Hello lovers, new readers may not be aware that we are following bride Nina Neon and her wedding planning adventures in our ‘Confessions of a Disabled Bride‘ series. Nina has already written about her access checklist, how she found her perfect accessible venue and how she intends on rolling down the aisle with flashing wheels (yes you read that right!). Today, Nina talks about the most important aspect of her wedding – love – and how she met her Fiance Bob. I hope this inspires some of you to share your own ‘how did you meet’ stories, we would *love* to hear from you. Over to you Nina…
When I wrote my first article for Love My Dress a few months ago, several people wrote in the comment section that they would like to hear more about the love story of Bob and me. At the time, this seemed a very personal thing for me to write about for a website – however, during the months I followed, I got to know the wonderful, warm readership community that Love My Dress has, and I also met the lovely Annabel in person, and suddenly it did not seem so strange anymore to write something a bit more personal.
Lights by Artist Tracey Emin
The night I met Bob, I had been single for what seemed like forever – and happily so. Several of my friends were in unhappy relationships, and I saw people around me settling for partners that did not make them happy, out of fear of being alone. I did not want that – I did not feel alone because I had my friends and family, and I was fiercely independent and cherished my freedom – probably because, like many people with disabilities, those things did not come as easy to me as it did to others when growing up. I also had a terrific role model in my mother, who never re-married after my parents divorced. Instead, she focused on a completely new career path and opened up a wonderful, successful restaurant in Switzerland. From her, I learned that you can be happy and fulfilled without a man, without a relationship. Instead of looking for a boyfriend, I focused on university and, when I moved to London for my MA degree – on exploring this wonderful city.
Being independent as I was, I did not mind going out on my own, and that night in June 2011, I went to an indoor charity festival. Bob was doing a music blog at that time, and so he was there on his own too. Somehow, over a few too many glasses of wine, we started talking, and later that evening, kissing. Unfortunately, all that wine took its toll, and I had to end the night in a rather unglamourous and dishevelled manner. Bob, however, was absolutely lovely and gentlemanly, made sure I got home alright. AND texted me the next day.
The next few months were tumultuous, to say the least. I was about to finish my Master’s degree and had planned to move back to Switzerland, as I had to leave my student accommodation. I also had a dissertation to write, and at the same time to get used to having a boyfriend – I felt very stressed, and eventually our new relationship crumbled over the pressure and we took a time-out. I was so confused and really needed some space to think.
After I handed in my dissertation, I threw a good-bye party, and Bob came. When I saw him again, I knew that what we had was special, and we decided to make it work, despite the long distance between us. I realised that I would probably never find anyone again who makes me feel so special, comfortable and safe, who makes me laugh and give the best hugs ever.
Within a few months I found a flat in London and applied for a PhD. During New Year’s, we spent a lot of time cuddled up in my unfurnished flat, with just a mattress on the floor, many cups of tea and our favourite films. The flat I found quickly became ours, as we shopped for furniture together and I watched Bob assembling said furniture. When Bob found a job within walking distance, our luck was perfect.
It seems so unreal to me to be a bride (let alone to write for a wedding blog!), because I just did not expect for it to happen, it was never something I took for granted. I don’t think that has anything to do with my disability – most of my disabled friends are in lucky relationships – just with the fact that I did not really believe in love, at least not for me. until I found Bob, who supports me 100% in everything I do, is a wonderful cook, gives me the most amazing Christmas presents (how cute is that unicorn mug up there?), becomes friends with every single person he meets, and even loves watching RuPaul’s Drag Race and Buffy the Vampire Slayer with me. He also has the most wonderful family, who welcomed me with open arms and make me feel as one of them.
There recently was a post on Love My Dress that dealt with the role of the groom, which has really inspired me to write about Bob. I don’t understand how some grooms do not want to be involved in the wedding planning process, because I think it should be collaborative. I really enjoy discussing the wedding with Bob, and he gives input into every decision we make (apart from my dress, which is top secret, of course!).
I still can’t believe how lucky I am, finding this wonderful, amazing man who will be my husband in a bit more than half a year.
I’d love to hear some of your own stories – especially from those of you who never thought they might end up marrying, or marrying so soon? How did you meet your partners and what roles are your grooms (hello gents if you are reading – please reply too!) playing in your wedding planning?
Nina Neon was born with a disability and has a mobility impairment. She is due to marry her fiance Bob in September 2014. Nina Writes our ‘Confessions of a Disabled Bride’ series, within which she documents and shares her experiences of planning a wedding.