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07/03/2016

I bought a £2,000 wedding dress. Then my fiance jilted me'

'The dress has never been worn'

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'The dress has never been worn' CREDIT: GETTY

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5 MARCH 2016 • 6:00AM

It was my fairytale wedding dress – ivory, 1950s-style and covered with the most exquisite beads. At £2,000, it was also vastly over-budget. I handed over my credit card anyway.

I justified splashing out by telling myself that it was the most important thing I would ever wear. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The dress has never been worn. Today it’s hidden away in my grandmother’s attic and I can’t bear to look at it. That’s because three months before the big day, my fiancé James* called off the wedding.

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We had been inseparable since we

met through a mutual friend five years earlier. He was a homely, sensible policeman, who loved his family (that’s what attracted me to him), and a perfect counterpart to my hectic life. I’d always pushed our differences to the back of my mind and when he proposed on holiday in Venice, I said yes.

‘James emailed with a spreadsheet to split the wedding costs: he divided it 50/50’

I ploughed a huge amount of effort into the wedding and finally it was all booked: the hotel in the Scottish countryside near where I grew up, the jazz band, the hen party.

But one evening – a week after posting the invitations – I came home from work and found James sitting on the sofa wearing his coat. He said he’d booked a table for dinner.

Over starters, he told me he couldn’t marry me. The things we wanted were, he said, too different. It had only hit him after we sent the invitations that I was too work-focused to give him the quiet life he wanted. He knew working in LA for a year or so would do wonders for my career in PR, but he wanted a family straight away.

He probably took me to that restaurant so I wouldn’t make a fuss – we’d rowed a lot in the previous few weeks, usually about me working late. But I’m still surprised how calm I was as I picked up my handbag, walked out and hailed a taxi to my friend’s flat.

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