What if I can’t walk down the aisle at my wedding?
18 Oct 2021
How one bride's crippling condition has left her wondering whether her wedding will be the joyous day every bride-to-be hopes for
While most brides-to-be would say their worst fear for the big day is not being able to fit into the dress, their hairdresser not turning up or bad weather – for Kathryn Hall, 38, her biggest fear is not being physically able to walk down the aisle because of crippling pain.
The mother-of-one from Yorkshire has endometriosis and although she’s learnt to live with the disease and can usually tell when a flare-up is coming, they can occur at any moment - and she’s praying it won’t be when her big day comes around next year.
Endemetriosis is a long-term condition that causes tissue similar to the lining of the womb to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes, resulting in agonising pain. It affects one in ten women.
Above: Kathryn and fiancé Dan
Commenting on her 2022 Cyprus wedding to fiancé Dan, Kathryn says: “How do you plan for the unplannable? We plan every aspect of the wedding down to the finest detail but arguably the biggest moment of the whole day is completely out of my hands.
“If I wake up on the morning of my wedding in excruciating pain, there’s nothing I can do.”
Kathryn, who lives in Rotherham with Dan and daughter Jessica, was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was 33.
Above: Kathryn was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2016
“Thanks to my treatment, my flare-ups aren’t as bad as they used to be and I can usually tell when they’re coming on, which means I can take precautions to deal with it. This has meant cancelling plans and staying home in the past.
“However, I can’t cancel my wedding at the last minute, can I? We’ve already postponed twice because of the pandemic.
“If I have a flare-up on the day of the wedding, I genuinely don’t know what I will do. I will take painkillers, might even have to walk down the aisle with a hot water bottle, but ultimately if the pain is at its worst it is so bad I can’t move. It’s like giving birth but ten times worse.”
The diagnosis was life-changing in more ways than one, as it also led Kathryn to start her own business and go on to inspire thousands of others to do the same.
Above: Kathryn, Dan and daughter Jessica
Kathryn set up Kath & Kin, adored by celebrities such as Mrs Hinch and Stacey Solomon, while she was off work awaiting diagnosis and treatment for her condition.
“When I was diagnosed, my symptoms were crippling abdominal pain and heavy periods. The doctors thought it was one condition, then another, and it wasn’t until a few years later that I was diagnosed officially.
“I was spending so much time at home on my own, so for my own mental health I had to try and keep busy. That’s when I started creating the products you now see on Kath & Kin.”
Above: Kath& Kin was launched four years ago
Kathryn took the plunge and gave up her office job to focus on the business in 2017. From personalised storage caddies, to labelled glass jars and dog bowls, Kathryn’s business is on track to hit its first million this year after a 72 per cent increase in turnover last year.
“The pandemic and various lockdowns meant more people were at home and having clear-outs and looking at new ways of managing their home life,” she explained.
Above: Kath& Kin counts Mrs Hinch among its fans
Kathryn says a tag on Mrs Hinch’s Instagram was another key moment for the business. “I remember I was walking my dog over the field when I saw Mrs Hinch had tagged me in her Instagram story and I started to scream, I couldn’t believe it,” she laughed. “People were looking at me but I didn’t care - I was so excited!
“She’d received one of our personalised dog bowls for her pooch, Henry, and the day she shared it was the same day she hit her first million followers so our followers grew massively overnight. We grew more than 5,000 followers overnight – it was crazy! She’s continued to support us and buy our products ever since.”
Since then Kath & Kin has continued to gain momentum, with further celebrity fans including Rochelle Humes and Jacqueline Jossa – her silver lining, as Kathryn continues to come to terms with the reality of living with endometriosis.