I would imagine, the majority of brides look forward to their wedding day.... the day they've longed for since they were little girls and used to throw a net curtain over their head and teeter around in their mother's high heels to practice for the big day. A lot of frogs later, they finally meet their prince and it's full-steam ahead for the real thing. Apart from the worry of whether their caterers will go bust, or the gown won't get altered in time or they will erupt in a crop of acne just before the appointed hour, most will get excited and can't wait.
I therefore felt sorry for Leanne Baker, who was so scared of being the centre of attraction, that she hanged herself a week before the event. I could well understand her agony, as I too felt like that. Not enough to hang myself, obviously, but I have always been on the shy, self-conscious side, particularly in the first half of my life, so when it came to my own wedding to Greg, although I was very happy to be married to him, the actual ceremony terrified me. For a good few months beforehand, I worked myself up into a mental frenzy and kept getting a 3D technicolour vision on continuous loop of me entering the church with my father and the entire congregation turning round to catch their first glimpse of the bride. Me. My knees would buckle under their gaze and I would pass out. The closer to the wedding it got, the more anxious I became until I could bear no talk from my parents about the preparations and would take to my bed with exhaustion at 6pm in the evening when I came home from work. I think if I had had the energy to escape to Gretna Green, I would have done. By the appointed day itself, I was a gibbering wreck and by the time my best friend/bridesmaid turned up at the house to get ready, I was sweating buckets (well, it was in the heatwave of 1976).
My father had been running up and downstairs all morning with alternate glasses of milk or brandy to steady my anxious, rebelling stomach and by 2pm I was functioning on automatic pilot. Somehow I got dressed and into the vintage Rolls Royce waiting outside. The houses and streets passed in a blur until we arrived at the church. Emerging from the car in the idyllic countryside setting of the church on a gloriously boiling hot day, my nerves suddenly vanished (or maybe the brandy had kicked in) and as the doors opened to let my father and me in, I sailed down the aisle, didn't fluff my lines and sailed serenely out at the end. All that worry for nothing. Its such a shame that Leanne Baker couldn't keep her nerve. She might have enjoyed it after all.
|All my worries over