage to ask her out. I decided to pull out the heavy moves by sending her the biggest bunch of flowers I had ever sent anyone before. I wait eagerly in anticipation to see her the next day, to hear her confess her undying love for me. When we had a moment alone, I wait for her to swoon, but instead I hear: “Ian, I don’t like you. I don’t ever see this going anywhere beyond friendship.” Crash. And burn.

Awkward is an understatement for how our interaction went afterwards. I still believed she was going to come to her sense and so I waited. After 2 months, I realised that this was not going to play out like how I thought it would. I let the dream of us go, and we went our separate ways.

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An entire year goes by and then something seems to change.We seemed to be developing a connection. But the question remained: Would I be able to get out of the friend-zone?

I invited her to a family birthday and I was surprised by how much she loved my family and how much they loved her! We went to dinner that evening before I took her home, and I knew that it was going to be now or never. Sitting in the restaurant, the silence was getting to me. I knew it would go one of two ways – either she was going to say yes, or it would be the shortest dinner in the history of dinners. Getting ready to signal the waiter to change our order to take-away, I asked her again…

And she said no…

Just kidding! She said yes, otherwise you would not be reading this story right now… 🙂

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We started slow but good. Our friends were a bit excited for us and pretty much started planning our wedding and babies after 3 days of us dating. It spooked Robyn a bit and I started to get nervous that this was not going to work. We had planned a trip to Scotland for a conference, and at the airport Robyn expresses that she doesn’t think she was ready and even though she thinks I’m the right guy, she thinks we should have waited another couple of months before dating.

We had our first fight in Scotland and I thought that this was leaning closer to not happening, when all of a sudden, bam! She knows that this is right and everything in our relationship changes for the better. So much so that at the airport on the way home we have a totally different conversation, and even talk about setting a wedding date!

All I could think was thank you God (phew). toadbury_hall_engagement_shoot_robyn_ian_riankas_weddings06toadbury_hall_engagement_shoot_robyn_ian_riankas_weddings07 toadbury_hall_engagement_shoot_robyn_ian_riankas_weddings08

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As soon as my feet hit the ground in South Africa I set the proposal into motion! I completely surprised her when I arrived in the pre-dawn hours at the ‘fake’ photography workshop that her friend had organised for her.

On a deck overlooking the river, with the first hint of sunlight beginning to appear, I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. Laughing and crying at the same time, she  spoke the three-letter word I longed to her: YES! We then went on an early morning hot-air balloon ride before telling the family.

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Our story is unconventional. Our love unconditional. And even though there were a few bumps at the very start, I wouldn’t change a single thing about our amazing journey, as I get ready to spend the rest of my life with the woman of my dreams.