Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

A Union Jack dress.

Hello Everyone,

This week’s blog is dedicated to all our Forces brides.

You know we love what we do. We get to see so much joy and happiness in our job. Weddings are nothing if not wonderful occasions where you celebrate love. So we are so lucky we see this every single day. But then there are some days that make you stop and think, there is always an alternative view to everything. We only see the love but we all know the opposite of love can be heartbreak, it can be loss and sorrow. I was thinking about this because of Armistice Day. I started thinking about all the couples who were or have been separated because of war and conflict and how many never got to celebrate their love.

 A black and white image of Kate's Grandparents on their wedding day in 1945.

A black and white image of Kate's Grandad with his regiment in WWII.

Here at Bridal Reloved, we have a few team members who know what it means to be the partner of somebody who puts their life on the line for Queen and Country. How gut-wrenching it must be for them to see them walk out of the door to head back to their regiments and not know if they will return. We see a lot of Forces brides at Bridal Reloved, whether they are engaged to a Soldier or they are indeed serving themselves. They are so brave and selfless, yet they ask nothing of us. When we owe them so much, they expect nothing. They are just doing their duty.

 An image of Carly and Rob's wedding day with the focus on Rob's medals.

When I pin my poppy to my lapel, when I stand and close my eyes and let the silence embrace me like a cloak, I can’t help but feel my heart crack a little bit. All the lost loves, all the unfinished love stories, all the cherished memories and all the last kisses. How can we not feel burdened by the injustice of it all? To first have enough courage to put yourself in the line of fire and then to harden your heart as you walk away from your home without taking a look back as you know it will break your resolve.

 An image of Lei and Dan on their wedding day.

An image of a Forces couple kissing on their wedding day.

And what about the ones they leave behind every time they go? The void, the silence, the fear of the unknown. How many sleepless nights, how many silent prayers, how many days just lived hour to hour? These men and women are not just sacrificing their lives, they sacrifice the lives of their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sister, brothers, sons and daughters.

 A newly wed couple and a vintage red car on their wedding day.

I know a lot of soldiers are lucky, they come back and are able to carry on and continue living their lives with their loved ones, but what about the ones that come back scarred by the unimaginable horrors that punctuated their long days and nights whilst out in combat? They come back as a different person than the one who left. Their life before snatched away and replaced by something alien. And then of course there are the ones who don’t come back at all. The ones whose presence is always felt on happy days and holidays, highlighted by empty dining chairs and gaps in photographs where you know someone should be.

 An image of Carly and Rob having fun during their photos.

There are never winners in war. Nobody wins anything – everybody is a loser in some way. I know this is a world away from the things I usually post, but I am a big believer in every now and then taking a beat and remembering that you are luckier than you believe you are. As this post goes live, millions of people will fall silent to remember the ones we’ve lost and to think about the ones that still out there ensuring our freedoms and liberties. As you think of them, take a few seconds to remember the people they’ve left behind, we owe them a debt of gratitude too.

 A dress in store with a poppy on display.

Thank you is too small a phrase but it’s all we have. So thank you to all the men and women who gave up everything and the men and women who continue to do so. We will never forget you.

The stunning Union Jack dress at the beginning of the post was made by our very talented seamstress Emily Smith.  Her website is www.amazingemilys.co.uk

Thank you to Carly and Rob, Dan and Lei for kindly allowing us to use some of their wedding pictures.

Also a massive thank you to Poundbury based wedding photographer Linus Moran for his beautiful images.  Visit his website at www.linusmoranphotography.co.uk

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Zarina x

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