James and I got married on Sept 3rd, 2016. It was the most magical day, but there was also inescapable sorrow surrounding us. My Mum had lost her battle to cancer just three weeks earlier.
James had proposed on a starlit beach in Sri Lanka back in November 2015. I think both of us would have quite happily stayed engaged forever. People would ask us if we’d set the date and we’d say mention some non-specific point in the future. We were happy and a wedding just seemed like an unjustifiable expense.
At Christmas Mum was in full remission, in March she was told that her cancer had returned, by May she had been admitted to hospital with some complications. On one hospital visit, I half-jokingly mentioned that James and I had considered getting married in September. Mum told me how happy that made her and within a day our wedding date was set.
We had given ourselves four months to plan everything. This seemed like just enough time to plan a wedding. What we had failed to see was that it wasn’t enough time for Mum. We had no idea just how quickly her health would deteriorate and on August the 11th we kissed her goodbye for the last time. Her message throughout had been clear…the wedding goes on.
We considered cancelling everything but we both knew that if we did it would be difficult to find the heart to reorganise everything at a later date. Mum had been so invested in this day, she’d visited the venue, she knew our suppliers, she had bought my dress. In addition to this, if there is one thing that cancer teaches you, it is that life is too short and too fragile and you should never, ever, wait.
So on a rainy September Saturday, I married the man of my dreams. In a lambing shed, surrounded by our loved ones, lots of sheep, two pigs and a tonne of mud. It was the most, imperfectly, perfect day of my life.