In life you are lucky to meet someone who gets you straight away, to become your best friend and regardless of all your faults still wants to be with you and share their life with you. I lucked out when I met Jill in 1998 and today, over fifteen years later, we celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary together.
From yesterday’s blog you’ll know that it wasn’t exactly a smooth ride in getting to our big day as we spent two months not knowing how long our future together would be. What still amazes me is that at no point did Jill ever question the wedding or the date because of the cancer – many would have baulked at the possibility of marrying someone who might not see the year out – but not Jill.
The upside for us both was that we didn’t have any real pressure of nerves in the run up to the wedding as our minds were elsewhere. Many people panic and become frantic at the approach of the big day but we both decided that it was going to be a big fun celebration no matter what was going to happen with me. And a celebration it was in the end. There was an almost audible relief from everyone on the day because of the good news.
We wanted it to be a fun day for everyone so we booked Garry Seagraves and a string quartet and added lots of our own personality on the day from the readings to the table names and decorations. Too often the bride and groom are so hung up on themselves that they forget to make it an event for everyone. I think it worked okay in the end with Basil the Rabbit getting the bulk of the attention!
There was one thing that worked better than I thought it ever would and that was the Grand March. Having suffered so many of them from a band’s point of view I didn’t want to do it but Jill did – in the end I said i would but only if we did it to “Amarillo” thinking that neither of the parents would go for it. They did. But I’m glad they did because it set the mood for the night instantly. We followed it up with Jackie WIlson “Higher & Higher” as we both love the song so much.
Most of the day is a bit of a blur for me I’m afraid as the drama of the day before had left me reeling. Without sounding dismissive of the wedding it was almost just another day in many ways because I couldn’t have had a better start to married life than I’d been given. Also we had two honeymoons booked in case we couldn’t go on the first one because of potential treatments. I was still floating around with my head in the clouds so the day, while special, was not my main focus.
The most important thing was that Jill got to have her big day and as you can see from the photo above she looked amazing. She still does. She is the most patient, kind, thoughtful and considerate person I know and sometimes I have to stop and remind myself just how lucky I am to have her. I know that most people think she deserves a barrow full of medals for putting up with me, but I like to think that we compliment each other. She has given me everything I could want with our two kids, home and life together and she is still my best friend and soul mate.
For me the wedding was a party and a celebration of the woman who I love to bits, and from that point of view it did the job perfectly. I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me how important Jill is to me in every sphere of our lives but it was a great day and one I’ll always think of fondly because of our friends and family all being together with us after a difficult summer.
Jill Duncan, I’m proud to call you my wife and will love you always.