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How ‘bolshie’ Fife mum Felicity was married after her Leap Day proposal

Felicity is among the small group of straight women who have proposed to their husbands.

Felicity and Steven Grubb on their wedding day.
Felicity and Steven Grubb on their wedding day. Image: Matthew Johnston photography

There are few women who can say they proposed to their partner.

Felicity Grubb, from Kirkcaldy, is one of them.

The 36-year-old proposed to her husband Steven, 33, on February 29 – otherwise known as Leap Day – in 2020.

It is said that women are “allowed” to propose to their partners on this special date, thanks to an Irish legend.

While the notion that it is the man’s role to propose is outdated, many still choose to follow that tradition.

And with their anniversary on the horizon, I asked Felicity what inspired her to (pardon the pun) take the leap?

She says she had been dating her then-boyfriend for more than two years when a conversation with a friend planted a seed in her mind.

Steven and Felicity with baby Andrew.
Steven and Felicity with baby Andrew. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

Felicity said: “I had been talking to someone whose birthday is on Leap Day and it kind of put the idea in my head.

“Steven is quite quiet and shy, and I thought, ‘Oh I’ll be waiting forever if I want him to propose’.

“So I went to H.S. Samuel and I bought him a ring, and made a plan to propose on February 29.”

Felicity, who is studying religious studies at The Open University, planned to ask the question over a romantic picnic in the living room when the day came.

She also ordered a pair of personalised rugby shirts – a reference to their shared love of the sport.

But Steven, a coach driver with Docherty’s Midland Coaches in Auchterarder, beat her to it.

‘Steven pipped me to the post!’

Felicity explained: “Steven at some point had obviously cottoned on, because on February 28, he got down on one knee over an Indian meal at home and proposed.

“I was shocked, I didn’t have a clue it was coming.

She said to him: ‘Oh – you pipped me to the post!’

“I told him my plan and he said, ‘Oh, I know. That’s why I’m getting in there first. I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to get married because I hadn’t proposed. So I wanted to let you know that I do.'”

How did he know?

“I think I’m just not very subtle,” Felicity laughed. “For instance, when we were just pretend-shopping for a ring for me in the past, I got my finger measured.

“And then I had said, ‘Oh why don’t you get yours measured too?’ And he was like, ‘Why?'”

Regardless, Felicity decided to go through with her proposal the following day.

Felicity proposed to Steven on leap day in 2020. Image: Felicity Grubb
The couple have a shared love of rugby. Image: Felicity Grubb

Did she get down on one knee?

“No,” she laughed. “I set up a picnic on the living room floor and I hung our matching rugby tops up on the window.”

She put out lots of candles out and some alcohol-free champagne.

“I was just sitting on the floor, and I had the ring sitting on the picnic mat.

“I got him a black tungsten ring – he drives for a living so I wanted to get him something hard-wearing.”

The pair quickly set about planning their wedding, before marrying in April 2022 and welcoming baby Andrew less than a year later.

Felicity never saw herself proposing

Did she ever see herself proposing to a partner?

“I suppose my friends would say I am quite confident and upfront with things, so if I want something I go out and get it.”

Felicity added: “I never really saw myself proposing, but I wouldn’t say it is outwith my character either. I don’t believe in sticking with traditions and stuff like that.

“You know, it is 2024 now, women have got just as much a right as men.”

Kirkcaldy Leap Day proposal couple ‘met at a bus stop’

I ask her if people are surprised when they hear the couple’s story.

“I think people that know us well are not surprised because they know that I am the bolshie one out of the two of us,” Felicity said.

“But strangers are often a bit surprised because it is still quite uncommon these days.”

Felicity, who has two sons Daniel, 14, and Blair, 9, from a previous relationship, met Steven at a bus stop in 2017.

Steven with step-sons Daniel (left) and Blair (right).
Steven with step-sons Daniel (left) and Blair (right). Image: Matthew Johnston photography

“He was my eldest son’s school bus driver,” she explained.

“So we would exchange smiles for a few weeks.

“And then it turned out that I’d actually played in our high school orchestra with his sister, so he was able to track me down on social media.

“He added me on Facebook and I was like, ‘Oh!’

“We started talking, and then we went for coffee on his break one day and it just kind of blossomed from there.

“We kept it a secret for quite a while from the boys, until I was sure that Steven was ‘the one’.

“Then the boys came home from school one day and were like, ‘Why is the bus driver in our living room?'”

Felicity and Steven met at a bus stop in 2017. Image: Steve Brown/DC Thomson

And how did she know he was the one?

“Well, when we first got together he would come round for dinner every night after work and then go home.

“But one night, a few years ago, we got snow that wasn’t forecast.

“He tried to drive home and he couldn’t get home, so he had to phone me and ask if he could stay the night.

“It was the first time he had stayed over and he was lying in bed.

“And then I heard him praying and I just thought, ‘That is the man for me.'”

Felicity and Steven are both members of the Salvation Army in Kirkcaldy, which is where they were married.

‘He told me he loved me on our first date’

For Steven, it was love at first sight.

“He told me that he loved me on our first date,” Felicity exclaimed.

“Our first proper date went on for hours. I couldn’t get rid of him! We had gone out for dinner and then Steven drove me home and he was like, ‘Oh can I come in for a cup of tea?’

“I thought it was a euphemism (for sex) so I was like, ‘Oh I don’t have any teabags’, and so Steven took me to Asda at 11pm to buy teabags, milk and sugar.

“Then he actually came in for a cup of tea.

“We put a box set on, I couldn’t even tell you what it was.

“Then it was 3am before we knew it, and I was like, ‘You need to go home’ and I kissed him.

“Then he said that he loved me and ran away.”

Felicity and Steven were wed in 2022. Image: Matthew Johnston photography

What would Felicity say to any women thinking about proposing to their partner this Leap Day?

“If you want it then just go for it.

“It could just be that your partner is a little bit shy.

“Don’t be held back by centuries’ worth of traditions.”

She also believes people shouldn’t be afraid of having small-budget weddings.

“After our engagement we started planning the wedding straight away.

“But then we hit a bit of a bump in the road.”

‘The marriage is important – not the wedding’

Felicity, who has epilepsy, became unstable, spending a period of time in hospital.

Meanwhile, Steven, who suffers from an ongoing skin condition, underwent seven surgeries in just 10 months.

After the Leap Day proposal, the Kirkcaldy couple cancelled their wedding to focus on recovery.

“We realised that tomorrow is never promised,” Felicity said.

“Once we were better, we ended up throwing our wedding together in just a couple of months.

“We only had 30 guests, just really close family and friends.

“We had our religious ceremony in the Salvation Army Hall and then we had our meal up at Oswald House in Kirkcaldy.

“Our wedding was small, but obviously it is quality over quantity isn’t it?

“After being so ill, we realised that it was the marriage that was important, not the wedding.