Nichola Tuohy got ditched, not hitched, when she was so late she missed her own dream wedding.
The mum of three accidentally jilted fiancé Darren Ferne at the altar and only made it in time for the reception — where he stormed out on her.
Nichola blames a catalogue of problems — including a make-up disaster, forgetting her daughter’s flower girl dress and having her bridesmaid drop out — for missing the £12,000 wedding they had been planning for 17 months.
She said: “I wish the rehearsal the night before had been the real thing.
“It was perfect and now we’d be man and wife.
“It was my fault. I just got so overwhelmed with things to do on the day that I had a meltdown. I feel like I have lost everything.”
Groom Darren, 40, a customer services adviser, said: “We would probably still be together now if our wedding hadn’t been ruined.
“It’s not the kind of thing you can get over easily.”
The couple met online in September 2014 and Darren proposed just five weeks later.
Nichola said: “I was in love and blown away, but it was too soon. So when he asked again three months later, on Valentine’s Day 2015, I said yes. He was my perfect man.”
With her children Alexander, 20, Grace Isabella, eight, and seven-year- old Max, they immediately began planning their wedding for 80 guests on July 9, 2016.
The day before the wedding, care worker Nichola, from Hornchurch, Essex, took her place next to Darren at church to rehearse the ceremony.
Nichola said: “When the vicar said, ‘You may kiss the bride’, and Darren kissed me, I felt ecstatic.
“It had gone perfectly and the best part was we got to do it all again for real the next day.”
But tragically it was not to be.
Nichola said: “The next morning I woke with a huge panic about how much I had to do.”
First on her list was make-up, which she had booked at a local department store — but it took longer than she had allowed for.
She said: “When it was done it didn’t look like me. I wanted to cry. I felt like an extra from Towie.”
With just 90 minutes to go, she rushed home to wash it off and do it herself.
But when she got home she found her parents and two youngest children still there.
The mum of three went to the reception, after missing the ceremony, with her dress still in the boot of the car
She says her parents, who had not approved of the marriage, had decided they were not going. So she packed the kids into the car to drive them to the hotel to get ready with her. But a payment issue meant there was a delay getting into her room.
Nichola said: “I was in tears at this stage as I could see the clock ticking and knew I didn’t have long to get myself and the kids ready.”
Finally inside the room, she realised that her daughter’s flower girl outfit had been left at home.
She said: “I started crying. I had a bare face, no make-up on, no dress on, no flower girl dress and half an hour to get ready.”
Then she got a text saying her bridesmaid could not make it because her children were sick.
She called Darren in tears.
Nichola said: “He was at the church with my eldest son.
“Our guests were already getting seated, and when he told me to hurry up that just stressed me even more.”
The bride-to-be took her dress outside, intending to put it on at the church, but then realised the vintage wedding car waiting to transport her did not have any seat belts.
She said: “It was only supposed to be taking me, but now I had the kids I knew I couldn’t put them in a car with no seat belts. I was in such a panic.
“I knew I had to calm myself down before driving my Ford Focus.”
The church was 20 miles away and she had just 30 minutes to get there.
Nichola said: “I knew I didn’t have a hope in hell unless I drove like Lewis Hamilton.
“I had a wave of panic and, exhausted, I just lay down defeated.
“My heart sank when I realised I’d missed my own wedding. I had jilted my groom without meaning to.
Nichola drove home to get her daughter’s flower girl dress and made her way straight to the reception — with her wedding dress still in the boot.
Nichola said: “Darren was livid. He’d been left standing in front of the guests, pleading with the vicar to wait but there were more weddings taking place.”
When the DJ asked for payment, it was the final straw and Darren walked out.
She went to their honeymoon suite and texted Darren, begging him to talk it over.
She said: “He did come but he was quiet and distant.
“Eventually he fell asleep and I spent the night crying.”
They decided to stay together but their disastrous wedding day hung over them like a dark cloud.
Nichola said: “In the end, there was no big showdown — we just drifted further apart and split up.
“I knew it was because of the wedding and so did he. I just hope that one day he can forgive me.”
Source: The Sun UK
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