Real Life

Our Wedding from Hell

The stern doctor stood over me in his white coat, tapping his foot impatiently. “We need to take a urine sample,” he said. “I’m not peeing in a cup!” I exclaimed. “I’m not pregnant. I’m getting married on Saturday and I want to go home!”

Hours earlier, I had been rushed to Wanganui Hospital by ambulance with horrendous abdominal pain. It was Tuesday evening – just four days before I was due to walk down the aisle.

I had taken the week off from my job as a home-loan consultant and had planned every detail of my special day down to the last minute. I spent the day getting a spray tan, breaking in my wedding shoes and visiting the hairdresser with my best friend Kate.

Then the ache in my abdomen began. The pain felt like something inside me was being ripped from end to end.

“Rachael, the faster you pee in the cup, the faster you can go home,” my mum said. At the mention of the word “home”, I shot out of bed and whipped into the toilet with such vigour the pain came rushing back in full force.

But handing the cup back wasn’t enough. It turned out I was going nowhere – except to the operating theatre to have my appendix removed. To make matters worse, my dad Tony was also in hospital after a biopsy showed he needed a small cancer removed.

As I went into surgery on Wednesday, I was in a cloud of anxiety over my dad’s health, my oversized wedding dress that needed altering and the five-tier wedding cake I was yet to bake.

I came out of a blissful dream and was holding Adrian’s hand. “Yes, I’m alive,” I told Adrian with a huge grin on my face. “And we’re getting married.”

That evening I felt groggy. But by Thursday morning I was determined to break free. My doctor wasn’t happy – but he knew he couldn’t win this fight. I spent the day at home relaxing, eating and sleeping. I felt tender, sore and cranky. I had to bark orders from an armchair to my friend who spent the day baking and decorating the wedding cake.

on Friday, I limped down the aisle during our wedding rehearsal. I was walking with my legs wide apart because of my bloated, uncomfortable stomach. I held on to my dad’s left arm – he had cancer taken out of his right arm.

And, although people wanted me to postpone the wedding I wouldn’t let my appendix get in the way of 18 months of planning.

Saturday morning arrived. I rolled out of bed on to my knees and, holding on to the dressing table, pulled myself up so I could check the weather. I got into my beautiful orange wedding dress and surveyed the damage. I’d spent a year going to the gym and had lost 15kg but thanks to my swollen tummy, I looked six months pregnant.

We had our wedding at Virginia Lakes in Wanganui and the outdoor ceremony seemed perfect. But as we sat down to the sign the wedding register, it started raining. It started as a light patter but soon we had to rush for cover to escape the downpour.

We weren’t even legally married because we hadn’t signed our names! The Justice of the Peace hadn’t finished the wedding speech or pronounced us husband and wife. We hadn’t even had our first kiss as or and ors Crothers.

But at least the break in the ceremony gave me time to swap my uncomfortable high heels for jandals. The reception was lovely, except for the fact I couldn’t really dance.

As Adrian led me up the stairs to our hotel room for the night, I had visions of what our romantic honeymoon suite would look like. What I didn’t expect was to be booked into a room that was especially set up for the disabled.

It was super-romantic having to ask Adrian, “Can you help me out of bed?” and “Can you put me in the spa bath?”, then “Can you please dry me?”

The kicker came the next day, during a barbecue at my parent’s house. Dad told me our Rotorua house had been robbed. I sat on the pavement and burst into tears, thinking how unfair life was.

Adrian and I couldn’t dash home to Rotorua to check our house because I had to get clearance from my doctor and as it was a public-holiday weekend, I had to wait until Tuesday. But friends in Rotorua checked the house and installed a burglar alarm as a wedding present for us.

We thought our silver lining would be a honeymoon in Bali. We set up our wedding register at a travel agent’s and decided Christmas would be a great time to travel – but of course we couldn’t get any flights then. We now hope to take our honeymoon in oay.

Despite our disastrous wedding, Adrian and I are more in love than ever. And I’m sure that one day, when we have children, it will be a really funny story we can tell them. As told to Rebecca Milne

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