To my mum and dad

blog-dad-200.jpgI was nine-years-old and in the car with my mum on the school run when I had the first conversation about my wedding day. Despite my protests to the contrary, she already knew she wouldn't be with me when the time came.

But we did make a pact - if the man I was marrying wasn't good enough then she would send a thunder storm as a sign for me to get myself out of there. Eighteen years on, and I remember every single detail about that car journey.

Every girl getting married should be able to do so with the help of her mum. Throughout this process I have been acutely aware that I have missed out on so many special moments, and there have been plenty of times when, if I am honest, I have felt incredibly lonely. It still breaks my heart that I had to buy a wedding dress without her.

Having planned the big day without my mum's help, I will soon face my next personal battle - walking down the aisle without my dad to give me away.

My brother James and I are used to life without our parents, and, apart from the occasional inevitable low, we get on with day-to-day life without constantly feeling the ache of our loss.

But this, planning the wedding, has been so hard. My emotions as I approach 'D-day' are all over the place - I continuously battle to balance my excitement with the knowledge that the two people I want with me more than anything in the world will be missing.

On Sunday, it all became too much - Father's Day didn't help - and I cried, and cried, and cried. And Chris, now a master in these situations, behaved perfectly. Because there is nothing to say. There is nothing that will make everything alright, and nothing that will stop the lump rising in my throat every time I actually stop and think about them.

The only thing to do was to face the pain head on, and the end result - namely my tears - came as a relief to both us. Ever since this process began, I have taken great pains to focus on everything except the absence of my parents, and addressing that at the weekend went a long way to helping me find resolve.

There won't be a moment at the wedding that I won't think about my mum and dad, and it goes without saying that I wish more than anything they could be there with me. But I do take comfort knowing they will be proudly watching me as I look ahead to my future with Chris. Thunderstorms permitting of course.
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Wow, Gemma... your story is so moving. I can only imagine what you are going through and feeling. I hope your wedding day is everything you wished and planned for, but mustly I hope your marriage is filled with love and companionship. I know for sure that both of your parents are proud of you, and the woman that you´ve become. If you ever need to feel close to them or feel like they are with you, all you have to do is search within your heart, for they are and will always be right there for you.

Gems, I remember you telling me the thunderstorm story back in Alanbrooke. Im sure that the sun will be shining on your big day. Hope you both have a fantastic time. x

thanks for posting this wonderful blog i love it! cheers

Gemma, your parents are looking down of you every day & are really proud of the way you have turned out & how strong & kind that you are. They will also be evry happy knowing that you are happy with the choices you have made in your life & we will all drink a toast to you Mum & Dad on your special day xxx

International Union of Artists and its president Arsen Kljan congratulate and the couple.

Hello my darling- all I can offer is a substitute mum and dad-we love you to pieces- and as far as we are concerned you are the daughter that we never had- so look forward to being there whenever you need a mum
am so thrilled that Chris chose you- I will be the one blubbing in the corner- hope you have ordered enough tissues........
really proud you are going to be my first daughter in law- love ya loads
kimmie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I stumbled upon your blog by accident...(I am not one to read blogs) However the title made me read through this heartfelt story.I am sure your parents will be looking on you on your special day and be extremely proud of you and all your achievements. I wish you a lovely day and a long and healthy life together with your husband.

Gemma - how brave and freeing at the same time to be able to express your pain.

I've been in the bridal industry for a long time, and am sure you have probably thought of ways to include your parents in your day.
However if not perhaps you may like to consider these.

Walk down the isle to a fav piece of your parents music.
Have tiny / passport size photos in frames tied to your bouquet.
Save 2 empty chairs, and have them acknowledged as being for your parents in their absence.
Wear something of your mothers on the day - ie a brooch, ring / a piece of lace/ ribbon off her bridal gown stitched into the lining/hem.
Have a favourite poem / passage read out at the wedding that they loved.
A sand ceremony addressing those that are no longer with us.
Light candles for each of them, let them burn throughout the ceremony and then move them to the reception.
Serve their fav drink at the reception
If you are close to your new in laws a nice touch might be to dance with your new father in law, while playing a slide show of your dad for the father daughter dance. (it acknowledges your dad, and gives promise of a new beginning and new relationship)

Wishing you every happiness, and looking forward to hearing more of your journey to your wedding day.

Your article really touch my heart, it reminds me the day I told my about my bride and I was to scared to say actually stammering, but my mom knew what I was trying to say... Live happy.

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