Naughty or nice? I was tricked into getting married
Lesley Morgan, 35, from Dundee, knew her man was hiding something…
As I looked at the rows of white wedding dresses in the bridal shop, I felt a pang of jealousy.
My friend Amanda was renewing her wedding vows and, although I was happy for her, I knew at the age of 34, I never stood a chance of walking down the aisle.
I’d been with my boyfriend Chris, 53, for nearly 17 years.
‘Will you marry me?’ I had asked him once, in the leap year a few years ago.
‘Don’t be silly,’ he’d said. ‘We’re happy as we are, so why spoil it?’ I told myself he was right. After all, we were always treating each other to surprises.
I’d taken him on holiday, and he’d bought me a day at the F1 motor racing.
But growing up, like most women, I always thought I’d have my big day.
I wanted to choose the perfect gown and walk down the aisle.
But with Chris’ objections to marriage, I knew that I’d never see that day.
And now, in March this year, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit jealous as I was out with Amanda, dress shopping for her vowrenewal ceremony, with me as her maid of honour.
‘I think this one looks perfect!’ she said, as I tried on a bridesmaid’s dress. ‘But it’s white!’ I laughed. ‘Everyone’s going to be in white – even the other bridesmaids,’ she said.
It was a gorgeous dress, with lace at the front and diamante all down it.
‘Don’t you think it’s a bit odd?’ I said to Chris later that night. ‘Nobody apart from the bride wears white to a wedding.’
‘If that’s what she wants, then you’ll just have to go with it,’ he shrugged, not interested. I frowned. Lately, Chris seemed distracted. And, over the next few weeks, I noticed he was being secretive about his phone.
Worry started to whirl through my mind.
‘Are you seeing someone else?’ I blurted out to him one night, getting suspicious.
be daft,’ he said.
I started thinking that maybe I was just a little stressed out, especially when I lost a couple of my favourite rings.
‘I took them off just before I had a shower,’ I said to Chris, puzzled. ‘You’ve not seen them, have you?’
Like a typical bloke, he didn’t even know what rings I was going on about. ‘Nevermind,’ I sighed. And, sure enough, I found the rings in the bathroom cabinet a few days later.
Finally, 7 July came, the day that Amanda was renewing her vows, and I was nervous.
As I got my hair and makeup done, butterflies were circling around in my stomach.
I feel ridiculous, I thought. Don’t get me wrong, my dress was gorgeous, but way too over the top for a maid of honour.
If only Amanda had chosen something more subtle.
But clearly she wasn’t planning
on subtle… because, rather than a taxi, a Rolls Royce turned up to collect me. ‘Wow!’ I said, as I climbed in. All this just to renew her wedding vows! Lucky thing, I thought, feeling a pang of envy. When we arrived at the beach in St Leonards, outside a lovely seafront restaurant called Azur, the wedding planner grabbed hold of me.
‘Hurry up, you’re late,’ he said. ‘Amanda’s waiting.’
As I hurried into the restaurant, I saw Amanda in a lovely dress, but it wasn’t her wedding dress.
Looking at her, confused, I caught sight of Chris out of the corner of my eye. He was dressed in a wedding suit. As he approached me, his eyes filled with tears.
Suddenly, all the weird things that had been going on made sense.
The dress, the missing rings, the swanky car… I’d been tricked! This wasn’t Amanda’s wedding. It was mine! ‘Will you marry me?’ Chris asked nervously.
‘Of course I will,’ I said, bursting into tears.
Twenty minutes later, as I walked down the aisle with my grandad and my son Bailey, 13, by my side, I was still in shock.
All of my friends and family were there. As I said the words ‘I do’, I just couldn’t believe that it was actually happening.
How had everyone kept such a big secret?
Later, we opened the doors of the venue, which spilled out on to the beach, and carried on the party.
Chris and I danced our first dance to Ed Sheeran’s Perfect.
Later on, we cut the cake he’d chosen – a three-tiered cake with figurines of our Rottweiler dogs on it.
It was what I would have picked myself.
‘How come you changed your mind about getting married?’ I asked him later that evening.
‘I realised you knew me better than anyone else,’ he said. ‘And how much you wanted your big day.’ He told me how he’d had the idea last Christmas and roped our friends in to help him. It had taken a lot of planning! ‘I knew you were all hiding something from me,’ I giggled.
‘I just thought it was another woman!’
For me, one of the biggest anxieties about getting married would have been organising the wedding itself.
So I’m glad I got to skip that part and fast forward to the actual day and focus on getting married.
Chris created the perfect wedding for us and I have to say, I couldn’t have done it any better myself.
And he also gave me a surprise that I’ll never forget!
I thought I was a maid of honour!
It was all perfectly planned
I was right about being suspicious