Words: Becky Male
Becky Male Photography
Sometimes in life things don’t work out how you think they’re going to. You don’t know it at the time and when the man I had married 18 months before left me, simply not coming home from work one night, it felt like my world had ended. It happened to me 10 years ago and I didn’t see it coming. As life seemed to crash down around me and I entered a whole new phase of solicitors, divorce proceedings, tears and total devastation, it was my big sister who I’d not been that close to previously who got me through it with unswerving support, advice and realism.
I can still remember now how I operated day to day in a robot like way, forcing myself to get up, go to work, come home and then go to bed – crying constantly. Each night I would step off the train and get in my car for the short drive home and would sob like an absolute baby with pain as my heart broke. All my hopes and dreams of finding my true love were destroyed and I couldn’t understand it. It was strange how people reacted, my then best friend who I’d been close to since secondary school didn’t call me and seemed to drop me like a hot potato yet other friendships blossomed. I threw myself into my job and was lucky that the company I worked for at the time was lively and buzzing so I absorbed myself into work and socialising with colleagues.
I didn’t want to be a divorcee at 28 and I felt full of shame. All around me everyone seemed so happy, wedding invitations were landing on my door mat, friends were having children yet I felt heartbroken and miserable. But when life gives you a kick in the guts all you can do is come back fighting. For someone who couldn’t stand weddings for a while after and is now a wedding photographer I think those shouts of ‘I’m never marrying again’ have long ago been permanently put to bed – particularly as my story has a very happy ending.
An old fashioned romantic who believes in true love, who believes that inherently people are good I knew that what had happened to me was because I was unlucky. As my late Grandpa said to my Mum at the time: ‘Life is a game of cards and she picked the wrong card’.
Pragmatism saw me out one evening in central Bristol with a friend where I bumped into my now husband. At the time I met him I didn’t know Mr M was the one. Yet our first date was easy, we sat in a bar and talked about all sorts, it was comfortable and we only left when the cleaners began mopping the floor around our feet.
Our love grew and we were married 4 years later on an amazing day in Italy. We chose to get married abroad with our focus on our relationship and our love for each other, celebrating this in the most amazingly beautiful location. Nothing else seemed to really matter, as long as we were together forever and our immediate family were there to witness this. Marriage the second time around is ace, we are totally united and genuinely committed to being together forever. I had always thought there is someone for everyone and at the time my first marriage ended I thought that was it for me – yet Mr M proved me wrong. My advice for what its worth to anyone who has had their heart broken, smashed to smithereens is to not give up on love. I became more open minded to what I wanted in a relationship and subconsciously married someone who values commitment, trust, integrity and honesty over anything else.
We chose to get married in Italy for many reasons: the scenery, the atmosphere, the people and the romance. We were clear when planning the day that we wanted something that suited us, we don’t like alot of fuss and were married in a castle overlooking Lake Garda. It is a breathtaking location and the entire day was magical. After the ceremony we enjoyed a champagne toast on a private boat tour of the lake, it felt like a fairytale but it wasn’t. It was my happy ending corny as that sounds. We don’t have a favourite moment, there are lots of specials things we recall, our Italian wedding experience exceeded our expectations in every way possible.
As a wedding photographer I can regularly be found stood at the front of a church photographing a couple’s marriage ceremony. I’m not religious yet there is a verse from Corinthians which strikes a real chord with me whenever I hear it spoken. It symbolises what my marriage with Mr M is about: ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not arrogant or rude……. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends’.
That hot, sunny day in Italy was the best day of my life and it’s been a bit of a crazy adventure ever since. Love the second time around is brilliant, for me it’s a different type of love and my marriage is built on the stuff that matters, I love Mr M to bits and he loves me .