The secrets behind my wedding photos!

Published Thursday, May 15 2014, 20:00 BST  |  By  |  Add comment
These three women reveal what they were really thinking on their big day...

"I can't believe it's me!"
Clare Smith is a 27-year-old support worker from Wigan, Lancashire

"I'll never forget seeing my reflection on my wedding day. I couldn't believe it was me. I looked completely different to the person I'd been for the past decade – and it wasn't just about weight loss.

Because there were times in the years leading up to our wedding when I wasn't even sure I'd survive.

Wedding day secrets

© Reader's own

Clare Smith

Wedding day secrets

© Jim Duxbury

Clare lost four stone for her wedding

I'd always struggled with my weight – I was a size 18 when I was 18. I couldn't understand it as I barely ate. I longed to be invisible, walking behind my boyfriend Stephen in the hopes people wouldn't see me.

Then aged 22, I discovered a lump on my arm. Doctors explained it was a soft tissue tumour called a desmoid. It was removed but grew back within three months.

Doctors warned me I shouldn't have children because the tumour would feed off the hormones. But the diagnosis made me realise how much I wanted a family, so Ste and I decided to start trying and I fell pregnant.

The tumour grew to 20cm during my pregnancy, leaving me in so much pain, I couldn't move. Eventually they induced labour and our daughter, Story, was born on 21 April 2011.

By then, I was a size 20. But with medication and radiotherapy, the tumour started shrinking.

Meanwhile, we set a date for our wedding so I joined a Slimming World class and visited the gym religiously.

I ordered my wedding dress in a size 14 and by the time we got married last September in Cyprus, I'd gone from 16st to 11st 7lb and it had to be taken in twice.

I'm now a size 12 and the tumour continues to shrink. When I look at the wedding pictures, I'm finally starting to believe it is me smiling back."

"I knew I was making a mistake"
Charlie Lewis is a 28-year-old personal trainer from Hove, East Sussex

"As our eyes met at the altar, I felt overwhelmingly confused. I loved the man standing in front of me but it had all happened so quickly, I wasn't confident we were doing the right thing.

As we read our vows, Lee, now 34, looked so happy. But I was worried. "Am I making a mistake?" I wondered.

Wedding day secrets

© Reader's own

Charlie Lewis

Wedding day secrets

© Alex Maguire

Charlie was too young when she married Lee

I was 16 when I met Lee. He was 22. And I was three months pregnant with our first child when, on my 18th birthday, he proposed.

It seemed like the sensible thing to do – after all, we had a baby on the way. But the fact was, we argued about everything. Money, living with Lee's mum…

I thought it would be a long engagement but then we booked a meeting with the vicar and decided to have the wedding soon to accommodate an elderly relative.

Suddenly, it was happening. I didn't know if my reservations were just wedding jitters or if I was right – we were too young.

Even the night before the wedding, it didn't feel real. I was six months pregnant with our second child. Everything had moved so fast, I didn't feel in control of the decision.

We didn't have any money. Our wedding reception was in the local pub and we ate sausage rolls. It wasn't how I'd imagined my big day to be.

As the years went on, I inevitably changed. Aged 22, I started training to be a personal trainer and met new friends.

Lee and I broke up when I was 24 – I was divorced before any of my friends had even married. I don't regret marrying Lee because we had two wonderful children together and plenty of happy memories. But it was too soon and we were not compatible.

I've been with my new man for three years but we won't get married until we're absolutely sure. Marriage should be something people do when they know they're ready. It shouldn't be rushed."

"I was in denial that I was gay"
Becky Mooney is a 34-year-old support worker from Birmingham

"I was 16 when I first experimented with a female friend. It felt so right, I thought I might be gay. But my parents weren't happy and I buried my feelings deep.

Instead, I decided maybe I was bisexual and a year later I met Paul. He wasn't fazed by my feelings for women and, instead, treated me so well, I fell in love.

Wedding day secrets

© Reader's own

Becky Mooney

Wedding day secrets

© Robin Palmer

Becky was confused about her sexuality

So when I was 19 and he proposed, I accepted.

A few days later, I reminded him that I was still attracted to women too, but he told me he didn't mind. I loved him so much, I was sure I would never stop feeling the way I felt then.

I could block out my attraction to women because the man I'd met was so special.

On the morning of our wedding in April 2002, Mum asked me if I was sure I was making the right decision. I assured her I was.

I wanted to commit to Paul, I told myself it could work.

Paul and I were married for four years. Then I met a woman for whom I developed feelings. Confused, I asked Paul if we could take a break and I realised I wasn't being true to myself.

I was heartbroken as I left Paul -– I still loved him, just not in the right way. It wasn't easy and we didn't speak for a long time. But we're really close now. He understands you can't choose your sexuality and I'm grateful for that.

I eventually came out in 2006 and I've been with my girlfriend for nearly six months now.

She's helping me see I have nothing to be ashamed of."

By Kim Willis

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