So let me make sure I’m getting this right…you go shopping for your dress, you find the perfect one, (you know it’s perfect because it makes everyone who sees it emotional) then you spend a small fortune on it, wear it once, and that’s it.
You then have to put away your expensive, magical, emotion producing dress into a box, push it to the back of a wardrobe and never touch it again.
Does that seem fair? My dress and I think not.
I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. If we had stuck to our original plan, we would have had our wedding in December 2019. Instead we decided on a small elopement and jumped in feet first on December 2018, our immediate family joined us and we all got to spend a perfect Christmas together. I wouldn’t change a thing.
In April 2019 I had an accident that changed my life. I was left with a severe concussion after a traumatic brain injury. The hardest months of my life followed and come December 2019 I couldn’t help but look at our lives. If we hadn’t eloped the year before we would have had to either cancel or downgrade the wedding, we would have had to change it to a small elopement. I was still suffering terribly with concussion, I had no noise tolerance, awful headaches and couldn’t hold a prolonged conversation. Bright light hurt, I couldn’t read without feeling sick and anxiety was kicking my ass. Gerry then had a fall, landed on his hand and broke it. Suddenly we were both out of work. It’s safe to say 2019 was not our year.
We decided that 2020 would be different. Gerry’s hand is still recovering, as is my bruised brain but everything that happened has made our relationship stronger than ever. I needed a husband by my side during my recovery and Gerry proved every one of his vows. I’m starting to see light at the end of the concussion tunnel and I want to (gently) grab life and make the most of it this year.
We deserved to do something fun. I thought about the last time I felt really good and I realised it was on our wedding day. My beautiful dress whispered to me from the back of the wardrobe. Our day had been perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing but the rain had been super excited for us and showed up with its friends, thunder and lightning. We had had to make the last minute safety decision to fly past our chosen helicopter destination and continue on to somewhere lower and safer instead. We got out on Queenstown Hill and laughed in the rain with our photographer and had no regrets.
A year later and we decided to go back. I pulled my dress out of the box and squeezed into it (it had been a year of minimal exercising!). Gerry hired a suit and arrived home with a bunch of sunflowers for me, my favourite flower and what I had in my original wedding bouquet. We met my beautiful photographer friend Kate at the helicopter office and we were off.
It wasn’t another wedding, we didn’t say vows again. I was dizzy on the way up in the helicopter and exhausted from a day of getting ready. I made sure to hold Gerrys left hand instead of his broken right one. He helped me when I struggled with my balance walking on the rocky mountain ledge. We stood on the side of the mountain and stared into each other’s eyes as the photographer set up the shot and checked the light. I looked at my husband, a year on, and knew I could not have gone through that year without him. I wanted to marry him all over again. The people on the mountain staring at each other now were not the same people who had laughed in the rain the year before. The year had changed us, shaped and tested us.
We were knocked down but had helped each other back up, we were bruised but not broken. We popped champagne before we got back on the helicopter and, with one last look back at the scenery, I told myself that this was a new year, a fresh start. My gorgeous husband helped me up the step into the heli and we flew back to our normal life, something I will never again take for granted.
A huge thank you to my wonderful and talented friend Kate Craig Brown Photography for the beautiful photos.
Thank you to the expert veil wrangler Niamh Murphy for my hair style.
Amazing make up job by Charm beauty
Thank you to Heliworks for the nicest helicopter pilot!
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