Real life Notebook couple finally get married 20 yrs after breaking up as teens
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Childhood sweethearts have married each other after 22 years apart.
Graeme Richardson, 42, proposed to Helen Marshall, 41, with the engagement ring he gave her when they were teenagers.
The lovebirds met in school and admired each other from the very first second as they locked eyes across the corridors.
After nine months of romantic walks, school discos and sneaking for a snog, young Graeme popped the question.
But the parents feared they were too young and a year later Graeme went off to college and the two drifted apart.
Their love story isn't much different to the hit romantic movie The Notebook, which stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams.
They went onto have long-term relationships with kids and were reunited from afar when their children attended the same school.
But when the two split up with their partners, Helen reached out to Graeme to rekindle their love 20 years later.
She discovered he had pined for her for years after their split and got down on one knee again and proposed with the same ring.
The smitten couple tied the knot on Saturday April 17.
Helen, from Cumbria, said: "We just feel so content now. We live in the family farm he lived in when we were growing up.
"We're the other half of each other. I just feel like I'm home. Like I'm whole. He's my soul mate, and I'm his."
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Graeme added: "Helen's the other half of me. It just feels like the right ending.
"My friends have never known me as the happy and content man I am now. They are all amazed."
The couple's romance blossomed from day one and Graeme worked hard at the weekends to buy her a diamond ring.
It was sad when Graeme went to college 50 miles away at the age of 16 and their attempt at keeping in contact was through letters.
Helen penned him notes although they never arrived, but she kept the ring and wore it for years before tucking it away in a box.
She was married for 16 years and had four children: Jess, 22, Leo, 18, Martha, 12, and Nancy, eight,
Meanwhile, Graeme had a long-term partner for 17 years and has two children, aged 19 and 15.
Both chose to raise their families in their childhood hometown and thought one day that they'd end up together again.
When their relationships broke down, Helen contacted her soulmate on Facebook, hoping for a friendship initially.
They met for walks until one day the couple locked lips together again.
Graeme said: "When we first kissed again I just wanted to rush back in to it.
"I just feel so proud to have her. Like I've really achieved something big."
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Graeme proposed to Helen for the second time by writing the question in the sand of a Croatian beach on holiday in 2018.
They eloped – only telling their close family the day before – and tied the knot on April 17.
The only guests at the wedding were Helen's parents, Marilyn, 68, and Clark, 66, and they celebrated with burgers and champagne.
Helen concluded: "I feel like the luckiest woman alive. It was so romantic.
"He said he finally feels happy and content in himself. We've had a hard life and we just feel so happy and content."
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