Helen’s ‘Almost’ Wedding in Lockdown

Today we have a special story for you, from Helen Sadler who was due to get married on 23rd May this year. Instead of just moving the date forward, Helen decided to celebrate her ‘Almost Wedding’ date with her Husband-to-be.

Here is Helen’s story in her own words…


We were engaged 1st December 2019 (the day after my birthday) completely out of the blue, infact, I had given up hope. I used to joke that he had to get me down the aisle before I turn 40 and as I’d just turned 39 he popped the question whilst I was in the bath!

We arranged our perfect day for 23rd May 2020, 9yrs to the day that we became a couple. We were dancers on a cruise ship at the time and docked in Russia, where the St.Petersburg ballet were performing swan lake and the “black swan” became the symbol of our wedding day.

Two months to the big day and this unimaginable thing happened. We were unsure at first and so were the hotel and the registrar as how long this would be for. We all hoped for a couple of weeks shutdown and then business as usual, we didn’t know if to hold on for the original date or if to postpone, but after talking it through we thought postponing would be for the best as we thought about the consequences of a Covid wedding. Getting a new date was like a lottery; the venue, Healing Manor and our co-ordinator Kirsty Leo were brilliant dealing with the arrangements under such difficult circumstances. I suffered huge anxiety & panic over the 2 week period, not only the wedding, but also as I found myself without work. My world was falling apart.

We were looking at 2 dates and contacted the registrar. Firstly, they were closed for the weekend and then they would not talk to us as they understandably had to work through their couples in order of priority. However, in that time one of our 2 dates was released to another couple, so I had a tense wait to secure the only other available date, which I thankfully confirmed a few days later.

I mourned the 23rd May for some time as it was fate to have that date and now I faced having a new date with no significance. However, I have had the most wonderful long weekend celebrating our “almost wedding”. We have made every day special since Thursday-Monday. I had a wedding workout, delivered hampers/gifts to family, our venue made us a meal to enjoy at home, we relaxed in the garden & played an escape room online.

We’ve talked about what we would have been doing at each stage of the weekend and there have been some emotions but not “sad” just “bittersweet”.

My parents found it a struggle too, at first, remember it’s special for them too and they feel great disappointment that it’s not gone to plan. But seeing that I’m ok has brought them strength. I feel lucky that I’ve had a bonus celebration, I woke up on Sunday feeling like the day before had been such a big occasion and I felt so loved and supported. I was overwhelmed with all the kind words, cards, gifts & flowers, I never expected to receive.

Besides the actual ceremony having not taken place I felt like I had been to a really special event. I felt different, like I had moved a step up in life, I affectionately labelled myself a “wifelet”, no longer a fiancée but not yet a wife. I looked back on photos and hardly recognised myself. (I don’t have a high opinion of myself and struggle to look at photos/videos of myself) I was just “happy” in the moment and I didn’t know who that girl was…I was just enjoying myself so much, I wasn’t looking at whether my face looked nice or pretty.

Strangely,and you may not agree, but I feel prouder and like I am more of a person (this is a deep lack of self belief and my personal journey). I feel like I belong (if you are a strong individual feminist you may not agree) but for me I feel a part of something so special and have enjoyed such a loving and special time with my Husband to be and I couldn’t imagine having let the day pass any other way.

I have also come to feel at peace with the postponement.. it still seems it’s such a long time to wait once again but it’s going to happen and all our suppliers with the exception of the entertainment have been able to reschedule. We’ve made such great memories this weekend and have an extra special story to tell.’

Helen’s story really clutches at our heart strings, because we know so many couples who, not only have had to move their wedding around but have also had issues with employment due to the pandemic.

We sincerely hope Helen has the best day ever when it comes to her wedding day and we will hopefully feature her wedding when this happens.

If you have an ‘Almost’ Wedding story you’d like to tell us, please email us at info@ido-magazine.co.uk and we will get back to you straight away.

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