OK so I'm going to try to give you the Campbell's Condensed Soup version of the story:
Matt and I met when I was 11, and by the time I was 12 I knew that I wanted to marry him. However, life threw us a lot of curve balls; growing up in a cult that believed dating was sinful, and so we weren't allowed, him moving to another state when I was 17, his parents not liking me, them telling him that I was dead and telling me the same about him.
In 2004, a year after they told me that he was dead, I met my (now late) husband. I didn't want to lose another man I had feelings for, so I got engaged to him very quickly, though it took us five years to finally be able to marry because (again due to being raised in a cult) my family didn't approve of him and as I wasn't allowed to work because I was a woman, I had no money to just move out. My family told everyone at our church not to throw me any bridal showers and not to get us any presents, hoping that would deter us from marrying at all. So I have never had any of these things.
Eventually, in 2009, I became homeless in order to get out. I got married on November 4th 2009. My husband had lupus, as well as other disabilities. We got married at the county offices. We later had a very small ceremony, about 15 people attending. Still no gifts or anything. We made do with a toaster as our only appliance other than the stove/oven for years, got a $50 mattress, never had a table, couch, or anything. We were quite literally destitute.
My husband's lupus was so severe they told him when he was diagnosed in early 2005 that he would pass away the next time he had a major flare up. So that's the set up to the rest of the story.
In 2010, about 6 months after I got married, I found out that Matt was actually alive, and I decided that for my own peace of mind, and perhaps for closure, I needed to contact him. I ended up opening a can of worms. We were shocked that his parents had lied to both of us, and moreover, the odd thing is that even though ten years had passed since we'd seen or contacted each other, it was like the time and distance had never occurred. So we kept corresponding.
In 2013, my husband's lupus was confirmed back, and this time last year, he was considered to essentially be in end-stage. By this time he had gotten to know Matt, and he actually WANTED me to be with him when he passed away- the sooner the better he said. So he actually encouraged me to be in a relationship with Matt (albeit it was long distance.) This March, he wrote Matt a letter asking him to marry me when he was gone. This is what we had decided would happen anyway, but we're glad that my husband approved.
Tom passed away on April 1st. I was able to visit Matt for the first time since April 2000 on June 24th, and that is when he proposed. Although a very quick turn around from my husband's death, the timing still felt right, so I accepted. I'm 33 and he's now 34.
So that is the explanation of the quick turn around- me being with the man I had wanted to be with all of my life, and husband's blessing to do so.
So, here's the wedding details so far:
I was left with literally nothing when Tom passed away and am living with family at the moment on cheap rent. Due to his disabilities I hadn't been able to work for my entire marriage. My family has changed some of their ways and are letting me work and are supportive of me and Matt.
Matt's mother has finally gotten on board. Matt has never been married. He's never even DATED. In his mind I was the only one for him. He was never able to see himself with anyone else.
I could personally do without a wedding (even another small affair like I had with Tom) but both Matt and his mother want one. It'll likely just be a Justice of the Peace, but his mom's insisting on me wearing a wedding dress.
I don't know what's appropriate for my second wedding, especially if it's not going to be a real ceremony. It'll likely be next year. I am apple shaped and slightly plus sized.
Another issue is that Matt and I are pagan and wanted a handfasting but our families are still Christian.
tl;dr is this: It's my second wedding due to me being a widow although I barely had a first wedding at all, I was proposed to by my best friend of 22 years rather shortly after my husband passed away (and at his behest.) It's his first wedding, I'm his first relationship. We're both poor, we're probably going to do Justice of the Peace to eliminate any religious element (we're Pagan and our families are Christian,) I'd skip a dress entirely except both he and his mother want me to wear one. Looking for advice on the kinds of dresses appropriate for Justice of the Peace, for an apple-shaped, small end of plus size bride.
Been waiting for you forever, now it's finally our time...