As I mentioned on my Instagram our wedding renewals didn’t exactly all go smooth sailing, but it was perfectly imperfect and that’s what I wanted to talk about today. Life won’t always go to our plan, but if you look hard enough you can always find the beauty in it all. When the day was over I felt so lucky, so grateful and so full of love. It was perfect and yet not everything was perfect. It was real life and I crave real, not just some Instagram life where everything has to be just so, but a real-life where you feel all the emotions. Where you have all feels and it was just that. When Tony said “was it everything you wished for” during our slow dance I replied, “it was way beyond what I could have wished for” and it truly was. I couldn’t have visualised to feel the way I did. Pure happiness from the love that I felt on that day.
The Perfectly Imperfect Bits
I planned to wear the original dress I got married it but it needed a couple of alternations. Nothing major but I got married in December in snow so I had a big dress with a long train which I wanted to be cut off, to be more of a ball gown. The vows had now been moved to May and I’d of just felt a bit self-conscious about how full on the dress was now that we had decided to go for a relaxed spiritual vibe, not to mention I feel I would have baked in the heat in that dress.
The original dress was also a bit tight. It went on, but it really needed taking out a bit but when it came down to it nobody would alter it. Some seamstresses weren’t confident enough to touch the dress because of the design and size of it and other seamstresses wouldn’t touch it because they were too busy with their own dresses. In the end, I did find one seamstress that would alter the dress, but the amount it would have cost just to have the train removed I could have literally purchased another dress brand new from a bridal shop for the same price. Spending that kind of money made me feel a bit sick and that wasn’t even the final cost to have both alterations done.
So taking into account I really didn’t wanna spend that kinda money, it really didn’t feel good to me, in the end after driving myself mad about what to do, I decided to buy a high street dress. I opted for a £65 dress from the Quiz sale. It felt so good to find something so budget-friendly, bridal and not over the top.
The only imperfect thing was that I loved this dress, but it was a little tight. It fitted perfectly on the top half but it was very tight around the midsection but had I got the size up then it would have been big around the top. After initially getting upset, I decided to embrace my pear shape and wear the dress. By this time we literally only had weeks to go till the renewals and I felt a massive sense of relief that the dress was finally sorted. I had been very aware of how close we were getting to the date and the fact that I still had not yet sorted my dress so the sigh of relief was huge.
Only on the day, Mother Nature decided to surprise me and greet me with the mother of all periods. Mother nature didn’t seem to mind that it wasn’t her day, because you know she has a sense of humour like that. She likes to turn up at her own convenience, but you know we love her so we let her off. I thought that’s ok I’ve bought some extra big pants, but in my head, they were just to suck in my tummy a bit. It didn’t occur to me to actually try them on with said dress. I guess because it had all been so close to the date and I had been quite stressed about it. I was just not thinking practically, so I didn’t try the dress with the underwear until the actual me going to renew my vows. Rookie mistake.
These pants I hadn’t realised (or thought about it) weren’t seamless and well BIG PANTS. I had to wear them because you know tight white dress and mother nature, not a good combo but yeah, big ass PANT LINES. Doh!
So know the dress wasn’t perfect, but it didn’t matter it was a dress I loved regardless, Tony loved it too and hadn’t seen me in it and actually, I felt good it in. I was just aware of my pant line but sometimes you know you just have to laugh at these things and not take yourself too seriously. Everyone commented on how nice it looked, nobody mentioned it, people are kind like that and it was all good.
Well, that didn’t go all smooth sailing either. After we’d set everything up for the ceremony and in the hall, I went back home to get ready and I knew as soon as I walked in the door something was up. I could tell by Garry’s face (my Father-in-law). He told me Sue (my Mother in Law) had fallen. I knew it wasn’t good and I rushed into the bedroom to see her and she was in a bad way. They’d both been running around making all the food and whilst rushing Sue fell getting out the shower. She needed to go to the hospital and I knew she was going to miss the ceremony. She asked that we go ahead anyway and I knew she would be upset had we not. She was already feeling guilty even though she had done nothing wrong and she had done so much to ensure we had this day.
We’d planned to have this day over 10 years ago. We got married in Canada and it was the best thing ever, but we always knew we wanted to celebrate with family and friends, so we set it all up 10 years ago but I ended up in the hospital and it never happened. We tried again last year, but with the move, the venue we planned to use got shut down and so much stuff happened that we decided to put it back a little. So this was us doing it now, over 10 years later, we were finally doing it amongst our closest family and friends so everyone could be there.
So as I rubbed Sue’s hand and said we’ll cancel it, I told her how she was more important but she asked me to go ahead and promise that I would. I knew I had to. I knew it was the right thing to do. She would have been so upset had we cancelled it. She would have blamed herself despite us telling her otherwise and I think we’d have felt like it was all cursed because this was the 3rd time we were attempting this.
So Garry took Sue to the hospital and with a lump in my throat I had to make the phone call to Tony to tell him his parents were not going to make it. We talked about it and he knew it was important to keep that promise and go ahead. We also both knew not only was it important to go ahead but it was important to be fully present and enjoy every moment and focus on all that really mattered, love, because we never know what is around the corner.
Life is short and every moment matters. So we did it and it was the most beautiful ceremony, full of love and so personalised to us. My sister did the ceremony and we wrote our own vows. We declared our love for each other amongst our closest family and friends whilst looking into each other’s eyes by the river that goes through our new home. It was all perfect because we knew more than ever that love is all that matters. You learn that after over 10 years of marriage as things in life will be thrown at you, but on that day and the lead up to it all, it was highlighted even more. 10 years later, still madly in love, best friends and more devoted than ever.
It didn’t matter that the ceremony was 40 minutes late because of everything that happened and the fact I needed to rearrange transport to get to the venue (my father-in-law was taking me) because when things like this happen you soon realise how loved you are. Everyone steps up. My sister in law, went backwards and forwards in her car to get us all there. Family and friends rallied around when it was time to get the food out and all pitched in as they knew Sue and Garry were doing this, everyone came together and it was perfect. I prayed for a miracle that Sue would be ok and later on after the ceremony was over I saw Sue walk in with her dress on, arm in a sling on morphine, badly bruised but smiling because she had made it there and I’ve never thanked the universe so frigging much. Miracles do happen.
One of my nieces was a flower girl but couldn’t make it because my sister in laws car had broken down. My other little niece, only 3 years old, who was also a flower girl had fallen fast asleep because of the heat and the fact the ceremony was running so late. My sister did offer to wake her so she could be a flower girl, but she clearly needed her sleep and it felt cruel to wake her as she’s a toddler and she wasn’t worried if she got to walk down the aisle or not. To wake her would have been for my own selfish reasons and also very foolish because asking a child to walk down the aisle jolly when you’ve just woken them up is asking for trouble.
The flower girls are just kids, they aren’t worried about it so we embraced it and laughed about it. I had my beautiful boy walk me down the aisle, my amazing daughter in front of me as a flower girl and my two fabulous sisters as bridesmaids. One of which also doubled to conduct the ceremony and that’s what mattered. My sisters, my mam, friends had all travelled to be there. My Mam had not long ago had an operation and came, she didn’t want to miss it and that’s love. It’s those things I cherish and those things that made the day amazing.
So I want to leave you with one final thing. Whether your planning a wedding or just trying to make your life the best it can be, please do not take everything so seriously. Some people won’t come and some things won’t go to plan. It will be ok. It’s ok to be sad about it, but if you spend your life sad because of situations you cannot control you’ll always be unhappy. You deserve happiness and it’s not fair to put that pressure on people you love. If you love someone let them decide what’s best for them.
Focus your attention on those that make time for you rather than wishing others cared more. Focus your time on not trying to change situations, but having gratitude for what’s already all around you. I could have easily put all my attention on those who couldn’t make it and the hiccups along the way, but that wouldn’t have served me, Tony or our family, nor would it have been fair to all those that came. So I put all my attention on what was right and the day was so amazing for it.
Don’t let your day be spoilt by other people or things like weather. We were forecast thunder and lightning for the day and in the morning when it was grey and raining I simply said to myself “it will pass” and it did. The weather was beautiful. I’d been worrying about it in the days leading up to the vows, but when it came to the day I didn’t. Sanity kicked in and I knew we’d have an amazing day no matter what and that’s the power of intention right there.
Choose to see the good.
It Did Do Harm – An open Letter to Grandparents & Those With Adult Children
(Blog post on generational trauma)