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Life after Loss | A Brides Guide to Getting Married After Losing Someone Important.

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary! I love going back through our wedding photos and re-watching our wedding videos! They bring me so much joy!

I can tell you that planning my wedding wasn’t the most exciting thing, which it usually is- and it should have been. But grief and heartache stole my joy. It stole the excitement of wedding planning.

Why you might ask? I was a bride planning my wedding without my mom. She had passed away when I was 15. I had been through a lot of exciting moments without her by the time my wedding came around, so I never thought it would be as hard as it was.

I rushed. I rushed through every little part of planning. If I rushed, then I wouldn’t have time to feel the hurt, to cry because she wasn’t there to help weigh the pros & cons of the different venues, try different cakes, try on a gazillion and 1 dresses, to talk about food and colors and how to wear my hair, do I wear a veil? There is so much that goes into wedding planning and I literally RUSHED through every. single. part of it.

It was easy to avoid my feelings, I had been doing it for a long time. I wish I wouldn’t have. I should have cried about it. I missed her and was incredibly sad that she couldn’t be there. I also had a lot of guilty feelings later about how much fun I did have and the happiness that overflowed my heart marrying Kenny that day.

Here’s my little piece of advice to those wedding planning without someone special.

1. Let yourself feel those feelings. There is nothing more healing than a good cry. A good conversation with the one you miss telling them that you wish they were here. If you are overflowing with sadness and grief. Thats OK!! No one expects you to keep it all together all the time. Especially in those moments! When you allow yourself to feel those feelings, to express them, you make room for enjoyment, for happiness to fill your heart!

2. If you don’t feel those overwhelming sad moments, thats OK!! I missed my mom so much on my day, and I struggled to keep it together walking down the aisle, I knew that so many of the tears coming from my family and friends was because they were sad that my mom wasn’t there. But I remember being all smiles for the most part, laughing & dancing the night away. I was with everyone that I love, that loves me and we were there to celebrate! For a short time after I felt bad that I didn’t have the stereotypical break down. I didn’t sob. I laughed, and danced and sang and hugged and was SO happy. My mom would have wanted nothing less or more. She would have loved Kenny. I know that! Enjoy your day, don’t let grief steal your joy!

Here are some wedding planning tips on how to incorporate those you’ve lost in a special way!

  1. We had a memorial table! Many people put up photos of their loved ones up, we did not. We put candles for each person and I also had a floral arrangement made by Ivy Hutch Flowers & Gifts that had yellow flowers because yellow was my moms favorite color!

2. You could wear apart of your loved one, If it was a woman you lost, you could wear their own wedding dress. Lots of people asked me if I was going to do that. There was no way! haha! My mom and I had different tastes. I knew she wouldn’t have wanted me to wear something I didn’t love. So you could incorporate a piece of it around your bouquet or sew a piece of someones clothing under your dress. ( Maybe something one of dad or grandpa’s blue shirts)

3. A photo charm on your bouquet! You could also wear a piece of their jewelry! I was originally going to wear a letter A necklace that was my moms until Kenny got me a necklace as a gift! I did have a charm with my moms picture as well as a charm from a necklace she asked my sister to give to me for my wedding day. It was really special!

4. Another thing we did was in lieu of favors, we made a donation to the James Cancer Hospital in honor of my mom.

5. Butterflies have always been our “sign” that mom is near. My grandma got these sweet little butterfly clips & pins that she wanted me to wear in my hair, they were so heavy so I pinned it to the other side of my bouquet! You could do a butterfly release, or even a dove release!

6. You could play a special song, dance with those that make you feel the closest to the one you’re missing.

There is SO many different ways to honor those who cannot be with you physically! Your wedding is a celebration, a time in your life to be happy, over the moon & joyful. Don’t let grief steal that from you. I can promise your loved one would want nothing more than a day full of smiles, laughter and love. Miss them, because its more than okay to do so!! But ENJOY your day! Your moment and Celebrate, not only their life, but your love!!

Happy Wedding Planning!!

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