Wedding Ideas is on the search for our Bride of the Year and we have had hundreds of worthy submissions. We thought we would share with you two of our favourites so far… Who would get your vote?
We will be announcing the winner at the end of January, but in the meantime keep your eyes peeled for more heartfelt stories.
“I woke up on 30th April 1990 to a beautiful sunny spring day. My husband, RAF aircrew, was up and out at some ungodly hour for an early sortie.
“Our two sons, aged three and six, were duly dropped off at nursery and school and I headed to work, just like any other normal day. However, it was not to be. My husband’s aircraft crashed into a hill on the Outer Hebrides and all nine crew were killed.
“Over the years I battled with depression – I couldn’t work, gained weight, and struggled with the difficulty of raising two children on my own. However, when I hit 50, I finally got to grips and took control of my life.
“When I had the confidence, I eventually dabbled in online dating, but I just kept meeting the wrong sort of person. I thought I was destined to be on my own. I found some guys could be so cruel – but then I also became judgmental. If a guy didn’t fit my ‘requirements’, then the date would be cut short.
“I was ready to give up, but I thought ‘just one last look’… and there he was. I met Graham on 1st August 2012, and he asked me to marry him on 27th October! After being a solo, totally independent, self sufficient woman for so long, I worried about sharing my life. I had my routines and was so set in them.
“I’d met my first husband when I was 17 and we grew up together – now I was an adult, and falling in love was different this time around. The second time you fall in love with someone, you feel so relieved. When you get your heart broken for the first time, you can’t imagine loving someone else again or having someone else love you. You worry about being damaged goods. And then it happens. Someone else loves you and you can sleep well at night.
Our love for one another is grounded, and our roots are stronger for having weathered storms of pain and loss. Relationship challenges that might have seemed overwhelming before look tame by comparison to what I’ve been through.
“I am more relaxed and able to give our relationship room to breathe and grow. The more freely you give, the more your new relationship will surpass the first. No matter when love comes around, grab hold and hang on! I had once written down what I wanted in a man – when I recently re-read it, I found it was Graham to a T. I’d finally met the man of my dreams, again – I’d never thought I would find true love twice.
“So for the second time I shall be walking down the aisle, this time with my two sons, of whom I’m immensely proud – they’ll be giving me away on 31st May 2014, and I couldn’t be more excited. Winning the title of Bride of the Year would be the icing on the cake!”
Laura was nominated by her h2b Jono
“After getting engaged in February of this year, Laura and I had planned on living together and then getting married next year or the year after,” says Jono.
“However, after being posted to Germany with the army, we had to move our wedding to as soon as possible if we had any chance of seeing each other over the next two and a half years.
With an Afghan deployment next year, we needed to get married sooner rather than later. We decided my Christmas leave was the ideal time to do it – which essentially gave us six weeks to plan our wedding!
“Laura worked tirelessly making and planning all aspects of the wedding with very little help from me, as I was in Germany for the larger part of it.
If it wasn’t for Laura’s efforts, the wedding would not have gone as perfectly as it did – from the individually-made invitations to the diplomatic seating plan, she put in every last drop of energy she had into making the day what we wanted.
“She was so organised that we didn’t have to make any sacrifices on the venue or caterer, and we managed to get the same suppliers we would have chosen if we’d had the original year and a bit to plan it. It really was the perfect day, and that is all thanks to her.”
There’s still time to nominate your Bride of the Year. Do you know someone who deserves the title? Let us know!