1. Describe your dress to me and why it was "The One" for you - how did wearing it make you feel? What did your husband think of it?
Being a curvy girl, phat as I would prefer being called, lol, is not easy to find something beautiful and fitting. The wonderful Jo and Al had no real idea what I wanted for a dress, they only had a brief that I was looking for a trumpet style (which was what I thought would suite me). Along we (sister in law and daughter) came to the dress fitting and tried on the first dress, my daughter and sister in law cried - I cried lol, it was so beautiful and the realisation of getting married hit me . However, although beautiful it was just not the one, fishtail/trumpet style was not entirely what I wanted. Second dress, also very pretty but didn't have that wow factor. I was about to try on a trumpet style blush dress when I heard chatting in the main room - my daughter had apparently chosen a dress and they said I need to put that on. So reverse half naked body out of the blush dress and then diving in arms first into this beautiful traditional A line dress. Al was behind snugging me in with the corset strings. She told me that this was one of their most expensive dresses in the shop. I felt a bit strange, what if I like the dress? So we stepped out traditionally closing eyes and then everyone opened and we all loved it, I loved it. Jo and Al had a code word for 'this is the one'. It hugged me in all the right areas it was so comfortable (as comfortable as a wedding dress can be) and made me feel like a princess.
My lovely husband thought I looked beautiful. He is not one for many words but when he said 'you look beautiful my love' it was enough.
2. 20 years together is an amazing testament to the love you have for each other . How did you both first meet?
We met on his 18th birthday. I was reluctant to give him a kiss at the end of the night as I thought he had to much to drink lol. The next morning he came to my house shaved hair (to look decent to meet the parents) and as they say the rest was history.
3. Where did you move from 10 years ago, and what brought you to the UK? I'm an Australian who has been living here 3 years myself , so I know the feeling somewhat!
We came from sunny South Africa on a ancestral visa, arrived in the UK 2 November 2007, it was bitterly cold.
4. How many children do you have, and what are their thoughts on you both being married at last?
We have had two beautiful children together, sadly our first child passed away at 6 months old from SIDS. We drifted apart after his death as I think we were very young to deal with something so tragic. Our love was strong though and we soon got back together. We had our lovely, beautiful funny sensitive daughter in 1999, she will be 18 in August. She thinks that we are amazing and she aspires to have a love like ours lol...
5. How did A Gift of A Wedding get involved? Did they contact you, or did you reach out to them? What did they do to make sure your big day was so special?
I might have answered some of this in question 1. Gift of a wedding reached out on social media and Jo and Al replied, as I am a curvy bride I believe I fit the profile of their shop. I believe Jo does a lot of charity activities for cancer and I think they are both angels to have given me an opportunity to feel like a bride, beautiful and confident.
6. How was your experience at Curves & Couture, and how did you get on with Jo & Al? Would you recommend them to other brides to be?
I only discovered they had a TLC programme after my dress fit would have loved to have been on it lol. The two ladies were lovely - they have an amazing talent and took their time with asking what my thoughts were,and left the decisions up to me. I would most definitely recommend them to any curvy bride to be. The entire experience of exclusive trying on and the expert advise they give is phenomenal.
7. Finally , what words of encouragement/advice/support would you send to other couples who are having to deal with the same dark cloud, as you eloquently put it in our earlier emails ?
We all know life is short, I suppose you don't know what might happen tomorrow. My best advise would be is to enjoy the little things, take your time and enjoy the moment. Love hard and always be sure to know that those heavy times filled with darkness will always be overshadowed by the beautiful, lovely, happy memories you keep in your heart.
This is a short photo video our awesome photographer took, so enjoy! Look how beautiful that dress is...
Rita and Tom's wedding