WHEN she walks down the aisle next Saturday, Sally Roberts will feel like the luckiest woman alive to be marrying the man of her internet dreams.
For the 30-year-old and husband-to-be Lloyd Crockford, it’s like they have known each other their whole lives.
But their wedding day comes just over a year after they first met – on a website.
The couple spoke for the first time when they logged onto social networking site Facebook.
Sally, from Bradley, had posted a picture of herself on the site’s Social Me application and was delighted when she got a response from Lloyd.
She said: “I had put on a picture and Lloyd must have liked the look of me because he messaged me.
“We soon started messaging each other all the time. I clicked with him straightaway and found him so easy to talk to.”
Despite not even seeing a clear picture of 31-year-old former soldier Lloyd to start with, Sally was soon smitten and three months later she arranged for him to come and visit her at her Huddersfield home.
Hooked Lloyd then visited his new love every weekend and within a month had left his friends and family behind in Charlbury, Oxfordshire, to move in with Sally.
Soon afterwards Lloyd proposed and ecstatic Sally accepted, despite her wrecking his first proposal attempt.
Sally, who is studying food nutrition and health at Huddersfield University, said: “Lloyd was planning on taking me up in a hot air balloon but had to ask me if I was scared of heights.
“I said to him ‘why, you’re not going to take me up in a balloon and proposing are you?’ He said yes he was, but thankfully he still proposed!”
Sally says that despite her whirlwind romance she has absolutely no doubts that Lloyd is ‘the one’.
“Part of my was wondering what Lloyd was really going to be like – especially as I didn’t see a proper picture of him at first – but even when we were just messaging each other I was sure we had a future together.
“My family love him to bits and are really happy for me and my six-year-old daughter Ella adores him.
“He’s my best friend and I can talk to him about anything.
“I’m really excited about our wedding day. I’ve been engaged twice before so for me it’s definitely third time lucky.”
The couple will say their vows in front of family and friends at a pink and black-themed ceremony at Healds Hall Hotel in Liversedge.
For Lloyd, an HGV driver, the day will bring back emotional memories of how they first met.
Lloyd had been a soldier in the Territorial Army for five years and was serving on the frontline in Afghanistan when he got a phone call to say his mum Margaret, 54, was dying.
He was granted compassionate leave and a month after his mum’s death started chatting to Sally online.
He said: “I was in a really dark place but just speaking to Sally and the way she was so understanding really turned things around for me.
“Everyone was really sceptical about me going to see someone I had just met online, but to me everything just felt so right.
“I had given up on finding the love of my life until I met Sally.”