Anand Goyal and Sabrina Zara Pervez met as teenagers, or so they first thought.
Mr. Goyal attended an all-boys high school in Chelmsford, England; Ms. Pervez went to an all-girls school directly across the street. The students often intermingled, before and after each day, or when the schools hosted joint events like Valentine’s Day dances and proms.
A friendship developed between Mr. Goyal and Ms. Pervez, with the two getting to know each other in person, as well with lengthy conversations over a chat app. In October 2010, they had their first date. Ms. Pervez and a group of her friends went out to a movie. Mr. Goyal came along.
“After the movie, Anand basically asked me to be his girlfriend,” Ms. Pervez said. “We’ve been together ever since.”
The qualities that endeared them to one another as teenagers remain prevalent in their relationship today.
“She was always up for things, quite adventurous, quite outgoing,” said Mr. Goyal,
Ms. Pervez was drawn to Mr. Goyal’s kindness and love for his family.
“Some teens go through a stage where they don’t want to be with family,” Ms. Pervez said. “He always made it clear he loved his family.”
Even though their relationship began when they were teenagers, it always felt serious. When he was 16, Mr. Goyal told Ms. Pervez he hoped to marry her one day.
A few months after they began dating, the couple learned that they had already crossed paths more than a decade earlier.
On a car ride with her mother, Ms. Pervez asked about friends she had back in nursery school, which she attended in a different town from the one they currently lived in. Her mother mentioned that there had been another Indian boy in her class. When Ms. Pervez shared this information with Mr. Goyal, he told her that he remembered an Indian girl from his own nursery school with the same name as Ms. Pervez. The name was indelible, he said, because his older cousins used to tease him about having a girlfriend named Sabrina.
Mr. Goyal dug out some photographs from a childhood birthday party. In one of them, an image of Mr. Goyal blowing out the candles on his cake, half of the face of a young girl is visible. Ms. Pervez recognized herself immediately. They had, in fact, been classmates as toddlers.
The couple uncovered other interesting connections: They were born in the same hospital just four days apart. And they each had to take their driver’s test four times before passing.
After high school, Mr. Goyal and Ms. Pervez went to colleges in different cities but continued their relationship. Mr. Goyal graduated with a first class honors degree in physics with astrophysics from the University of York in England. Ms. Pervez graduated with an honors bachelor of laws degree from Durham University, also in England. She also has a master’s degree in law, business and management from the University of Law in London.
Mr. Goyal, 28, is currently studying for a physics post graduate certificate in education at Homerton College, University of Cambridge. He previously worked at Deloitte as a tax consultant in London. Ms. Pervez, also 28, a lawyer, is a director at the legal tech company, Ontra, based in London.
In 2021, the pair bought a house in Shenfield, Essex, just outside London. That same year, Mr. Goyal concocted a plan to propose.
They took a trip to New York City in December 2021. It was their first time visiting the city together. The couple are avid travelers and regimented schedules are part of every vacation. To throw Ms. Pervez off the scent of an impending proposal, Mr. Goyal created a fake itinerary of that day’s plans, which included dinner and a trip to the Empire State Building.
That evening, Mr. Goyal made what Ms. Pervez thought was an impromptu suggestion to visit Central Park. Ms. Pervez wasn’t sure if they had the time to spare. Mr. Goyal convinced her they did. They took a carriage ride across the park’s Bow Bridge. Afterward, Mr. Goyal asked Ms. Pervez to look out over the water so he could take a picture. When she turned around, Mr. Goyal was on one knee, ring in hand.
The couple were married Dec. 16, 2022, at Cliveden House, a hotel in Buckinghamshire, England on the border with Berkshire. It was a small ceremony with 13 guests: their parents, grandparents and siblings. Anna Benjamin, a registrar from Buckinghamshire Council authorized to register marriages, officiated.
Mr. Goyal and Ms. Pervez are planning a bigger wedding celebration next year in Greece, but they said that their intimate gathering was an emotional culmination of the last 12 years.
“We’ve been together so long, our families very much feel like each other’s families,” Ms. Pervez said. “Having that chance to celebrate our love at the wedding was very special.”
[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]