Weddings, family and friendships – a new bride’s perspective

My dear, wonderful readers,

So I’ve come to the end of my own wedding planning journey – and what a journey it’s been. Fear not, before you ask, Under the Vintage Veil isn’t going anywhere. In fact, I now have double the time to dedicate to taking my baby to new heights, so watch this space as we get back into full swing.

Before I even start, I have to say a hugely soppy and emotional thank you to all of you amazing, lovely people for your kind and heartfelt messages. I can’t tell you how good it feels to read them, and how fantastic it is to be back with you all full time knowing how supported I am. It’s not been an easy road the last few weeks, with a serious family situation (which I won’t go into here, but it will certainly be a big focus in my life for a while now) putting a lot of  things into perspective, you have all been so wonderful, even if you don’t know it.

Meryl, you are just incredible. Your work over the last few weeks has given me the space I needed to come back stronger. I love you, dudette.

I’ve talked a LOT over the last year about friendship. Usually it’s been a rant. I can’t count the times I’ve said “when you get married you really find out who your friends are” with bitterness in my tone and a note of disappointment. I can’t count the times I’ve been frustrated, angry, entitled and low.

It was sitting at the top table in our wedding marquee, blessed with the hottest day of the year so far, Mediterranean music playing softly in the background, everyone I love in one room, laughing, sharing food, embraces, love, that I realised I’d been going about this all wrong.

So along the way I lost a few “friends” – I got frustrated, I got angry. But looking around that room at the people who’d given up weeks of their time to help me, who’d offered their unconditional support, who’d lifted tables, sewn napkins, hung lanterns, provided hug after hug after hug, listened to me go on and on and on about my wedding and still acted like it was the most interesting thing in the world, rushed to my side when two weeks ago it felt like my world was falling apart and generally been the most amazing people you could imagine, I realised something.

I really do know who my friends are. And they’re the best people in the world.

People talk about post-wedding blues – no more DIY to keep you busy, nothing more to focus on, work towards, but my post-wedding blues are taking a different form.

I no longer have an excuse to have everyone I love around me. Not all at once, not so often. Life is short and precious – the last few weeks have taught me this in the cruellest way – and who knows if and when we’ll all be together like that again? The people who have made the last few weeks the best of my life, despite any other difficulties, will scatter again around the world, my beautiful family, our wonderful friends in America, all back to their own lives, and our life together, up until now filled with noise, laughter, emotion and joy, is now all up to us.

Luckily for me, I know two things for sure:

1. I have a husband who I can turn to when I miss my friends, who understands, who cares and who listens. In fact, as I woke up feeling the heavy burden of saying goodbye to my loved ones again at 4am this morning, he woke up to hold me and talk to me. That makes me unfathomably lucky and wealthy, and I know that, even though I will miss having so many of my loved ones around me, I have all the love in the world right here with me, unconditionally.

2. I have had the immense privilege of realising this early in my life to bloody well do something about it. I want a home filled with love, visitors and all the emotional gifts they bring. I want to welcome my friends any time, to create opportunities to spend time with them, to stay as connected as we all are right now without having to have the excuse of a wedding.

So there you have it, folks, I learned something. This whole time I thought I was losing friends over this wedding – but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have never appreciated my friends or family more than I do right now, and I’m just so, so grateful.

There will probably be lots of post-wedding articles in the days to come, filled with pictures, DIY tips, news about my suppliers (and the particularly amazing ones) and much more, but before I wrote anything, I wanted to write from my heart.

For now, I want to leave you with one picture – of my and the four amazing girls who kept me sane, Shelley, Ella, Rhiannon and Carys, my stunning bridesmaids. There are no words for how much they all mean to me.

Image © Satureyes – our official wedding photographer

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