Steven Smith and Carmen Ruiz-Perez, both 42 years of age, first met 17 years ago when she was a foreign exchange student in Southwest England. The relationship ended when she moved to France a year later for work. In an effort to rekindle the romance, Steven sent a letter to her mother's home in Spain a few years later, where it was placed on a mantelpiece. It slipped behind the fireplace and was hidden for years, before being discovered by workers dismantling it for renovation work.
"When I got the letter I didn't phone Steve right away because I was so nervous," Ruiz-Perez told the Herald Express local newspaper.
"I nearly didn't phone him at all. I kept picking up the phone then putting it down again.
"But I knew I had to make the call."
When they were reunited, it was as if time had stood still, said Smith, a factory supervisor.
"When we met again it was like a film. We ran across the airport into each other's arms. We met up and fell in love all over again. Within 30 seconds of setting eyes on each other we were kissing.
"I'm just glad the letter did eventually end up where it was supposed to be," he said, after the couple married last Friday.
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