The Power of Love is on Your Side
Don’t Lose Sight
As many store owners have said to me, and as I experienced myself when I owned a bridal salon, we sometimes change hats from a bridal expert to a personal therapist and we do it willingly and compassionately.
Wedding tragedies have happened from the beginning of time. I’m not talking tragedies like the drunk cousin who thinks it’s a good idea to pole dance on the support pole of the reception tent (YouTube it if you haven’t seen, tragic), I’m talking family tragedies or personal dilemmas. Working with brides for so many years certainly took me to emotional places of every sort with many different clients and their families. I’ve helped to comfort those who have lost a loved one or had a family member who was too ill to travel. I’ve seen family feuds due to religious or jealous reasons. And in every instance, I’ve helped to keep the bride focused on her one day, staying in the moment without stressing about anything else.
One situation that sticks out to me was a bride who switched personalities on me at some point during the fitting process, not too far from her wedding day. She went from super happy to super stressed and sad. We sat down and started talking and she said had been fighting with her Mom, etc., but eventually we reached the real reason. Her fiancé had just gotten his deployment papers and was leaving a few weeks later. How sad and helpless must every service family feel when this happens but how devastating to a newlywed couple, being physically separated just two weeks after their wedding. I can’t even imagine, but in the end this bride had her magical day, stayed in the moment and cherished her time with her new husband.
So here we are today and WOW, what a year this has been so far. Wedding after wedding was canceled, postponed without a set date, rescheduled for a future date or changed up all together. Many tears were shed and emotions ran wild. Dreams felt crushed, and not being able to control a single thing set the emotion scale soaring. But as so many times in life, once we let go and move forward without trying to control, we find a silver lining. Here are a few shortened versions of some of our bride’s stories that may help you along your journey:
Matt and I had been joyfully planning our big wedding in my hometown in Texas for over a year and a half. He proposed to me in Belize, and since that beautiful day – I rushed to create my spreadsheets to capture our beautiful day (I LOVE planning…). As our dream date on April 25th 2020 approached, so did the severity of COVID. The regulations required that no more than immediate family members were present for our wedding. I was crushed. I tried to remain optimistic, but at times, I really struggled. It wasn’t until the day before our wedding, when our family had gathered together, that I realized what a blessing in disguise this was. Being a planner, I knew if I had my “original plan”, I would have been stressing all night about the next day. Instead, I became filled with excitement! The day of our wedding was even better than I imagined. I was so relaxed and excited while getting ready with my mom and sisters, that I actually ended up being 20 minutes late for our ceremony. This is something I NEVER would have done if 250 people were waiting in the church. Our ceremony was beautiful and intimate. I will never forget the look on Matt’s face when he saw me walk down the aisle. As we were saying our vows and taking the whole day in – we both came to realize that we had lost sight of the purpose of a wedding. We had been so focused on the planning, the vendors, and the venue, that we had forgotten what a wedding meant. We were so appreciative that we got to profess our love and commitment to each other in the presence of our immediate family. It was beautiful and personal. While we were sad all of our family and friends couldn’t be there, we have found the silver lining in the fact that we got to return to the basics, and focus on our love and commitment to each other.
When our original May wedding date had to be postponed due to government regulations, we knew that we wanted to get married as soon as possible. Our 200+ guest list got cut down to just immediate family. The amazing venue turned into a simple ceremony in our living room. Everything I thought that I needed my wedding day to be had been drastically altered. The funny thing is that our simple wedding day was so much better than any of the original plans I had. I asked my aunts to write letters for me to open the morning of the wedding since they couldn’t be in attendance. Throughout the afternoon, close friends and extended family drove by in their cars in a parade-like fashion throwing out rose petals and honking their horns. We had a candlelight evening ceremony where each family member got to share intimate stories. It was stress-free, beautiful, and way more special than I ever thought a wedding day could be. Plus, in August we get to do it all over again with the big venue and all the over the top details. To any bride that feels like they were robbed of their dream wedding day, just know that this change in plans can be the best thing you never expected. Try not to grieve what could have been and focus on the unique opportunities that this new day has in store.
My fiancé Steve and I were visiting family in Connecticut when we got engaged. We decided our wedding would be there on July 11, 2020 at his brother’s beachfront home.
We returned to Phoenix and I didn’t waste any time & my mom and I went shopping for wedding dresses. You see, my mom had been battling cancer for almost 7 years. She’s been through 9 different kinds of chemo. She just moved to Phoenix to be closer to us. This opportunity for her to go wedding dress shopping with me was a dream come true.
When Covid-19 first hit, we hoped the plan would still come together, especially given my Mom’s deteriorating health. By mid-April, reality was setting in and we moved our July 11th date to late August. Within a month, we faced the additional reality that an August wedding in Connecticut wasn’t going to happen either. Our only option was to look at mid 2021 dates.
By early June, my mother was hospitalized. The next few weeks the reality became clear that my Mother wasn’t going to be able continue her battle much longer. Steve sprung into action and in less than a week he had planned a perfect wedding in Arizona close to our house and hospice. No one even knew, not even his big family.
On July 11th, our original wedding date, Steve and I were married at A Different Pointe of View at the Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort while the sun was setting. There were only 6 people in actual attendance and my Mom viewed it from her room at hospice on IPad. We also surprised Steve’s parents from Connecticut who were able to witness the ceremony via FaceTime. My mom saw me walk down the aisle and be married in the dress we loved so much.
The following Saturday, July 18th, I was visiting my mom and she was in a great mood. I was able to share pictures that I had just received of our amazing wedding and my beautiful dress, leaving her speechless. She was so excited to hear all the details of the day and relive the memories. A few hours later I received a call that she had passed. It was exactly one week after our wedding.
I will miss her always, but I’m glad she’s at peace now and am so grateful she was able to see us get married. She was the strongest person I know and my best friend. I remember her saying, “live life to the fullest and don’t waste a day!”
Whether the chaos is pre-wedding or someone spilling red wine down your gown during the reception, you’ve only got one shot to keep tragedies away for a day. Take it, love it and cherish it & as Cami’s Mom said, “don’t waste a day!”