Home » Fashion » I’m addicted to weddings – I’ve had five and spent £50k… I’m dubbed the ‘Pamela Anderson of Swindon’ & pals take bets on when I’ll divorce but I don’t care | The Sun
WHEN Sarah Brett excitedly showed off her sparkling engagement ring, her family sighed and rolled their eyes.
It wasn't the reaction she'd been hoping for, but the ink was barely dry on her divorce from hubby number four, so she feared they would disapprove about her walking down the aisle for the fifth time.
The 55-year-old gran-of-six from Swindon has forked out £40K on her weddings to five different men – and £10k on four divorces – in 25 years.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, she says: “My cousin laughed and said I must be addicted to wedding cake, and a friend called me ‘Pamela Anderson of Swindon’.
“Like me, Pammy has had over five marriages – but I don’t think we are foolhardy, we are just hopeless romantics.
“Some people told me not to expect any wedding gifts and they were taking bets on when I’d be divorced. They were convinced I’d be divorced within a year and told me not to bother.
“But I ignored the naysayers. My mum always told me you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince – my problem was I married them instead.”
Her fifth husband, landscape gardener Ashley Comley, 59, adds: “When Sarah told me how many times she’d been married I wasn’t concerned at all.
“I knew I was going to make her my wife the moment I met her and I promised it would be her best wedding yet.”
And he succeeded, as Sarah says her fifth was the “best day” of her life and she finally got the big white wedding she had always dreamed of.
PRINCESS OF JAILS
Sarah married her first husband – Nick, a factory worker, now 60 – in 1985, aged just 18.
“We met working in the same factory in Portsmouth,” she explains. “We started dating and wanted to live together first.
“But our parents were very traditional. They were horrified and demanded a wedding.”
Sarah had eight bridesmaids who all wore a different pastel colour to form a rainbow.
She says: “I wore a white loose fitting wedding dress, a short shoulder length veil and tiara.
“It was a church wedding and I had the reception in the Church Hall.
“I spent months planning the event and believed it was my forever wedding.”
Over 80 guests enjoyed a hot buffet and a free bar. It cost £8k in total.
Sarah says: “Looking back, the fact that the icing started to melt early and the tiers had to be propped up using 5p pieces should have been an omen.”
The pair welcomed their son Daniel, now 37, in December 1986, but their happiness was short-lived and they divorced in 1989.
“After four-and-a-half years together we realised we’d married too young and had walked down the aisle to please other people,” says Sarah.
One year later Sarah met Paul – who has sadly now passed away – who owned a convenience store across the road from her house.
“Most weeks I’d pop in to buy wedding magazines and the local paper,” she says.
“I’ve always been obsessed with weddings and knew I’d want to wed again.”
The pair started dating and enjoyed a whirlwind romance – just three weeks after meeting Paul proposed.
Four months later Sarah fell pregnant with their daughter, Zoe, now 31.
In 1992, they tied the knot at a Portsmouth Registry Office in front of 40 guests. It was a low-key budget wedding and the reception was at their house.
“It wasn’t fancy,” she recalls. “We went to Tesco and got sausage rolls, dips and cake but it still set us back about £6,500 in total.
“I wore a two-piece wedding dress from Marks and Spencer.
“The day my husband moved in, my parents – who were living with me at the time – moved out. They didn’t approve of Paul, and I quickly realised I should have listened to them.”
Six months later Sarah called time on their marriage and the divorce came through in 1993, costing her £2,600.
“I was sad to be divorced again so soon but I was so busy being a mum to two kids, I didn’t have time to wallow," she says.
Despite her heartbreak, Sarah was determined her doomed marriages would not put her off marrying again.
In May 1996 her friend put an ad in a lonely hearts column of a local paper saying Sarah was looking for love.
She got 52 replies and met husband number three, taxi driver Mark, now 65.
“I was 29 at the time and he was 10 years older than me,” she recalls. “He was a gentleman and hardworking and I thought he was definitely my prince.
“This time I went totally casual and the wedding cost around £6K. Some friends rolled their eyes when I gave them their wedding invitations.
They married at the Portsmouth Registry office.
“People asked me if they could recycle the last wedding gift they gave me, and others asked if they could wear the same dress they wore to wedding number two," she says.
People asked me if they could recycle the last wedding gift they gave me, and others asked if they could wear the same dress they wore to wedding number two
“I laughed off the jokes, but it did hurt a little.”
Sarah was happily married for 10 years before they started to grow apart.
“I wasn’t smiling anymore and I realised I was making my husband happy rather than making me happy,” she continues.
“I ended the marriage and we divorced in 2006, costing me £3K.
“But I was still obsessed with finding my perfect man and having the perfect wedding. I couldn’t walk past a wedding shop without trying on a dress.
“I loved looking through bridal magazines, tearing out ideas for what I hoped would be for wedding number four.”
In 2006, five months after her divorce, she met husband number four – electrical engineer Sean, now 54 – through online dating.
Three months later they married in September 2007.
“I have never been one for long engagements,” she laughs. “For wedding number four I opted for a white off-the-shoulder two-piece full skirted wedding gown.
“I had flowers in my hair and gold and white was my colour scheme.
“We spent £8,500 on my big day and it was beautiful. I was back at the Portsmouth Registry office for the third time and the staff recognised me.
I was back at the Portsmouth Registry office for the third time and the staff recognised me
“I opted for wedding photos in a lovely garden nearby and we celebrated with a two tier wedding cake in front of 60 guests at the local Red Lion Hotel.
“Friends said they hoped wedding number four would be The One.
"We honeymooned in Italy and then moved to Dorset. But I struggled being away from my support network. I felt isolated and alone.
“After 10 years I couldn’t take it anymore and rang my best friend saying that I felt like a failure.
“She helped me get a divorce and get my new life in Swindon started.
“My £1,500 divorce came through in 2017 and my mates told me I had to continue in my search for Mr Right.”
One year later, in August 2018, she met Ashley online.
“The first time we met we clicked and after our date we spent seven hours on the phone," she recalls. “That night I knew I’d finally found my Prince.
“I was so excited about the connection that I broke out my collection of wedding magazines.
“He proposed with a sapphire ring in December that year.
"We planned a September 2020 wedding but that was cancelled due to Covid.
“Instead we held the registry office wedding in November 2021 and had an intimate wedding breakfast. Then we had a big wedding reception six months later in May 2022.
“Predictably there were multi-married jokes at the reception because between us we had seven weddings under our belts."
Predictably there were multi-married jokes at the reception because between us we had seven weddings under our belts
Even the sign on the couple’s wedding cake was a nod to how many times Sarah had been married, reading: “Finally, Mr and Mrs Comley."
“The colour scheme was pink and blue and, having been married so many times, I used my money saving tips and arranged the flowers myself. I also found my princess wedding dress on Facebook marketplace.
“I got to wear my dress twice which was an absolute dream. It cost us about £8K for both weddings but was worth every penny.
“I hope it will finally be my last. We are soulmates.”
Sarah has kept all the photos from her previous weddings because they are a reminder of her marital missteps.
She says: “I sold three of my engagement rings and my ex pawned the fourth one.
“I didn’t keep any of the wedding dresses. I wanted to start afresh.”
Sarah says how she never set out to have multiple weddings and admits it's an "expensive habit".
“I have spent about £37k on weddings, 3k on honeymoons and nearly £10k on divorces," she says.
“Some people say I’m addicted to getting married and I guess I am. I love celebrating love.
“But I never imagined I’d be married five times by the time I was in my 50s. That said, I’m not ashamed… each marriage has made me realise what I really want in a man – and now I’ve finally found him.”
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