A couple talked about getting engaged on their first date together.

And critics were doubtful when Mike White popped the question after such a short amount of time.

More worries arose when people found out that he was engaged to a woman who is 12 years his senior.

Despite these set-backs Mike and his wife Nicola have been enjoying wedded bliss for 24 years.

Nicola, 60, said: "Everybody told us we were silly and that it wouldn't last.

"We proved everyone wrong and 24 years later here we are!"

Mike fell head over heels for his wife in 1995.

The pair met in the Pilgrims bar and restaurant in Plymouth, Devon, when mum-of-four Nicola was working behind the bar.

Mike came in for an interview – and the pair immediately knew their relationship was “meant to be”.

Nicola remembered: “As soon as I saw him, I knew I would marry him.

"We just clicked straight away. I fancied him right from the moment I laid eyes on him."

And Mike added: "When I walked into the bar for my interview, I knew I would marry that woman right from the beginning!"

Mike was hired to work as a chef in the restaurant – and the couple soon started flirting at work.

So knowing that sparks were flying, the duo decided to go for a date.

On the first evening they’d shared alone, Mike decided to pop the question.

Nicola explained: "I was flabbergasted! How many people propose on their first date? I

“ knew we were getting along well, but never thought he liked me that much.

“I stuttered and didn't know what to say, but I couldn't help it… I wanted to say yes, I just need a bit of time to make sure I was making the right decision."

As Nicola deliberated whether she wanted to marry Mike, her friends and families had reservations.

The mum said: "All my friends thought I was crazy.

"My mum, Thelma May, who sadly passed away at the age of 73, insisted that I was making a mistake.

“I had already been married once before and that hadn't ended well."

Even though some were sceptical about the relationship, Mike didn’t let it hold him back.

He proposed twice more – and eventually, Nicola decided to take the plunge.

In September 1995, the pair wed ay Plymouth Register Office, with all of their family members there to witness the exchanging of the vows.

And while some assumed the marriage wouldn’t be long-lasting, they couldn’t have been more wrong.

Mike and Nicola are still deeply in love.

Nowadays, they live together in Hucknall, Nottingham, with their 22-year-old daughter Rachel.

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The couple is glad they didn’t listen to their critics when they first started dating.

Nicola added: "I'm so glad we listened to our hearts and pursued each other.

"Now we have an amazing life together and are getting on more than we ever have.

"We have an amazing family life and have such fun together.

"It taught us to trust ourselves and now we know that what other people say isn't always right."

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