Kev and I were already engaged. He proposed Christmas eve 2012 but we never set a date. It was always something I wanted to do but never made it a priority. I did know how I wanted to do it. I wanted a church wedding with the reception in my Mum and Dads garden. I didn’t want a sit down meal just a really good buffet with a cheese and pineapple hedgehog and sea food galore. My Mum always called it the Darling Buds of May wedding as hay bails and mismatch tables chairs and glasses are my thing. I am not sleek chic or sophisticated in my taste. I like colour and clashing and wildflowers. But it was a pipe dream, something I thought we might get around to doing when Effy was older.
It wasn’t un till I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer did I realise just how much I wanted to marry Kevin.
One drunk night it was discussed with friends and the wedding planning started. When your in survival mode there is no waiting. I couldn’t save and plan and do it when I was better as I didn’t know if I would get better. My cancer had spread to my lymph nodes already and I knew in my heart I had to get married now. It soon became apparent that the wedding I wanted was not the wedding I would be getting. I was ok with that.
I brought my dress from ASOS in the sale for £57 and I felt beautiful when I tried it on. Even bald and puffy I felt special. I tried it on several times a day and just swished and swooshed in the mirror.
Everything after that just fell into place. I contacted the Artisan Dried flower company and asked them if they could rush through a wild flower crown and I found some shoes I liked in Monsoon. My something borrowed was Mia’s bridesmaid dress. I got the most beautiful little dresses in Matalan that colour matched mine for Kevs little sisters and a pale pink one for Effy. Kev weirdly wanted to wear tweed but I ordered him the most amazing hot pink suit from Topman. Bertie already had his suit he just needed an occasion to wear it.
Being so ill in treatment left no time for procrastinating or indecisiveness. I also have the most incredible friend, Hayley Baker. She has helped me endlessly. Who has not stopped helping me in every way and on every level. She also commissioned the Florist from her own wedding, Red Lipstick Flowers to create my bouquet.
I wanted to incorporate my sister and Kevs Nan in a subtle way so the button holes were flowers dedicated to them. The men in my family wore my sisters rose and the men in his wore his Nans.
I think we pulled it off…
Our Venue was Sutton Registry Office which limited us to 40 guests. The ladies there were so lovely and helpful. The Cancer Card can be handy sometimes. Due to my Chemo regime I never knew how I would feel so I was worried about planning and inviting more guests to an evening reception incase I had to go home. So I kept the wedding secret. I invited my some of my closest friends and family and made a conscious decision to let go of any guilt I felt for not having all the people I wanted there. We managed to convince the owner of our favourite restaurant to open for us and do a 3 course meal for our guests. With the help of my amazing friends Hayley Lauren and Danielle we transformed the restaurant with white Roses, Gypsophila the centre piece of dreams and borrowed wedding decorations! I even hung a canvas of me and Kev at a party in that same restaurant. It was so special and personal.
My Mum has always said ‘What is meant for you won’t pass you by’ and it has proven itself true over and over. I received a message from friend who is a make up artist saying that she would love to give me a little makeover she knew what I was going through and just wanted to make me smile. I replied with I’m having a secret wedding fancy doing my make up! Olivia Caley came on the morning of my wedding and made Mia and myself beautiful! My other make up artist friend Hannah did my Mums which was so important as my Mum shaved her head when I lost my hair so I wanted her to feel confident and beautiful.
My wedding was everything I didn’t know I wanted. Every part of it was filled with love and friendship and trust. Everything a good marriage should be. I was blessed and gifted and made to feel so complete when actually my life was crashing down around me. My reality was dark and painful but for one day with the help of my Husband and my family and my incredible friends it was bright light and comfort.
There is one other person who I could never thank enough, who I am in complete awe of. Katie Gingernut with a Camera. She captured the heart and the essence of the day. I will never get bored of my wedding photos. It wasn’t a traditional wedding, we didn’t have a cake or a first dance. We didn’t have the grounds of a country estate or those big light up letters to take pictures by. But when you have someone so pure hearted and so talented take the time and care to capture every moment nothing else matters.
My wedding was planned in 4 weeks and was the best day of my life.