I’d lost six stone and saved thousands of pounds to have the perfect wedding day. But after saying ‘I do’ at the altar disaster struck…
By Vicky Corio, 32, from Staines
I could barely keep still with excitement as I waited for Simon to meet me.
It was the week before Christmas and he was treating me to an evening out in London at the Winter Wonderland.
“Ready to see some fairy lights?” Simon said putting an arm around me.
I was absolutely Christmas mad – it was my favourite time of year and I often started planning all of the festivities in the middle of summer!
We spent a magical day shopping, ice skating and admiring the decorations, before Simon blew me away by revealing he had booked a private pod on the giant ferris wheel in the middle of the wonderland.
Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, Simon dropped down to one knee holding up a sparkling diamond ring.
“I love you Vicky, will you marry me?” he asked.
“Of course!” I squealed excitedly.
We had been together eight years after meeting in December 2003 and I quickly fell head over heels for him.
I fell pregnant quickly and just over a year after getting together I gave birth to our first son, Harry.
I loved being a mum and I loved Simon – it was perfect.
After another three years later we had another son together, Charlie, and life only got better.
I knew Simon was my soulmate and I couldn’t wait to be his wife after his romantic winter proposal.
We had been through some really tough times in the last few years, which had started with my mum passing away after a long battle with kidney disease in January 2009.
I came from a really close family and losing Mum had been devastating for me, my two sisters and my dad.
She had been my best friend – we had so much in common and I told her everything.
But one big thing we had in common was our size.
When Mum died we were both an enormous size 22, with me tipping the scales at 16 stone.
As a diabetic, she was always warning me of the dangers of following in her footsteps and constantly nagged me to diet and protect my health.
But I had always been curvy and with an overactive thyroid gland I had really ballooned since having children.
I knew Simon loved me no matter what, and although I hated my folds of flab I couldn’t find the motivation to change – I was too comfortable.
Until I saw a horrifying picture of myself at Mum’s funeral.
It showed my hulking frame from the back and I was taking up most of a doorway.
“You could be taking years off your life by being this size.”
Mum’s words echoed loudly in my ears as I stared at the picture.
“I’ve got to change, Mum was right,” I told Simon.
I knew I had to lose weight, both for Mum and my boys.
Mum had died early at just 48, and I couldn’t bear the thought of putting my boys through the same loss.
So a few weeks later I signed up to Weight Watchers and joined the gym.
Within a year I had slimmed down to 9st 2lbs and a sexy size eight through slashing my portion sizes and running regularly.
Even as a teenager the smallest size I could ever remember wearing was a 14, so it felt fantastic to get dressed up in glamorous, slinky dresses.
I was also able to do so much more with Simon and the boys – I had never felt better.
So when Simon proposed, I just couldn’t wait to plan our big day with my perfect man and my perfect new figure.
We spent two years saving £13,000 for the wedding with us both working long hours to raise the money – at one point I was even working three jobs!
But as I tried on a beautiful, glitzy size eight gown to walk down the aisle in, I knew all the hard work would be worth it.
We arranged a romantic church wedding for July 2013 with a reception in a beautiful hotel nearby, and as we said our vows I had never felt happier.
I felt like a princess in my gorgeous slinky dress and tiara – it was magical.
We pulled out all the stops for the photo shoot with an expensive photographer and posed for a series of romantic shots in the hotel grounds.
I had always dreamed of a beautiful white wedding with my very own Prince Charming, and I felt like the luckiest woman in the world to see it all coming true.
Until disaster struck.
“I feel sick,” I said to my dad as we sat down for our wedding breakfast.
“It’s probably just wedding jitters,” he replied happily.
But as my stomach lurched with pain I knew something was seriously wrong.
This is more than just butterflies in my tummy!
I made a dash for the toilets but only got as far as the hotel corridor before I projectile vomited.
The scene descended in chaos as people rushed to my aid and panic set in when I started throwing up blood.
I was writhing in agony and screaming on the floor – I had never felt so terrified.
“Maybe her dress is on too tight,” someone suggested and my bridesmaids quickly pulled my beautiful dress off me.
But it did nothing to relieve the pain and they called an ambulance when I still didn’t stop being sick.
I was given morphine by the paramedics and rushed to hospital where I lay defeated on a drip with my hair extensions in a tangle.
“We need to give you a scan, you’ll have to take that tiara off,” the doctor told me.
“You’ve got to be joking – this is my wedding day!” I said sobbing.
This was my one chance to be a princess for the day – I had already parted with my dress, there was no way I was removing my crown!
I refused to take it off and luckily the doctors managed to find the cause of the problem without doing a scan.
I was told I had gastroenteritis – a severe stomach bug – and I spent my wedding night in hospital.
I couldn’t believe it, I had been planning on a romantic evening in our honeymoon suite but instead I had a stretcher bed in A&E!
We’d just promised to love each other in sickness and in health but I never expected our vows to be tested so soon.
I was discharged the following morning and after spending four days in bed I was given the all clear to fly out on our honeymoon, but I spent most of the time crying.
We never got to cut the cake and we missed our first dance too.
Our little boys had even planned a funny family routine that we were going to perform to Gangnam Style, and they were absolutely gutted that they never got to do it.
I had also arranged to do a special dance with my dad to the song that he and Mum had danced to for their first dance at their wedding.
But we never got to enjoy any of it, it was devastating.
I’d planned the dream day but all I got was a terrifying nightmare.
My Mum was so important to me and I had promised myself that I would visit her grave in my dress and lay my bouquet there, but I didn’t get to do that either.
I felt cheated.
I couldn’t bear to look at my wedding dress and it was Simon that took it to be cleaned to remove the vomit and blood.
But I sold it within weeks, the memories were just too painful.
It was a sore subject for over a year and I even spent most of our first wedding anniversary in tears thinking about everything we missed out on.
But as usual, Simon was my rock and over time I have realised having him as my husband is the most important thing in the world.
“We can always try again,” he said as he comforted me.
So now we are saving up to do the reception all over again and renew our vows.
I’m so glad I got to marry my perfect man and we are blissfully happy together, but I can’t wait to finally enjoy everything that we missed out on.
I still can’t believe I spent my wedding night in hospital!
As told to Helen O’Brien Google