A man who is 19 years older than his wife was shocked to find out he had met her when she was a baby - and now the couple are expecting their own little one together.
Rich Foetu Tomkinson, 48, met Evie Foetu Tomkinson, 29, when she walked into the pub he was working at in July 2018.
Neither of them expected to end up in a relationship together because of their age gap but they hit it off.
By October 2018 they couldn’t deny how they felt about each other, and moved in together in February 2019, with Rich proposing in September 2019.
Rich was shocked when he was introduced to Evie’s mum, Sarah Owen, 53, a counsellor and realised they had in fact met before while working on the same street as each other in the 90s - meaning he would have seen Evie as a baby when Sarah pushed her around in a pram.
But with the support of their family and friends, the couple tied the knot in July 2022 and they are now expecting a baby together - due in January 2023.
Rich, a surveyor, from Stafford, Staffordshire, said: “It was a bit freaky when I realised I’d met Evie as a baby, but I had no idea at the time. We just laugh about it.
“Age is just a number to us, and you can’t help who you fall in love with. I’ve been mistaken for Evie’s dad before, but most people can see how well we click. The 19-year age gap doesn't bother us at all. Marrying Evie was the best day of my life and I’m so excited to have a baby with her.”
Evie, a social worker, said: “It was a bit odd when we worked out Rich had met me when I was a baby. He’s so fun and has the biggest heart.
“When we’re together you can’t really tell we’ve got a big age gap - apart from Rich’s grey beard. He’s going to be a great father.”
Sparks flew when Rich and Evie hit it off as soon as they got chatting at a bar in July 2018.
The pair carried on chatting and meeting up at the pub and Rich realised he had fallen for Evie when she was away on holiday.
“I realised I really missed her and was worried about her when she was away,” he said.
“I told her when she came back, and she said she felt the same. My dad was diagnosed with cancer in October 2018 and passed away at Christmas and Evie stuck by me.”
The couple moved in together in February 2019 and Rich proposed in September 2019 in front of 1,000 people at their local theatre, during a showing of a documentary on the charity event he had put on in March 2019.
“I didn’t hesitate to say yes,” Evie said.
Although the couple have always had the support of their families they have been mistaken for father and daughter.
"A woman asked if I was with my dad once," Evie said. "But it wasn't malicious and I think she was mortified when I told her it was my boyfriend."
The pair had planned to get married in June 2021, but the couple decided to postpone their big day due to covid restrictions and when Evie suddenly lost her dad, Martyn Locke, 60, in July 2021.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of not having my dad there to walk me down the aisle,” she said. Rich suffered another blow when he lost his mum, Nicole Tomkinson, 76, in October 2021.
After a tough few months, the couple rearranged their wedding to July 2022 – opting for an intimate ceremony followed by a big party in a friend's field with over 200 guests.
“We had a wedding dance off and so much fun,” Rich said. “It was the best day. Our family and friends have always been supportive, and they can see how happy we are.
“At the beginning I don’t think anyone expected we would last - even us - but now we’re happily married and expecting a little one. My parents have always been supportive of Rich as they could see he made me happy," Evie said.
"I'd been in turbulent relationships before so they could see that he was a genuinely good person who had a lot of love for their daughter."
The couple had more good news when they found out they were expecting in May 2022.
Now the newlyweds are looking forward to starting a family together and travelling in their converted van.
"Rich is still a fit and healthy man and I know he's going to be a hands-on dad," Evie said.
"His age isn't going to affect him as a father - I know he's going to be amazing. We've already thought about people thinking I'm the grandad rather than the dad at sports days and things like that," Rich said.
"We'll just laugh it off."
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