By Liana Jacob
THIS WOMAN created her OWN HAPPY ENDING by MARRYING HERSELF in LAS VEGAS after being DUMPED at the altar.
Business owner, Sandra Blanco (32) from London, UK, had been with her ex for one and a half years before he proposed to her in November 2017, to which she said yes.
They decided to go for a shot gun wedding in Vegas which took only six weeks to organise, but a week before Christmas 2017 he began to get cold feet and wanted to take a step back.
Their wedding was cancelled, and they broke up but since she couldn’t get a refund on anything she booked, she decided to get married anyway – to herself.
Despite feeling rejected and heart-broken, she decided to turn the situation around and booked a model to do a wedding-themed photoshoot and had the ceremony at The Little Vegas Chapel with a man dressed as Elvis Presley as the officiator.
She hired a photographer to do the shoot and throughout the journey they had a road trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon, which strengthened her friendship with them.
The result of the trip changed her whole perception of love and that you need to love yourself in order for anyone else to love you. She has her own business designing flower bridal crowns called Sophie and Luna and has been throwing herself into her business which has kept her occupied.
Throughout her journey of heartbreak, she continues to believe in love and is open to dating in the future if she meets the right man.
“The story ends with a still single me, here today, talking about real love; the real love is the kind of love you should have for yourself,” Sandra said.
“At some point in November 2017, I didn’t think my ex was committed and invested in the relationship enough after a year and a half, so I wanted to move back to London and leave him.
“Soon after this, he proposed and I said yes – I mean, all I wanted was a reciprocated relationship and I wanted to understand that maybe this was the wake-up call he needed.
“We decided to elope in Vegas, as I know lots of people in the wedding industry; I planned and booked everything quickly within just six weeks.
“A week before Christmas, he told me he wanted to take a step back, to go back to having a light relationship, while we spoke about buying a house together.
“A ‘light relationship’? That was not ok with me. The wedding simply couldn’t go ahead but on the positive side, I thought that we could still go to Vegas and enjoy ourselves without any pressure.
“I thought this might encourage him to communicate more openly and positively with me. After a few days, all of a sudden, I had to leave home, pack seven years of my life in boxes and my business workshop and move back to London from Valencia where I was a flight attendant.
“I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone packing boxes and searching for a place to stay in London with a studio for my flower crown business.
“He said he didn’t want to be with me – that was it. Apparently, he had been feeling like this even before he proposed; I was confused, devastated and in shock.
“It was going to be a very depressing January; I was not looking forward to 2018. But at least I could actually go to Vegas.
“After all, I couldn’t get a refund for the flights, hotel and photographer booked; my 30th birthday was due to take place while we were in Vegas, so it was one more reason to go and celebrate.
“I searched online stories about being dumped that could help me feel better but everything I found was sad or written out of rage.
“This is when I decided to write a love story about my experience to inspire other people who have been through a similar journey.”
Sandra decided to go through with the wedding anyway as a way to show that love should come from within before it can be given or returned.
The entire experience brought her closer to the model and photographer that helped make it happen and she has now found closure on the ending of her relationship.
“I told Natalie, the photographer, what happened and she said she was happy to join me; I mentioned to her that I create flower crowns and it occurred to me that while we were out there, we could shoot some campaign images for Sophie and Luna,” she said.
“The photographer was there, and I could fill a case full of pretty flower crowns and dresses – that’s it. I had something new and exciting to focus on, but no groom.
“I contacted a recommended male mode, Iain Spivey. Thankfully, he loved my crazy idea and he agreed about joining us for the shoot.
“During our trip to Vegas, Iain, Natalie and I all bonded and became good friends; I got a tattoo in Vegas that means ‘friendship’ in Navajo and three dots to symbolise turning thirty during the trip.
“We did the most amazing road trip from Vegas to the Grand Canyon and stayed there for four days; it was spectacular, and I shall never forget the experience, it was truly breath-taking.
“I didn’t cancel the chapel or the ceremony either. I didn’t want to because I had something very special in mind; I decided I was going to marry myself. I know – sounds crazy, right? But it wasn’t.
“It was beautiful, emotional and moving; it was a ceremony where I committed to be good to and take care of myself.
“I’m a big fan of ‘cheesy’ and I wanted to make fun of such a situation, so I went to The Little Vegas Chapel; as I walked down the aisle by myself, the officiator, dressed as Elvis Presley, of course, spoke the kindest of words.
“They were exactly what I needed to hear, right there and then. He said, ‘Sandra, today is a special day for you; you’ve come here to make a promise to yourself.
“’Today you planned to come here with your boyfriend, unfortunately it didn’t work out and yet you still have the courage to come here now to make a promise to yourself. It is time to fully live your life, your wild and precious life.
“’It is time to untie the stories, distractions and illustrations that keep you small and lean into the life that is waiting for you. Time to honour your innermost values, time to be gentle with your innocent heart, time to stand firmly by what you know to be true and make a bold, lifelong commitment to love.’
“Through this extraordinary and unexpected experience, I’ve learned that the most important kind of love is not the love that you feel for another person, but the love you must feel for yourself.
“I truly believe that learning to love everything about yourself means that you will not settle until you find the kind of love you know is right for you; sincere, deep and in it for the long haul.
“The kind of love that makes you feel stronger when you are at your weakest, the kind that adds to and enhances your life.
“I believe we are all worthy of that – we all deserve real love. There are moments in your life that teach you an invaluable lesson. Sometimes we hurt people and other times we get hurt but we are all the same and after the same thing; to love and to be loved.
“For those about to marry their best friends; life is a path to walk together as a team. Mature, honest, genuine love is caring for one another well after the butterflies and excitement of the early days are over.
“For those who have been in a similar situation to me or who still think about that ex – it was meant to be. Something else I would add is that you take the time to grieve such pain.
“Feeling the pain is the only way to let it go. It took me almost two years to get over it because I didn’t want to deal with the pain.
“It isn’t your end; this is your beginning and life as you know it now will open new doors and opportunities for you.
“You will learn better and you will choose better; opportunities that will enable you to meet someone else who loves you more than you might ever love yourself. I promise you and you deserve it.”
For more information visit: www.instagram.com/sophieandlunalondon