A few months ago I found the confidence to apply for ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ on E4; a television series where select couples are cast to experience the wedding of their dreams.
However, there are a few catches – your partner has to plan the whole day, you give up all control, both of you are followed around by cameras for three weeks and your wedding is broadcast to the entire nation!
At the time of applying, I couldn’t believe I was writing the email,”My Fiancé and I would love to take part in Don’t Tell the Bride”. I was even more shocked when just a few weeks later his phone started to ring, “Hi, this is the assistant producer of Don’t Tell the Bride”, my face dropped ‘oh gosh this is actually real’, it was all fun and games until that moment when I realise the possibility of being on the show and getting married in just 3 weeks! It got very real, real quick!
Before I knew it my house was full of camera equipment, producers and cameramen. My partner had left to stay with his Mum and our mobiles were replaced with old school Nokia’s so that we couldn’t communicate with each other. It was the first time my partner and I had been away from each other so for me, losing my support network and the security he provided me for a few weeks was actually quite difficult.
My anxiety and worries suddenly went through the roof as I had no idea of what he was to plan for our big day. I panicked about what I would be wearing as I’ve become extremely body conscious after the weight I gained since the birth of our son Alijah. I started to worry that if he didn’t get a makeup artist, how was I going to cover my self-harm scars enough on the telly?
Would I look silly? Is he going to make me perform? Will I fit in the dress he chooses?
I watched my closest friends and family start to panic for me whilst trying to maintain a sense of calm to my face. We filmed and re-filmed and finally, it was the night before and I laid in bed with my son and my maid of honour where I did not sleep a wink! Suddenly, with hardly any sleep, it was the crack of dawn and I was up getting myself and Alijah ready for the big day.
I was kept separate from my bridesmaids until they presented their lovely bright polka-dot dresses to me! This triggered my mind into wondering what our wedding was going to look like. A wonderful makeup artist appeared and much to my relief began covering the scars on my face. My dad and these beautiful cars appeared to drive me to the venue and I was then blindfolded – the next time I opened my eyes I saw flashing lights, family and friends and my amazing husband to be dancing his little heart out with tears in his eye to my favourite song from my favourite band.
My heart was full! Tears streamed down my face, my ex-military Dad who I had never seen cry, also had a tear in his eye, our little boy was in the cutest suit carrying our rings. My issues had managed to make me doubt and worry about a man that knew me more than I even knew myself!
I walked towards him feeling grateful and blessed. I promised myself from that day forward that I would love him fully, silence my past, accept his love and the fact that I did deserve love, and promised to love myself.
I still struggle from time to time to keep it all of my insecurities at bay but purposely put myself in trigger situations to show others that you don’t have to be trapped by your own mind. There is hope. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s so worth it, in the end, to keep on going and developing the strength to silence your inner demons.
I finally reached my happily ever after and I know I’m only just getting started.
If I can get there, then so can you!
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