Like many other young children, I had so many dreams of the perfect wedding, a fantasy that I could get lost in for hours, with or without the help of my Barbie Dolls and Teddy’s.
I remember there was a huge tree in my childhood homes garden, it would produce the most beautiful blossom, that would fall so gently, I would spin and walk under it in awe of the beauty of it all, it fuelled that desire of finding my own true love.
I dated a lot as a teenager – guys I liked but whom I did not see as a husband or a father.
I didn’t mind this at a young age, I was free and experiencing all the joys of first love and romance, that was until 18 and I lost my father.
When my father died I was shoved into adulthood like a penguin shoves its mate into a seal to save their own skin. All my priorities changed and after getting so fed up of dating, I decided to only commit again when I found the one.
I had fun in singledom, I explored and satisfied those pesky desires but instead of focusing on another, I focused on my self and my own future.
Soon I met Harry, we met at a friends party and as soon as I saw him walk though the door (I was hoping he was the pizza guy as I was tipsy) I looked at my brother and said “I’ll be dating him”.
We didn’t talk to start but we hit it off very quickly, he walked me home and I added him on Facebook straight away, we never stopped talking. He met up with me a few days later and we ate brownie sundaes at Wetherspoons and then just chatted.
As weeks passed we became an item but did not know it, it wasn’t until a month in that someone asked “are you together” that we realised we hadn’t defined ourselves.
The next day I sent him a text and asked him, we agreed and that was it, truth is that we had been so into each other we forgot about the need to define or think about others opinions.
He proposed to me around 11 months into the relationship, I was half asleep and he had to ask a few times before I understood, I thought he was joking and I had trust issues so I made him be specific before I said yes.
On February 20th 2018, Harry and I became husband and Wife, I had found my soul mate and never once have I doubted it.
I found that I loved him so much that I didn’t even care about my dream wedding, I just wanted the vows to be official and leave it at that, just to be his wife, though we were persuaded to host a reception for family and close friends.
In a way, I don’t think I wanted to marry without my dad being alive, he was the love of my life and it felt wrong without him but with Harry it just made sense.
I know in my heart my dad would have told me how proud he was of me to find such a lovely man after all the bad relationships in my past. There are so many similarities between Harry and my father and that gives me comfort but also sadness that he never got to meet the only man perfect enough to take me from my fathers arms.
Harry knew how hard this all was for me, he actually asked my little brother for permission to marry me as he could not ask my dad, a gesture that made it a little bit easier.
I walked into my ceremony arm in arm with Harry, my brother and mum were fighting over the role and I only felt that since Harry is the new main man in my life, it seems fitting to start it all walking by his side.
We made sure to mention my dad and the others who should have been in that ceremony with us before we made the vows, a moment of silence to allow them to be there with us.
I felt awkward at our reception, Harry’s guests didn’t know about my dad and I wasn’t going to talk about his death or suicide on my wedding day but I could see their curiosity and sympathy piercing me throughout the day.
We didn’t do a first dance and we kept it simple, I avoided the feeling that dad should have been there but he was, he was in the wedding ring that now sat on my hand that once belonged to my mother. He was in the poem that my older brother wrote in space of the father of the bride speech, he was in all the love and hearts of those present.
Being a fatherless bride or without a parent when you are to be wed is hard, people automatically feel sorry for you but it is only out of love. I cried a lot and it hurt through the wedding process but doing little things to symbolise and remind me of my dad made it that easier.
To any bride out there, have a wedding that suits you and not your guests, only do what makes you comfortable, fuck tradition if it hurts you. There are so many sweet and beautiful ways to include a lost loved one on your day but they are there regardless in memory, heart and spirit.