Happy Ever After
Childhood sweethearts Michael Steel and Cheryle Britten married after 44 years.
Michael Steel and Cheryle Britten
Where: Ceremony at Ely Register Office followed by reception at Lazy Otter, Stretham
I have known Michael since I was 14 at school (he was my childhood sweetheart). We got engaged at the age of 17 but this was not to be and we parted after three years. He went on to marry another and had two wonderful daughters who are now my best friends, but they parted after 10 years. I went on to marry, but this also was not successful and in October 2001 found myself on my own. Having always remained friends and needing a shoulder to cry on I phoned Michael and had a lovely chat and he helped me get over my pain. We started meeting again. Me living in Wiltshire and him in Haddenham, Cambs proved a bit of a long distance romance so I finally moved back to Cambridgeshire in February 2002
Eleven years later we finally tied the knot with just close family for witnesses.
I remember driving over to have my hair done in the morning, thinking ‘oh my goodness, finally 44 years after being engaged to this man are we finally going to get married’, and felt so happy and nervous at the same time.
I collected the flowers and started to feel very excited as it all started to feel real. It was such a lovely morning, the sun was shining.
I got home and got myself organized. Michael was nearly ready so I didn’t get much chance to speak to him. His daughters were sorting him out getting his tie straight etc. The grandchildren were busy putting ribbons on their mum’s car - their idea as they couldn’t understand why we were not having a special car, or why I wasn’t wearing a big white dress as they had never been to register office wedding before.
Michael went with one daughter in her car and I went with the other in her car, ribbons blowing in the breeze. I arrived at the register office before the others as they had problems parking and Vicky had dropped me at the door. So when Michael and his daughter arrived, Pam the registrar thought his daughter was his bride as she hadn’t met me before so that caused a few laughs.
I was elated as my dad of 88 managed to make it to the register office, so that made my day. When we both were stood at the front of the Tennyson room I started shaking - my grandson told me afterwards he could see my clutch bag shaking. He was the ring bearer and was so proud to be involved and he did such a good job. Then my dad and Michael’s daughter were the main witnesses.
We all then went off to Lazy Otter on the A10 by the riverside, had fantastic food, excellent service, and were able to go into the gardens to take more photos. It was just so relaxed - just how we had wanted.
Then went back to our house in Haddenham for cake and lots of glasses of bubbly and chilled out in the sunshine. The day could not have gone better. It was a very happy day and we are very contented and pleased we have finally married after all these years.