When Stephen Wakefield agreed to be best man for one of his good friends, little did he know that it would lead him down the aisle and into a brand new home in a little over two years.
His best friend Carl Southwick, met a Belarusian woman whilst on his travels, and got married to Elena in 2007 and she introduced Stephen to her friend Olga. They hit it off instantly and a reluctant Stephen returned to the UK. Knowing that this was more than just a holiday romance and that he had in fact met the woman of his dreams, the couple spent the next 18 months travelling between Belarus and the UK before Stephen proposed to Olga in April 2009.
Not everything was perfect however - Stephen didn't have his own place to call home and was still living with his parents which he knew wasn't an ideal situation to be in - especially as Olga was relocating to be with him.
Keen to stay in the area, Stephen, along with his mum, Carol, drove around Stourbridge and chanced upon Persimmon's Crystal Mead development, built on the site of the former Wordsley Hospital where coincidentally, Stephen was born. He encouraged his mum to keep on driving, mistakenly believing that he couldn't afford to buy there and it was only when his mum insisted they park up and take a look around that he agreed. He comments: "I had been looking at older, second hand properties, many of which needed lots of work, because that's the only property I thought I could afford.
"However, after speaking to Margaret Civil, the sales adviser at Crystal Mead, she mentioned that a new collection of apartments had literally just been released for sale. To be honest, I thought I'd feel a bit daunted by the whole experience having never bought a new home before, but Margaret put me completely at ease. I had a look at the plans, decided on a two bedroom duplex apartment that I really liked and reserved soon after!
"It was somewhat of a whirlwind purchase but it felt like fate - that I'd urged my mum to keep on driving thinking I couldn't afford to buy there, that the properties had only just been released and that I was born at Wordsley Hospital. Everything about the move just felt right."
Whilst apart, the couple relied an awful lot on Skype, Stephen continues: "I was able to buy things for our apartment and make plans for the wedding with the help and advice from Olga during our webchats. I stored everything that I'd bought until the apartment was finished and we both moved into the property at the same time. It was really important we did it that way to make it feel like our home, rather than my property that she had moved in to."
The happy couple moved into the apartment in April and got married on 16th July, with Olga's family there to witness the nuptials. Stephen concludes: "It was lovely for Olga to be able to have her family over and even nicer that we could have them to stay at the apartment. We're now enjoying being husband and wife and looking forward to spending lots of time in our new home."
Anita Williams, sales and marketing director for Persimmon Homes, said: "In a chain of events that would normally take years, Stephen bought and moved into a new apartment, proposed to his girlfriend and welcomed her to live in the UK in the space of just a few weeks! Theirs is a real heart-warming story and I wish them many happy years together at Crystal Mead."
Crystal Mead is a stunning collection of homes ideally located in the popular residential area of Wordsley, Stourbridge. Situated on the site of the Wordsley hospital, many of the old buildings have been retained and sympathetically restored, including the historic clock tower. Homes on release are currently priced from just ?123,450.
For further information on the range of homes available at Crystal Mead, visit: persimmonhomes.com