Destiny, anyone? Who would have thought those adorable childhood sweethearts playing in the sand would be married one day? It’s amazing what love, friendship, and a dash of fate can do.
When Heidi Parker was six years old, she went with her family from Sheffield, South Yorkshire to Bodrum, Turkey, for a summer holiday . Her 1997 vacation was made more interesting when she met Ed Savitt, also six, who came to the resort with his family from Putney, South West London. They met at a kids’ club and immediately became friends. There was no pretense, no fronting, no awkward small talks, or introductions. They simply settled down to play on the beach and went everywhere holding hands.
The friendship was cut short when the holiday came to an end but luckily, they met again at Newcastle University in 2011. They didn’t recognize each other until years later, but today, they are happily married and have been serving some major goals since 2017, when their story went deservedly viral.
Heidi, now 29, explains that she’d completely forgotten about him. That year, he hit her up on Facebook and asked if she could help him understand the washing machine in her old apartment. Heidi had been a third-year student in business and economics while Ed, now the owner of DropShot Coffee in Southfields, was studying psychology.
“He didn’t know how to use the washing machine in the student flat,” said Heidi, now a communications manager in Southwest London. “And he found a piece of post with my name on, realized I had lived there the year before and decided I could help. He Facebooked me asking how the washing machine worked, and I let him know… basically because he was hot.”
Weeks later, the pair finally saw each other and the attraction was instant. One pizza date later and they were inseparable.
Finding out about their first meeting as childhood sweethearts
Ed proposed to Heidi in 2015, four years after their second meeting in college. Months later, while they were having dinner with their moms in southwest London, Heidi’s mom, Kay Parker, mentioned that Heidi had met a sweet boy named Ed while on vacation when she was 6. The group laughed at the “total coincidence” that Heidi’s first love shared the same name as her true love. Only if they knew.
Luckily, Mrs. Parker was rummaging in the attic two weeks later and found a photo of Heidi and the young boy from 1997. He looked eerily like her daughter’s fiancé, so the woman posted the picture to her daughter. Indeed, it was her fiancé!
“I was astonished when I saw the picture. I just yelled, ‘Mum – you know who that is!’ I was so shocked I actually had to lie down,” Heidi told Independent . “Ed was amazed too… we couldn’t believe it.”
Heidi admits that she has no memories of him as a child, but when Ed shared the shocking news with his parents, they dug out five more photos of the children during the same holiday so the couple could rebuild their memories.
“He looks really different whereas I look the same,” continued Heidi. “I remember being in kids club, that’s where I must have met him, and setting up a nail varnish stall outside with my sisters. I actually think we painted Ed’s nails.”
Recreating their old picture
19 years after their chance meeting on the beaches of Turkey, the couple tied the knot in a lovely ceremony in August of 2017. It was a beautiful celebration at Haddon Hall, a delightful piece of European architecture originally built in the 12th century.
The couple honeymooned in the Maldives and recreated their first picture from Turkey, with Heidi wearing a black one-piece and Ed wearing blue-checkered shorts and a fish motif t-shirt.
“It was brilliant,” said Heidi. “We love telling people how we met, twice. And recently we have been back to Bodrum to see where we met. It was really exciting to go back to where the miracle began.”
Ed added: “I’m not one to believe in miracles, the story changed my life.”