Ed Sheeran puts lots of love and emotion in his music, but there's one topic he isn't thinking out loud about: marriage.
Because for months following his December 2017 engagement to Cherry Seaborn ("Got myself a fiancée just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx," he captioned the photo of him kissing Seaborn on the cheek"), each time the subject arose he'd bat it down faster than a bad melody.
"I'm not married," he insisted on the carpet at the 2018 BRIT Awards, explaining the silver clay band on his left hand was a betrothal token crafted by Seaborn: "I never saw why men didn't wear engagement rings. It's the same commitment either way."
He was downright obtuse when asked to share a wedding date during an August 2018 Instagram Q&A session ("Maybe it's already happened,") and asked to spill any details during an interview with Access Hollywood that same month, he declined, explaining, "I never do anything too public."
Indeed, the "Shape of You" singer only confirmed his long speculated about January 2019 vows some six months later.
He did it in song, naturally, the spot he's apt to place any message, with a verse off "Remember the Name" on his fourth album, No.6 Collaborations Project. "It was actually before me and Cherry got married, and I knew that we'd be married by the point that the song came out," he told iHeartRadio's Charlamagne Tha God of recording the track. "So I said, 'Watch how the lyrics in this song might get twisted/My wife wears red but looks better without the lipstick.' And I was like 'cause someone's going to hear that and be like 'Oh they're married,' and I didn't know how that would be. But, obviously, it's already come out."
So there you go.
He later revealed the date with a simple note in the music video for his single "Put It All On Me", a quick flash of he and the 28-year-old consultant dancing in the kitchen spliced in amongst other couples flaunting their love around the globe.
So we were hardly stunned the 30-year-old, celebrating his milestone birthday Feb. 17, remained similarly mum about their baby news, only announcing they were expecting daughter Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran days after her late August arrival. Unsurprisingly details on their "beautiful and healthy" addition were scarce, save for the fact that the new parents were understandably thrilled. "We are completely in love with her," Sheeran wrote in his Sept. 1 post. "Both mum and baby are doing amazing."
At least we know a bit about how their romance was born.
"Back in high school, Ed and Cherry were crushing hard. They made out at the Castle on the Hill," the caption dictated in the "Put It All On Me" video, a reference to Framlingham Castle in their Suffolk hometown. "A few years ago, they reconnected, their were fireworks."
Both of the figurative and literal variety.
"I've known Cherry since I was 11," he explained to People in 2017. "She worked on Wall Street in New York, and I had like six shows [around New York in 2015]." So they reconnected a bit, enough for him to be thinking of her while he was celebrating Independence Day at Taylor Swift's once legendary Fourth of July bash at her oceanside Rhode Island mansion.
"I was texting [Seaborn], and she was like, 'I'm in Rhode Island at a 4th of July party,' and I was like, 'So am I,'" he continued. "I kinda said to Taylor, 'Can I invite one of my old schoolmates?' The rest is history."
By that September, they were enjoying time together in Las Vegas and hanging out with Swift's then-boyfriend Calvin Harris. The couple spent the next year traveling around the globe, which is when Sheeran took a hiatus from music. The break from creating music was transformative for him as he told Zach Lowe of Beats1 Radio in 2017, saying his break gave him "the time to fall in love properly."
In fact, it was Seaborn's move back to London that inspired him to press pause on his art.
"So the catalyst of taking a year off was also the fact that my partner quit her job in New York—which she's now got back in London, which is really cool—but we were just basically like, let's quit our jobs and have a year of forming a tight bond. So we went traveling and spent every day for a year together," he explained. "I've probably had three days apart from her in the last year…but we're very, very strong. I've never been happier. I've never been more comfortable. I've never been more inspired. I feel like everything's fallen into place, and it's fallen into place because I've given it the time to fall into place."
Over the years, Sheeran has played the role of doting boyfriend, especially when it comes to hockey. Seaborn led the British U21 hockey team win a bronze medal at the 2012 European Championships. He surprised her team one time to watch her play and took the time to take pictures with other players. Seaborn took her hockey skills across the pond for college, where she attended Duke University in North Carolina and played there.
He's professed his love in writing as well, composing the hit song "Perfect" about her. "I found a love for me / Darling just dive right in / And follow my lead / Well I found a girl beautiful and sweet / I never knew you were the someone waiting for me / 'Cause we were just kids when we fell in love," he croons in the song. Other poignant lyrics include, "Now I know I have met an angel in person / And she looks perfect."
A night they shared while hanging at James Blunt's house apparently inspired the song. "We were in Ibiza listening to Future's 'March Madness' literally not wearing any shoes and going mental on the lawn," he said. Hence, the words "Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms / Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song."
The irony of how that moment inspired a single now the favorite of couples the world over? Not entirely lost on them. And to the benefit of engaged duos hunting down the perfect wedding track, their story seems to just be getting started.
Already parents to cats Dorito and Calippo ("Me and Cherry literally had them from birth and they think that we're their mother," he told People of the Instagram stars), he knew they'd welcome some real human children some day.
Having told Lowe in 2017 that he "massively" wants kids, he reiterated the same to People. "I actually think the meaning of life is to start a family and pass on knowledge to them and be loved and be loving, so that is definitely on the cards," he said. "But not any time soon. I don't have any time anytime soon. It's something I really want to put a lot of time into, as well. I don't want to be constantly on the road trying to raise a child."
As Sheeran put it, "We're on cloud nine over here." Though that's pretty much always the case whether they're partying at a post-Grammys bash, playing What Do You Meme?, dining at a Michelin-starred eatery in Napa Valley or a casual Mexican joint.
"I constantly wake up every day with Cherry and I'm just like, 'Why the f--ck are you with me? You could literally be with whoever you wanted, and you've chosen me. And I'm saying all of the things that I think are wrong with me, but you still want to be with me,'" he told Charlamagne Tha God. "And I just find that amazing."
(Originally published Aug. 28, 2018 4:00 p.m. PT)