Love knows no restrictions

This week has been hard, last week was hard, my mental health is hanging in there.

When you suffer with mental health or anxiety or both , when you have a flare up you feel incredibly isolated,  as you feel like you are drowning,  when all around you are ok.

For me this time it’s different, I’m not alone.

250,000 other small wedding business owners are in the same position, so rather than isolated in my anxiety, I feel overwhelmed, I feel all their pain too.

Last time when I was really struggling with my mental health I felt alone, folk see your happy bubbly face, and your successful career,  your home, your family and friends. 

They wonder why you would struggle? 

You wonder why on earth you struggle!

Several years ago 2012-2014 I had a serious breakdown,  a build up of unresolved issues over the years, my sisters death,  my weight, my first marriage breakdown etc.

Luckily I had an epic psychotherapist (Mandi) who helped me, plus I have an awesome husband who read up and learnt how to help. With their help and the help of my family, friends and my colleagues and clients in the industry I love I survived.

My therapist read me a short story called “The tree that survived the winter.”

Here is a link to it being read on YouTube

https://youtu.be/ymW2QzhuaJE

She said I was that tree, I truly hope so, as I’m facing my worst winter ever.

It is staring me in the face, daring me to turn and run, to hide,  to shelter.

I refuse to turn, I refuse to run, I even refuse to shelter.

I will just add extra layers, find a way through or around . On the worst , the coldest days when the despairing gales batter me I may just hide on those days, but I will see that as sensible,  not failure.

The last few weeks when I, and all in my industry were finding a new way, a plan, to survive on the few 30 person weddings going ahead, we had processed the situation, and thought “Ok this is where we are”,we had done the maths, and tightened our belts.

Then “The rule of 6! ” Wham, sideways knock. It’s fine they said, does not affect weddings, but it did, as it was a confidence knock to those hanging on for an October announcement lifting numbers.

Then “Weddings to be 15 people, for six months ”

😲😮😯😢

Whoa, stop, I want to get off the world   this is too much, too little,  not enough. 😪

My inbox starts to ping…

“Can we move to 2022, 2023”

“What happens with my deposit”

“We are bringing the wedding forward,  to this Saturday! Can you finish my dress”

Meanwhile the groups I am in, brides groups,  suppliers groups are all in total freefall, in meltdown.

It’s too much.

I can’t think.

  I can’t breathe. 

BEX, breathe, deep breaths, in out, in out.

I’ve had 2 of the worst occipital neuralgia attacks I’ve had in five years in the last 2 weeks,  imagine your head is being slowly crushed whilst knitting needles are inserted into your ears whilst feeling like you will vomit. 

Yep, not fun.

I have an award winning business.  Multi award winning! 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

I WILL NOT BE TOLD MY BUSINESS,  MY INDUSTRY IS NOT VIABLE. 😡

Who do they think they are??😠

So here I am facing my worst winter, with my tools to survive.

*My Brand & reputation

*My skills

( luckily I can sew anything)

*My etsy shop- so the world is my lobster

https://etsy.me/3j4JZ9j

*My support network- family and work

*The fact that I chose to build my business in an affordable location to satisfy my affordability ethos for my clients.

My biggest strength is my clients, they have my back, I have had not one single refund request, all are working with me, they have all said no matter what the one thing we know is that you must make/ alter/ provide my dress.

I thank them from the depths of my heavy heart xx 🖤

It’s all very overwhelming, and difficult, but life is overwhelming and difficult.

That is something I have learnt the hard way.

I feel angry and frustrated that my 1, 3 and 5 year plans are now 2, 5 and 10 year plans, it is unfair, unjust.

Tolkien below sums it up perfectly for me.

So…

What now then you ask??

Well, we have still had a few brides grab the chance and elope or have a 6 person/ 30 person/ 15 person wedding and I’ll share a few images with you.

Going forward we anticipate a flurry of brides who actually bring forward their marriage and then have the party or reception later.

For the medium term we are coming to terms with the fact that the “micro wedding ” is our clients reality at least for the next 6 months, if not longer.

As our ethos has always been empowerment and affordability I feel this means we are going to be in a strong position and able to help those brides who want to forge ahead, with a scaled back, stripped down wedding.

They just want to be married, for whatever reason.

They will not let a virus stop them marrying their soulnext mate.

It might hinder, postpone , mess around with the sharing with family and friends, the party, “the main event” as some call it.

Some brides will forge ahead, some will hold back. It depends on what you as a couple want from your wedding.

And no one can decide who is right, or who is wrong. A 2 witness elopement is just as important as a 400 guest celebration and vice versa.

All I know is I will be here, at the helm of my crazy ship Bexbrides Ltd, with my trusty first mate Marie !! and we will not sink,though we might have to do a bit of bailing especially through this winter storm.

But we are both little mighty redheads, we will not be defeated !

But like the tree, I will survive as will Bexbrides.

I think we will all be taking a deep hard look at weddings, and marriage and what it means to each of us, and finding a way around that works.

No virus, no government can stop love.

And providing you can actually legally find a place to marry ( and probably even if you couldn’t, as for some couples it is be enough to just say the words) we can still do this!

This is the time to focus,  strip it back to the reason you want to bind yourselves legally, morally, spiritually whatever is your jam, to another human, another soul!

Screw Covid 19, shit government, endless roundabout of rules and red tape.

Bring it on!!

You can’t restrict love, it can’t count, it will seep out and around the rules, it will fly over the internet, out of phone screens and into our hearts.

Over the phone lines, in letters, in texts  in videos.
Photos,  oh my , photos will become even more important!

We will plan and we will find new ways to get married, and in the future revisit with after parties ( maybe waaaaayyyy after lol) we will have vow renewals 6 months later, a year later.

We will all find a way to do it.

DON’T GIVE UP.

Louisa and Rob at their socially distanced 30 person wedding.
Pippa and Dean at their socially distanced wedding in Wales.
Lorna and Sai, planned a cruise wedding, but had to just elope on their own, big party next year instead.

Alex and Michael their wedding was supposed to be the first day of lockdown so the Friday night they found out no wedding next day so they and their guests had to just eat all the buffet that night! They have since had a 30 person wedding at a glamping site.

I expect to see more and more of our brides find ways around, and a small marriage and later reception will be the way forward for many.

I’ve gone on a bit, so I’ll finish now. 😂

I’ll leave you with a few things a peice about me in the press ( I was interviewed before the 15 person bombshell so was a little bit more bouncy, than I am today), but I’ll bounce back, just give my branches time to survive this current gale.

And the best thing I’ve saved til last this slideshow of Louisa and Robs 30 person wedding at Arnos vale. Captured perfectly by Ruby Walker Photography https://ruby-walker-photography.smartslides.com/louisa-rob-arnos-vale

Look at the love, nothing can put restrictions or boundaries on it.

Louisa and Rob, married!

And me in the press, again…

https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/18737493.darlington-bridal-business-bexbrides-keeping-ahead-changes-wedding-culture/

And last but not least, me with some of my wedding industry family, working in a wood on Monday to style an awesome circus themed wedding shoot. Watch this space for photos…

Photo by Lucy Ray