It’s funny how life turns out — for one of the saddest times in the life of Billy Westwood led, after a while, to the happiest.
And it was all down to a haircut.
Billy, 36, is a successful IT team leader from Ardler and Denise Farnan is a hairdresser, a micro-blade specialist with her own business called “Rebellious”.
They have just become husband and wife in Florida, with family and friends travelling over for the big day.
“We first met in April 2014,” recalled Billy.
“I’d just lost my mum and wanted to look smart for the funeral so went to the first place I could find for a haircut — and there was Denise.
“We chatted away and got on well and it kind of took my mind off things for a bit.
“It turns out she was from Ardler too but we’d never met as she moved there in her late teens. A few weeks later I was away working in Manchester, so we connected on Facebook.”
Billy found himself chatting the night away and suggested that when he got back to Dundee, perhaps Denise would like to go out for dinner?
“It was a Thai place in St Andrews,” said Denise, adding: “After that, we were pretty much inseparable.”
Family is important for both of them and very soon Billy’s three sons — Theo, 4, Aaron, 7, and Leon, 9 — found a new “big brother” in the shape of Denise’s son Sean, 11. Even Billy’s dad, also Billy, became pals with Denise’s mum Joan.
In May 2016 came the proposal. Billy planned to take Denise on a flight above Dundee and propose over the city but on the day there was too much cloud so had to go with a plan B.
Denise said: “I’d taken Sean to the cinema and came out to find a white rose in my car with a note saying I couldn’t come home until I was told.
“It was a bit odd and clearly something was going on but I thought ‘OK’. After I was given the go-ahead, I got to the house and there was a white rose on the front door and a sign inside saying ‘follow the trail’.
“There were petals and more white roses which led to the living room where there was a huge bouquet of more roses. The trail then took me to the bedroom and candles spelling out ‘will you marry me’ with our favourite tune playing. I couldn’t even say yes because of the tears.”
Denise loves Florida so it was a done-deal the ceremony would be held there.
She added: “We’d both been married before so we didn’t want a big traditional white wedding in Scotland.
“We thought it would be nice to have a small occasion with family.”
A 19-strong party flew out to Florida and the couple were married at Paradise Cove which they described as “just perfect”.
In a heartwarming gesture, Billy chose his dad to be best man.
Denise was given away by her son Sean, and her big brothers Mark and Billy came along too.
The celebrant was Lonny Tosi and Denise wore a dress by Bridal Heaven, Arbroath, while the lads in the party all wore shorts and waistcoats!
It was a relaxed and happy event, exactly as the couple planned.
Now, back home in Downfield, another celebration was held at the The Quay at Dundee’s Waterfront for their friends in Dundee — complete with a cake made by Mandy McMurchie, from Dundee.
Congratulations to a brilliant couple!