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May 23, 2011

UK: Couple marry after being engaged for 28 years

LONDON, England / The Daily Mirror / Weird World / May 23, 2011

By Laurie Hanna, Daily Mirror

Ivan Brown and Barbara Furlonger get married after 28 year engagement

Their eyes first met working in a hospital – and this consultant and his bride certainly know how to be patient.

Ivan Brown, 63, and fiancee Barbara Furlonger, 55, have finally married after being engaged for 28 years. They kept delaying the wedding because they were busy with work and because perfectionist Barbara wanted to have time to organise every detail of their big day.

So when radiographer Barbara retired last year she spent 12 months planning the perfect wedding.

Barbara said: “I can’t believe the day has finally arrived and we are husband and wife. It’s been a marathon engagement. I never really doubted it would happen as we always said we’d get married one day.

“With both of us working in the NHS and being on call, we rarely had the same weekend off.

“We got engaged when we had been together for two years but we didn’t even have time for a proper party then.

“When I retired last year I asked Ivan if I should arrange the wedding now and he said yes. I was quite shocked.

“I like to organise things with military precision and I’ve enjoyed having time to devote to all the arrangements.

“If I’d arranged a wedding when I was stressed and busy with work, things would have gone wrong and I’d have got upset.

“I felt relaxed and serene on the day. It was definitely worth the wait.”

The couple, who will begin their honeymoon in the Channel Islands today, met at the Royal Brompton Hospital’s intensive care unit in West London in 1981.

They moved in together and got engaged in 1983 – and Barbara finally walked down the aisle on Friday in a civil ceremony near their home in Fair Oak, Hants.

Barbara said consultant radiologist Ivan joked that he would buy her a new vacuum cleaner to celebrate their wedding.

She added: “It’s a good job I know his sense of humour well – or I might have called it off.”