Our Love Story: Emily & Sam

Sarah Symonds

Now, this is a proper childhood romance! Secondary school sweethearts, Emily and her beau Sam will be tying the knot as soon as Covid allows, after being together since they were sat together by fate on the first day of year 7! This might be the cutest love story spanning years together that we’ve heard in a long time!

We’ve been swooning over their romantic photoshoot snaps (starting in the pub, natch), a day spent scampering around the urban jungle that is Kelham Island, a picture of true love set against the industrial background. Having grown up together, it seems fitting that these two should be captured behaving like a pair of giddy kids ahead of their big day.

Alongside the photographs, we’ve been asking them to tell us the tale of their relationship so far, their ‘cheeky’ first date, why laughter is so important to them and how, for these two best friends, “nowt will change” once they’ve tied the knot. Over to you, Emily!

With photography by Hayley Gell Photography


Emily says: We were meant to be going to NYC for our 9 year anniversary, but lockdown happened. You know the story. So we planned to have a ‘New York’ themed night in our Sheffield apartment instead; mac and cheese, hot dogs, Long Island ice teas, When Harry Met Sally. So the groom-to-be banishes me to the bedroom to get my gladrags on while he cooks, and tells me to stay there until he says so. So I head off, prosecco in hand, blissfully unaware that his dad was waiting outside with a million and one balloons, as well as a mix of various other New York themed decorations. He sent me a text saying the food’s ready so I stepped out into our tiny hallway, that was now FULL of rose petals and (still none the wiser) all I can think about is what a pain that will be to hoover up! I opened the living room door to see Sam on one knee, surrounded by balloons, fairy lights and pictures of us, and after crying, screaming and wanting to call all my friends and my mum, I said yes.

Big Day Setting

We were meant to be getting married at the Millennium Galleries, but everything is on hold due to the big C.

How We Met

We met on the first day of secondary school, in year 7. His surname begins with H and mine E, so we were sat with each other in nearly every class.

I don’t think we knew we would be together ‘forever’ when we started going out at 14/15! But, we’ve basically grown up together. We’re best friends and have been through it all! We’ve got such a special bond now having known each other for so long, and being together for nearly half our lives! It’s rare people our age (just going on 25) get to experience this, so we know how lucky we are to have found ‘the one’ so early on.

First Date

We got together so young I don’t think we ever did have a proper first date. I think the first meal I can remember us going for, just us two, was probably a Nando’s or something. Romantic or what?!

What We Love Most

We both said the same here… laughter. We have so much fun, even just sitting at home watching the telly. There isn’t a day that goes by where he doesn’t make me cry with laughter. From the minute we wake up we’re almost instantly laughing at something stupid! We’ve been at each other’s side for almost 10 years and have experienced every up and down that you can experience in life. Our friends and family have seen us grow and evolve as a couple too.

About The Shoot

We LOVED Hayley’s pictures on Instagram, and we were looking at booking her for our wedding day anyway. Luckily, Hayley and her partner-in-photography-crime, Adele, were looking to do a photoshoot close to where we lived! The rest is history.

Hayley and Adele were a dream team! They made us feel so comfortable and we laughed the whole way round. We loved how creative it was and we didn’t feel awkward at all, even when climbing railings and jumping over rivers. It was brilliant and the photos were incredible. Not to mention we started the shoot at the pub! A dream for any northerner!

Wedding Planning

We’re more looking forward to the wedding just actually happening at this point! Our advice for another couple would be to expect the unexpected. I planned for family fallouts, bad food, not finding the perfect dress… just not a global pandemic!

Wish For Married Life

I asked Sam about this, and he said “nowt will change”, and he’s right! We’re already an old married couple and we love it that way. No fuss, lots of love with equal amounts of bickering.

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