A WOMAN who got down on one knee for a leap year proposal has wed her man. Finally.

And now the blushing bride has urged fellow young, free and single women to ditch tradition and do the same.

As reported in the Oxford Mail last year, Sally Metcalf, of Faringdon Road, Southmoor, near Abingdon, took advantage of the tradition that women can only propose on February 29 – a once-in-four-year occurrence – and asked long-term love Steve Metcalf for his hand in marriage.

The proposal – 450ft above the River Thames in the London Eye – ended a tortuous 10-year wait for a marriage proposal.

Just over a year later, the couple finally tied the knot in a ceremony attended by family and friends at the Highcliff Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth.

Mrs Metcalf, 41, said: “It was fantastic, the best day of our lives.

“I don’t regret doing the proposing myself because Steve always said he would never marry me and it would be a very long engagement, so I was fed up waiting.”

She admitted she was a “nervous wreck” before proposing, but said she was now “on cloud nine”.

Mrs Metcalf said: “The wedding was even better than my expectations when I got down on one knee.

“I thought if he said yes it would be a small occasion in a register office, but we had a lovely ceremony in a hotel with 50 guests, it was lovely.”

The couple met in 1998 and moved in together in 2000.

They have two children – Jack, seven, and Katherine, five. Mrs Metcalf also has a daughter, Emily, 12, from a previous marriage.

Katherine and Jack joined the happy couple for a week’s honeymoon in Girona, Spain.

Hayley Weller, Mrs Metcalf’s best friend, was matron of honour – and one of the few people in whom Mrs Metcalf confided before she proposed.

Mrs Metcalf said: “She knew what I was planning and wished me good luck.

“I would say to any woman who is waiting for her man to propose, just ask, get down on one knee and ask the question.

“As long as they love you they shouldn’t say no. I think any day of the year would be good, although it does feel special that we got engaged on February 29.”

The couple were given a complimentary Champagne trip in the London Eye to celebrate their engagement. They plan to mark their first anniversary with another trip on the Eye.