Naughty or nice? I was tricked into get­ting mar­ried

Les­ley Mor­gan, 35, from Dundee, knew her man was hid­ing some­thing…

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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.

‘Don’t

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

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