marriage photo sitting together as a couple

Marriage -19 Years & Counting

How do I even begin a personal note like this?


Where do I even start from?


Ok, so we sort of had an arranged marriage.



marriage photo sitting together as a couple


Marriage sitting with my husband


Photography by Passionate Wedding




Today, I almost cannot believe it but I am so happy to be celebrating my 19th wedding anniversary. I thought I would take the opportunity to write a quick blogpost and celebrate by opening up and sharing our story, how we met and show you a few personal photos that are very close to my heart.


I thought I would start from my parents.


My parents are from Pakistan and they are cousins. My mum and her sisters were the first ones from their generation, entire family and community back then to be educated. All three sister, my mum included went to university.
My mum was studying chemistry, biology and physics when her father announced, that she was to leave her studies, marry my father and go to England to live for the rest of her life. This was at the age of 18.


She had never met my father, or seen him until after the wedding. It was like that for most people back then, especially in Pakistan.


Did I have an arrange marriage?

How did we meet?


Sort of – ish.


My husband is Portuguese, born and raised in Paris, France. I’m Pakistan but born and raised in England. We both studied at the same university – Nottingham Trent University, but never met!

I had always been in love with the actor Andy Garcia, I never dreamt that I would find my own version of him!


Now I was super ignorant back then. Even though I had had a few school trips around Paris and Amsterdam, when I heard my husband, LUIS MIGUEL, was Portuguese, I actually had no idea where that even was on the map.  Pre – internet days – shock horror, I reached for the Atlas and looked up where it was.


Even though we didn’t have an “arranged marriage,” and by the way I know so many couples that have had super marriages that way (yes I know that is not always the case), my husband and I were introduced through friends.

I was sitting on the steps upstairs and cheekily listening to his voice before I nervously went downstairs to meet him. I must admit I think I feel in love with his French accent immediately and that’s were it all started from.


I had always wanted to marry someone who was highly educated and had the same values as me. I was so happy to know that he had a first class degree in Maths and Physics and was now studying his masters in Material Science.


We actually only met twice in the company of our families, yes, that’s the truth, but somehow I knew he was the one and even though I was terrified and I mean petrified to the bone to take such a big leap, I knew this was meant to be. The more I spoke to him, the more I felt that the whole thing was right.



Our Wedding



19 years ago, our wedding was so very, very simple. It really is a different world today and I didn’t have any of those choices back then. There was no social media, no Pinterest. Only the yellow pages, asking around and driving around to find beauticians, restaurants, florists.

We were not well connected back then. If you read this blogpost you will know why.


We had family but were not really in touch with them. My brother at the time was working in Switzerland ( my brother really was our families own version of James Bond – very dapper and jet setting all over Europe for work).

He gave me his card and happily remarked, “Do what you need to and organised the wedding.”


In the end our wedding was in a tiny little restaurant.


As you know it’s no secret that I wear a headscarf, most of my close friends did back then as well. We didn’t actually even know of any female photographers who could digitally shoot out wedding, so apart from a few quick shots here and there, which were really horrendous, and a little video we squeezed in, we had nothing to remember our wedding with.


Sadly,  I lost our diy wedding video and only had one or two little pathetic photos, so for a treat last year, we asked a wonderful team in Portugal, Passionate Wedding to take our photos.


Our Marriage - walking together hand in hand through the gardens


Our Marriage



Our marriage a black and white shot
Photography by Passionate Wedding



A Note About Marriage


It is not always a bed of roses



Our love is big, our moods are big and our fights can be big too!

My husband is the friendliest, loudest, more vibrant and spontaneous person I have ever met.

He compliments my personality in so many ways that it is unreal – I think that really helps.

We truly have been through many highs and lows together.

We’ve snapped at each other, we often show our worst sides and now after many years together I accept and value all of who my husband is.

But I would never want to be without him.


So much of who I am and my identity is tied up with him, that at times is it scary.


After visiting France and Portugal every year of our marriage, his family are now my family.

His family friends are now my family.







I would love to hear more about you –




If you aren’t married who would your ideal partner be?




Recent Comments

  • Hayley
    April 30, 2019 - 2:13 pm · Reply

    Soooo beautiful! I loved reading your story. ❤️ The photos are so special too. I met my husband in Japan. We were both living there at the time. Married in a very small quaint ceremony in Yosemite National Park. No photographer, no hair and make up and we even made our own wedding cake. ❤️ Loved your story. Thank you for sharing ❤️

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 2:34 pm · Reply

      Dearest Hayley, thank you so much for the sweet-lovely comment. I really appreciate you taking the time out to write it. I LOVE LOVE hearing about how you met your husband. JAPAN!!!! How is it that you where there? That is so amazing! I had no hair and make up either and did my own.We had no wedding cake though. Your wedding sounds so intimate and special and more about sharing love and marriage rather than the actual event.

  • Cassandra Kennedy
    April 30, 2019 - 2:37 pm · Reply

    I enjoyed reading this! My husband is from Japan and his parents and sister had arranged marriages. Living there and seeing how well it worked out for them changed my view of the practice. I’m happy you two are still going strong! Xoxo

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 2:41 pm · Reply

      Hia Cassandra,

      I cannot believe that!!! I just had another person, Hayley say that she also met her husband in Japan too!!! That is amazing!
      I also actually had no idea that they had arranged marriages in Japan too. I thought it was purely an Indian / Pakistani thing. The thing is my husband and I both want a successful marriage and we are committed to making it work. So as long as a couple has that understanding it normally works out so well.
      I do appreciate so much that you took the time to write this. Thank you with all of my heart! How long have you been together for?

  • Vonda
    April 30, 2019 - 2:38 pm · Reply

    Happy Anniversary!!! I love your storyThese pictures and your smiles are so full of love!!! John and I met in high school art class-he was there because he needed an art credit to graduate, and I was there because I really love art!! We dated off and on for about 5 years, and now we’ve been married for 31!Much love!!

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 2:49 pm · Reply

      Hia Vonda sweety, NO WAY! That is fabulous. You met through Art class, I cannot think of a more romantic way to meet and you guys really make a wonderful couple and you are blessed with a beautiful family. My husband also loves art and rather than give me a ring, he painted a huge piece of art and gave me that as a present. I actually didn’t want a ring because I have rather extravagant taste in jewellery and love big fat rings.

  • Carlee
    April 30, 2019 - 3:06 pm · Reply

    Oh, how lovely!!! I love your story of your wedding and marriage – and those pictures are SO sweet! I can see the love you have for each other! My husband and I went to the same church 10 years ago and had many of the same friends, but we never met! We ended up meeting by chance on eHarmony 2 years ago – never thought my story would include a cheesy dating website, but it’s how we found each other. We knew very soon that we wanted to get married, and a little over a year after we started dating, we got married. That was June 30 of last year. I love being married to him and even seeing the worst of myself (and also him) come out because that’s real life and I love knowing him that well! I hope to be able to look at him like you look at your husband after 19 years!

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 3:37 pm · Reply

      Hi Carlee,

      I love that we both get to show the worst parts of ourselves and then forgive each other for it. I’m sure you will be there in 19 years with that same look. That’s wonderful that you knew that you wanted to get married so quickly. I think it is such a blessing to find a good partner.

  • Humaira
    April 30, 2019 - 3:51 pm · Reply

    This is so emotional….. Reminded me of my wedding. I loved how real your blog is, Coz marriage ain’t a bed of roses. Our marriage was a traditional arranged Indian (Hyderabadi) wedding. We actually only meet once before our wedding. I didn’t know what I was getting into but so glad that things worked out beautifully for us. Happy anniversary and may your love forever grow.

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 5:19 pm · Reply

      I had no idea you had a Hyderabadi wedding. I wonder what that was like! I felt the same on my wedding day, I had no idea what I was getting into and actually had a big fat ugly cry before I left the restaurant and went with my husband! Definitely, marriage is not perfect, there are so many ups and downs it is insane. But I’m glad that we both have good partners and that it turned out well for us. Life can often be such a gamble.

  • Sophia
    April 30, 2019 - 4:15 pm · Reply

    Absolutely adorable pictures. It’s sad to hear you no longer have much of your original wedding photos but these are amazing, you both look ecstatic. Happy anniversary to you both and hears to the next 19years for you both.

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 5:20 pm · Reply

      Thank you so much Sophie, I really appreciate that you took time out to leave me a comment! It’s one of those rare occasions I wanted to celebrate it with those photos. xxx

  • Joanne
    April 30, 2019 - 6:33 pm · Reply

    A lovely interesting story of your family background and how you two met…. you can tell from the beautiful photos how well you work together, so joyful! And yes I know there are always difficult times but if you can look at each other with as much love and laughter asthat after 19 years then you are clearly doing something right! Love to you fromTurkey! Xx

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 8:50 pm · Reply

      Oh my lovely Joanne, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message, I just tried to leave a message on your blog again and got a “java script fault” message pop up. I sometimes forget that a marriage needs just as much time and nurturing as a business does. These three years that I have spent trying to build this up have really taken a toll on me at times. He sees that and sometimes wonders why I still do it! I’m so glad I’ve had him to support me. Without him, there would be NO Crimson Letters.

  • Jasmine Hovsepyan
    April 30, 2019 - 8:04 pm · Reply

    I love your story. Reading this personal life snippet makes me feel and know you better. Thank you for sharing it with public.
    My husband and I have been married for 16 years and never a dull moment, just like yours 😉

    • Rubana Gaspar
      April 30, 2019 - 8:53 pm · Reply

      Hi Jasmine, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for leaving such a heart felt message. I’m so happy to know that you have also been married for 16 years and now I wonder, where did you meet and what your wedding was like too?

  • Pia
    May 1, 2019 - 2:12 pm · Reply

    Happy anniversary my dear Rubana! Wishing you the very best for many maany years to come!❤❤❤ as to answer your questions, I’m not married. As for the ideal partner when I’ll see him I’ll know. All my life my intuition guided me so I’ll do the same in this regard. For now, the thought of marriage is far away from my mind. Probably, one day.

  • Dana
    October 20, 2020 - 12:49 am · Reply

    Happy Anniversary! It’s always nice to get to know people and their backstory. I appreciate you sharing. It makes me admire you more than I already do!

  • Alice
    March 27, 2021 - 8:26 pm · Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is beautiful. A relationship that is fulfilled and overflowing with love. I hope my relationship will grow into something as inspiring. Xx

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