Matching Aigle wellies lead to a mud-inspired wedding.
Friday, January 28th, 2022
These boots were made for… loving! Country life dating sparks a lifelong rural romance between country couple Felicity and Tom.
“I knew it was meant to be with my mutual match Tom when we both had matching Aigle wellies!” says long time Muddy Matches member, Felicity. “I’m so glad I stuck with Muddy Matches.”
The Wiltshire mud lover had been country life dating “on and off” for a fair few years but throughout it, retained her trust and belief that Muddy Matches would land her a likeminded soulmate.
It went one better: unearthing her a husband.
Step forward shepherd-turned-qualified solicitor Tom; 70% muddy, who, like 70% muddy Felicity, grew up around horses, dogs, chickens and vegetable plots.
He was the perfect catch. “Despite having a desktop career, I’m happiest in wellies and I’m mad about animals so I wasn’t ever going to settle down with someone who didn’t know how to wrangle a chicken, lug a haybale or have mud in their car” Felicity laughs.
After connecting online in early February 2019, just ahead of Valentine’s Day, the pair’s relationship has fully bloomed since moving in together in January 2020. Their joint fondness for life outdoors and nature has really come to the fore though, especially when tested living under the same roof.
“We had three months of normality and getting used to living together before lockdown 1.0 hit in March.” Felicity recalls.
“It was certainly a way to see if we liked living and working together 24/7 in a tiny house! Thankfully my friend’s farm was within walking distance so between us we got some lockdown pigs. Feeding and caring for them (and the chickens and horses) at the farm, really helped to keep us sane in the lockdown months.
They have also moved to village, taken on a 1930s rural ‘renovation’ project which will be the family home, got a dog to dote on, helped out with hay harvest, and are training up their Labrador.
“Without wanting to brag I have achieved the things on my muddy bucket list since meeting Tom.” Felicity informs.
But there was still time for things to go up a notch in their relationship when, on a post lockdown dog walk, Tom popped the question in Chilbolton Cow Common, one of Felicity’s favourite countryside spots.
“It was a wonderful proposal; perfect for us and a complete surprise.
“After Tom survived living with me during lockdown, we had planned a weekend away for our year and a half anniversary to go house hunting. En route we stopped to borrow Tom’s family dog, Dolly, for a walk. On our walk, Tom got down on one knee and proposed by the river.
“Dolly the Labrador was just delighted that she was allowed to go swimming once Tom had proposed.
*Tom’s Mum had walked Dolly twice that morning so that Tom didn’t have a bag of poo on him when he went to propose…they thought that may kill the mood!
The wedding came just over a year later, in September 2021. It was to be a right rural affair with a church wedding in Wherwell followed by cider, haybales, firepits, open fields, and a BBQ food truck in a traditional village hall reception.
“Our wedding was very handmade and I’m just very grateful we had the storage space in our home for all the various bits we had stashed away for the wedding.
“It was a real effort with our family and friends all mucking in over the weekend – it was the first celebration post lockdown for a lot of people so it was a great opportunity to get together.
As a muddy touch: We had both arranged separately for our Labrador puppy to join us at the wedding, as a surprise to the other and this was a real highlight, particularly as she was on her best behaviour.
Now, in new normal times, the pair look forward to adding to the list of quirky outdoor dates, including axe throwing, wild swimming, crabbing, puffin spotting, and fossil hunting, they’ve enjoyed.
“We’re going for evening tea and to meet some owls at the Hawk Conservancy in Andover“ Felicity tells us as we sign off. It’s not your average way to celebrate your 3rd anniversary of meeting whilst online dating.
Then again, Felicity and Tom are far from your average country couple.
Photo credit and copyright to Matthew Lawrence Photography @Matthewlawrencephotography / https://www.matthewlawrencephotography.co.uk/