Imagine sharing a love with someone that overcame the toughest of obstacles. For one couple, their winter wedding at Hidden Meadows in Snohomish was a celebration of just that. It was a moment of pushing aside the harsh sting of grief to instead focus on love and gratitude for each other. It’s a story of a beautiful couple, a race against time, and their dream day together last December. It’s fitting that, less than a week from Thanksgiving, this very Real Snohomish Wedding is the story we share.
A Special Day Remembered
Dinner was almost over. With everyone seated at their tables, plates empty and bellies full, Karie Greiner of Unforgettable Wedding & Events, stood. It was her turn to address the crowd, a room full of Snohomish Wedding Guild members, who were gathered for the Guild’s November ’18 meeting. She began to speak of a wedding she had planned last December. It was almost a year ago. Originally scheduled for April, this wedding was lovingly knit together by a network of wedding professionals—largely Snohomish Wedding Guild members--in two short weeks. She thanked them for their help. All of their services were 100% donated, something so rarely seen. As she mentioned the couple’s names, Heather and Jimmy, her voice faltered. Others nodded along, remembering their wedding well. Tears pooled to the corners of their eyes, and the energy of the room softened to quiet reverence.
The Important Things
Weddings are a celebration of the love between two people, and Heather and Jimmy’s wedding was the true embodiment of that. We usually imagine the “in sickness and in health” portion of our vows to come years after making them, like an obscure chapter of a book tucked towards the end. For Heather and Jimmy, it’s that part of the vow that caused their wedding day to come earlier. Heather had developed cancer, beginning as a sarcoma in her right lung. The cancer spread to her brain and in July of 2017, she underwent surgery to remove it. In November of the same year, more tumors were found. That was when doctors gently advised her to focus energy on the most important things—like her upcoming wedding to Jimmy.
Their Dream Wedding Realized
Fast forward to that special day, and Jimmy stood expectantly at the altar, beaming. The procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen began and then at last, it was Heather’s turn. Making her way down the aisle with her son, Landon, they held onto each other tightly and propelled themselves forward. She was radiant, and she emanated such feelings of happiness. Loved ones loudly cheered. Seconds later, Jimmy caught sight of his bride, and a breathless “wow” escaped his lips. Heather was beautiful, and so was this moment. Despite the scariness of the future ahead, their fears were lost to this day, and love won. According to Joanna Monger of Joanna Monger Photography, “Heather and Jimmy’s day was filled with joy; so much joy and gratitude. Where there could have been sadness, there were smiles and laughter instead.”
Afterwards, during the reception, Heather, Jimmy, and Landon celebrated into the evening amongst dear loved ones. Strings of lights softly glowed from the rafters. The tables were adorned with sparkly accents and gorgeous pink flowers--it was the wedding of their dreams. Just beyond the tables was a dance floor, and Jimmy gently swayed with his bride as others looked on. Then, it was Landon’s turn. Joanna Monger said, “I will never, ever forget the mother-son dance between Heather and Landon. She held onto him in a way that only a mommy could hold her precious child. His arms wrapped around her waist as they rocked to the music together. She kissed him. He looked up, wide-eyed at his beautiful mommy. She clung onto him. Round and round in circles, they rocked together as if no one else in the world existed except them. The room was silent. I could literally feel my heart beating out of my chest; it was difficult to even imagine what was going on in her mind right then. My hands went into autopilot, photographing them as tears fell down my cheeks and clouded my vision. Such a beautiful moment between two very beautiful people. So much to be thankful for, so much gratitude.”
On February 28th, 2018, a little more than ten weeks after her wedding, Heather succumb
to cancer. She was 38. Jimmy and Landon were among those by her side in her final moments, wrapping her in the same love she felt on that beautiful, joyous December day. Thanks for defining for us what "love conquers all" means.