It was love at first sight when their eyes met through the smoke.
Although sharing a cigarette in the JG courtyard might not be the most romantic setting, it was the moment that would change their lives forever.
Elif Gurbuzer, 24, and Alan Mooney, 30, are getting married on Monday after seven love-filled years together.
Elif decided to charm her future husband while having a quick smoke before a class that she later ended up missing.
“I had a class to attend in 10 minutes but talking with him felt so natural that I even skipped my class that day,” she said.
“I am a nerd and have never skipped a class before or after that day but for some reason that day it felt like the right thing to do.
“Gosh he was very handsome. His perfectly shaped bright green eyes caught my attention immediately. God knows how much I tried not to stare at him. I later found out that I failed miserably.”
Elif said she pretended that her lighter did not work to catch his attention but he had already noticed her.
“He was at the benches behind me. I walked up to him and asked to use his lighter. Of course, I couldn’t show that I liked him a lot, that’s why I walked away.”
Alan said: “Elif had a huge smile on her face and she was just staring at me. I even thought there was something on my clothes or on my face but I smiled back at her.”
She moved closer to her future husband without noticing that she had left something behind.
Elif said: “Just as I sat back down on the bench close to the main building, praying to God that my little trick of catching his attention had worked I heard the most beautiful words that changed my life ‘you forgot your bag.’
“I felt so stupid and I just wanted to bury my head into sand. It did not exactly work out as I had imagined but it turned out to be better than I could have ever hope and that’s how it all started.”
Their first date was later the same day. They went to The Mill for a pint but it did not go as Elif had imagined.
“As he came closer to kiss me on the cheek, I managed to make a fool out of myself again and spilt both my drink and his drink on the floor and managed to break both the glasses.”
Elif studied business and international relations from 2009 to 2012, while her future husband did film studies from 2008 to 2012.
“I was an innocent young teenager at the bloom of youth at 18, starting university at Kingston. He tricked me to go out with him while I had no clue that he was asking me out,” she said.
They are getting married this Monday, March 14, but they will have a ceremony in Turkey in 2017, because Elif grew up in Ankara, Turkey.
The couple just moved to Ireland because Elif won the Jean Monnet Scholarship, a programme that aims to increase the number of experts in the EU field.
Elif said: “Actually, that’s a funny story because neither of us has proposed. In a way my dad proposed to us. He suggested that now that we have moved to Ireland, why don’t we get married?
“The plus side is that I got to pick my own ring. I am still waiting for a real proposal and maybe a ring upgrade I am happy with.”
Elif loves that Alan connects with his inner child and that he is very true to himself.
“He is the total opposite to me. Looks-wise, idea-wise, personality-wise and it just makes the relationship perfect.
Even after seven years, we don’t get bored of each other.
“He has the biggest heart that anyone can see, and he is full of love and life.”
The couple got in touch after The River wrote about the smoking ban that has recently been introduced in JG courtyard, which is being ignored by the majority of students.
The lovely couple might have never met if there was a smoking ban back in 2008.
“People need a place to socialise, talk and relax. I don’t encourage smoking and I have even given up smoking and I only smoke when I am drinking but I am not denying peoples right in an open area.”