Helen and Martin's Wedding - 17th February 2009

helen and martin 01The week on the run up to the wedding was lovely, everyone was so good willed. Martin and I were beginning to really look forward to the wedding and it felt to me like the first few months of being together, where there is that constant feeling of elation and excitement.

On the morning of the wedding I woke up to my alarm at 8.30am feeling strangely calm after having had nerves for the previous few days. I sat and chatted with Martin while my bath was running and it was a happy calm atmosphere. At 11.15am my mum and sister arrived and things got a little busier! My sister was amazing and helped get everyone ready without panicking. Then very soon we were dressed and my dad had arrived with ribbons on his Mercedes to collect me and it all started to feel really special.

I kept feeling an emotional lump bubble up in my throat, that occasionally escaped as a little splutter that was kind of half giggle, half sob. Our wedding day was really here, and I was about to get married!!

Martin is 'Only a Man'

helen and martin 2Martin had always said he thought every wedding dress looked the same to him (well we have to forgive him, he is a man ;o) ) so I didn’t expect a reaction from him, but as I got out of the car he was already there and waiting for me. He came over to me and had such love and warmth in his eyes as he told me I looked really beautiful, and that made me well up all over again!

At this point mum came over and pointed out that I had forgotten my bouquet!! After all the hassle with the florists and then my sister making such a beautiful bouquet at the last minute, I then went and left it at home! My dad offered to dash to the florists but by now I didn’t care whether I had flowers or not, I was marrying my fantastic fiancee and couldn’t be any happier so we then headed inside.

Martin and I were ushered through to an office where we were to confirm details for the marriage certificate before the ceremony. The plan was that Martin and I would be seated in the ceremony room and then the guests would be ushered through, but while we were in the office we realised that everyone was already being shown to the ceremony room. Our music began, and as Art Garfunkels “Only have eyes for you” began to play out, we entered the ceremony room.

Pause, Reverse and Take Two

helen and martin 3We had only gone about a metre into the room when a loud clacking noise started and we realised the strap on my wheelchair had got caught in the wheel spokes and brought us to a standstill!! Everyone laughed as we untangled it then Martin comedy reversed us out of the room to start again. I was a bit embarrassed but it was perfect because it immediately broke the nervous tension in the room and it was smiles all round as we went in the second time.

As the first song ended the room went quiet as the registrar was starting the ceremony. I began to feel a mixture of nerves and also just feeling overwhelmed by what we were doing. We just hadn’t thought it was possible for us to get married and yet here I was sitting on the floor arranged by a really lovely and understanding registrar, about to get married to the man I had loved for almost 5 years. As predicted, I began to struggle with tears as I said my vows, but martin just looked lovingly at me throughout and squeezed my hand for encouragement. I looked up and noticed most of the guests were also crying, and then saw my dad smile and mouth “take your time”. By the end of my vows my voice had stopped waivering and we had exchanged our rings.

I know it sounds corny and clichéd but it was true that we really could feel the love in the room. I was concerned at how unconventional our wedding was to be but it had its own uniqueness that made it special to us. Although Martin and I were sat on the floor, we were facing 6 of our closest family and friends and they all said afterwards how lovely and intimate it felt that they saw our faces while we exchanged our vows.

A Borrowed Bouquet

helen and martin 4Our second song Sarah Mclachlans “Push” began to play as the registrar brought the marriage certificate over for us to sign and then our final song Robert Palmers “She makes my day” as we hugged our guests and prepared for photos. The registrar gave me a bouquet from the room for photos so I did have flowers after all! We had lots of photos taken in the ceremony room and then we gratefully stepped out into the fresh air as husband and wife.

Martin and I went and took a break and sat in the car for a little while before joining our guests at the pub over the road for a drink, then we left them to celebrate some more while we headed home with big grins on our faces. My sister dropped Martins daughter back to us a couple of hours later and brought in a lovely big basket covered with a lace “just married” cover and underneath were two bottles of celebratory pop, some luxury chocolates, confetti, and even some heart shaped biscuits for the dog! It was the most perfect day and the enormous goodwill from friends (including Chaos, you have all been so supportive and encouraging, thank you so much) and family both present and absent made it all the more so.

Oh and one final thing I must add is my advice to future brides: listen to Ness when she tells you big boobied ladies really should wear a bra under a bustier top, even if it is laced and boned!: I only wore my dress for about 3 hours in total and I spent most of that time hitching me boobs up!! ….I begrudgingly await Ness’s “I told you so” ;o)

helen and martin 5