Valentine’s Day marks one month of married life! So it seems pretty perfect to share the story of our special day on this day of love. Before you grab a cuppa and get stuck in (it’s a long ‘un), I wanted to touch on just how overwhelming and phenomenal the response has been to our news. I’ll admit I’ve shed a little tear over how lovely everyone has been. Thank you to all who have taken the time to comment, send their wishes or message me with congratulations – this pregnant lady is even more emotional reading all the love! Enjoy xx
I never expected to wake up as a married woman, getting stuck into a full English breakfast, flicking through the national newspapers and seeing our love story as a double page spread! But, then again, I never expected ANY of what has happened during these past twelve months. It’s felt like something from a rom-com, a modern-day Nora Ephron film, where no-one and least of all I, could have predicted the happy ending.
Our wedding was the day that should never have happened with the man I should never have met, and the baby growing in my tummy who should never have been here. Call it fate, call it luck or call it the after-effects of refusing to be broken and saying yes to the possibilities unimaginable four years ago. However you look at it,
We wanted a ‘no-stress’ wedding; to take place in our local registry office, (side note- Cheylesmore Manor House, the oldest registry office in UK full of exposed beams, bagfuls of charm and super friendly staff has to be the BEST registry office I’ve ever been to!) followed by a knees up in a pub. Numbers were kept tight because of the small venue but nearly everyone had a role to play. A proper family affair.
With a baby on the way, a house to save for and an awesome honeymoon to plan (come on, you couldn’t expect me to not splurge on the travel part of this!) we didn’t want or need the fuss and ‘circus’ that comes with a big wedding: we just wanted to be married.
Our outfits would be from the high street, rings haggled for in the Birmingham jewellery quarter, no bridesmaids or ushers to dress, simple flowers from the local florist, my mum’s friend baking the cake, own hair and make-up, and family members acting as photographers. We organised it within six weeks and in the run up to the big day it was pure excitement instead of cold feet or nerves.
It felt right. Scarily right.
Everyone says that the day of your wedding is the fastest day of your life. This is utterly and annoyingly true. It was a blur of cheshire cat smiles, aching cheeks, tight hugs, many kisses and ‘is this really happening’ glances with my new husband.
There are certain moments I’ll cherish forever, from my sister Charlotte singing so beautifully as I walked up the aisle – causing even the toughest of the men in the room to struggle not to shed a tear, my cousin Laura, who’d flown over from Spain, reading out my granddad’s favourite poem – the exact one I read at his funeral that made it feel like he was there with us – and John’s grandma giving an impromptu heartfelt speech during the meal.
My vision of what it’s all about after I was jilted may have blurred with heartache and confusion over the years, but I get it now. Seeing everyone snugly fitted around the tables as the delicious three-course dinner was served, I realised that it also wasn’t just about us. It was about those we loved most in the world coming together to celebrate this crazy love story that shouldn’t have ever happened. It was about remembering those who couldn’t be there, never forgetting the impact they’d had on both of us and the paths we’d taken in bringing us together. It was about looking to the future as we begin our own family in just a matter of months.
When you find this one person who is so incredible, who doesn’t complete you (as only you can do that) but compliments you, who is there pushing you to succeed as much as you’re waving the pom-poms for them, then hold onto them.
It’s taken a lot of years, a lot of mistake-making, soul-searching and challenging myself to get to this happy place full of self-worth and respect. I’ve realised that can do this thing called life on my own but I can also do it with my best friend by my side, supporting me and making the journey a whole lot more fun. I’ve realised that it’s not weak or any less self-empowering to choose the latter.
Before we were ready it was kicking out time, my feet were a mess, my make-up smudged off from the energetic dance moves (probably not recommend for someone in my condition) and we were hugging our guests goodbye, unable to believe that the day was over. It couldn’t be over! We were having way too much fun to say goodnight.
Except, the day may have been over but our new adventure is only just beginning!