A woman who spent 20 years saving for her dream wedding used the money to throw herself a wedding after not meeting the right partner.
Sarah Wilkinson, 42, decided to hold a wedding ceremony conducted by her friend on September 30 at Harvest House in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
The credit controller said the occasion was a natural progression after she bought herself to an engagement ring.
She said: “It was a lovely day for me to be centre of attention.
“The ceremony wasn’t an official wedding, but I had my wedding day.
“I think you get to the point where you think ‘I might not have this with a partner by my side, but why should I miss out?’
“That money was reserved for my wedding – it was a case of it’s there and why not use it for something I want to do.”
Ms Wilkinson, who lives in the town, said she splashed out £10,000 on the celebration after saving each month and adding any extra windfalls she had.
The bride was surrounded by 40 of her closest family and friends for the ceremony and another 40 people in the evening at the tennis club opposite.
She told BBC Radio Suffolk her friends were not surprised to hear of her plan to stage her own wedding.
She said: “No-one stopped smiling all day and everyone said what an amazing time they had.
“Nearly every single one said ‘that’s such a Sarah thing to do’.”
Ms Wilkinson said she wrote 14 vows for her to honour, with the first being a promise never to relinquish control of the TV remote.
She said she came up with the idea of the wedding when she turned 40 in lockdown and decided to buy herself a diamond engagement ring she had always wanted.
For her wedding, she wore a white sequinned gown and she had a tiered cake topped with a figurine of a bride kissing a frog. Her mother walked her down the aisle.
Her friend – professional wedding planner Katherine Cresswell – conducted the ceremony.
“As much as it was about Sarah, it was about bringing everyone together,” said Ms Cresswell.
“There’s always a need to celebrate and I think we need it more than ever right now.”
Despite getting her perfect wedding day, Ms Wilkinson said she had not ruled out meeting any future grooms.
“Not at all… but it was just a case of giving up looking because it’s a lot of effort,” she said.