THEY have finally said ‘I do’ – 18 years after saying ‘we will.’ Sonia Aarons, 58, and Anthony Green, 70, have finally tied the knot nearly two decades after first getting engaged.

“We’ve done it at last!

There are long engagements out there but we must take the biscuit,” Sonia laughs.

The lovestruck couple first met through a friend in a New Forest pub and couldn’t stop talking for three hours on their first date.

Within weeks Anthony, whose family founded the Woodfalls Band, got down on one knee.

Sonia explains: “We just hit it off when we met. We talked and talked and talked, it was a meeting of minds.

“A few weeks later he proposed in Boldre Church and I went white. I said ‘yes’ and I’ve had the engagement ring for 18 years. It was sort of panic, panic, panic when you don’t know someone entirely well and I think we got cold feet.

“When people are meant to be together though, it just works and it was always meant to be.”

The pair decided to finally walk down the aisle because Anthony’s mother is now 92 – and was desperate to see her son marry.

“I don’t think everyone could believe we were finally doing it. It’s the first time for the both of us.

“When we announced we were getting married most people said ‘at last’ or ‘we’ve been waiting an eternity!’ 

The couple, who have been involved in setting up exhibitions around the artist, Sven Berlin, since 2003 and revived the showman’s wagon, exchanged vows at church in Breamore before hosting a reception at their home in Godshill near Fordingbridge with their 70 guests.

Sonia says they are still as much in love as the day they met.

“Our wedding day was beyond our wildest dreams, we’ve been on cloud nine and I can’t wait to see all the photographs. Age doesn’t come into it for us, it’s about togetherness,” she said.

“I think friendship is a major thing – we are great friends and we both really fancy one another,” Sonia giggles.

“I have to admit, it’s quite strange I’m now a Mrs!”