Why my best friend’s wedding broke my heart

Melanie Denyer
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readDec 5, 2023


Two hands touch in front of a green background. One belongs to a bride, with the sleeve of the wedding dress visible on her arm, the other to the groom, who is wearing a black suit, with a white cuff visible at the wrist.
Photo by Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash

There was never any question that the first of our friendship group to marry would be my best friend Sarah and her boyfriend, Matt. It was as much of a certainty as the sun rising in the east.

We’d all been friends since the first year, between us studying a range of subjects, and coming from differing backgrounds, but with the shared humour and eventual bond that comes from facing life’s first real adventure together. Sarah and I, both studying modern languages, had bonded over essay crises and shared tutorials, late nights drinking tea and putting the world to rights, and early mornings on the river.

After graduating, Sarah stayed in the UK while I returned to Paris and my French boyfriend, whom I’d met during my year abroad. Even without all the clichés about Paris being the most romantic city and the perfect place to fall in love, Seb and I met in scenes reminiscent of a rom-com — the Champs Elysées, a hot summer night, and a red convertible all make an appearance — and, despite the transition from the heady early days of our relationship to the usual challenges of cohabiting, were on what I thought was a steady trajectory towards engagement, marriage, and 2.5 kids.

The invitation to Sarah and Matt’s wedding made me so happy. They were — and are — made for each other, and I was excited to go back to the UK for the…