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Love in Adversity: A Real ALS Story

You’ve seen the ice bucket challenges taking over social media, but this morning we’re sharing the real ALS story of Adam and Hollie. They met as nurse and patient, but somewhere between weekly treatments and Adam’s eventual diagnosis they managed to fall in love. What happens next is one of the most beautiful, touching, wildly inspiring weddings captured by Liz Wang Photography, and a true reminder that love conquers all.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
Ranch
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… I am a nurse, Adam was a patient. It all started from there. As Adam was normal and healthy as can be, I never really noticed him until this strong, handsome man walked in our office door pushing a wheelchair. Ever since that appointment, I was assigned to his case to start biweekly treatments in an exam room for 3-hours a day, every week for a year. Yes, you tend to get to know a person rather well seeing them that often! His smile, laugh, and frequent “courtship” poetry is what made me fall in love. At first we were treating Lyme Disease, but my heart and mind were telling me otherwise. Once I finally got Adam on board, we went to one of the top Neurologist in UCLA. Our end diagnosis – ALS. He tells me right then and there, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want my last days seeing your face, kissing your lips, sleeping by your side. I understand if you don’t’ want this burden on you. But if you want me, I want to marry YOU. What do you say?” With tears coming down my face, “I wouldn’t want it any other way, Yes, I want to take care of you and make sure you get the best care possible.”

We set out and even though the dark ALS cloud was above us every waking moment, we had one positive thing to look forward to – our wedding day. Adam and I made dual decisions on everything. He was just as involved as I was. From the venue, to flowers, to our photographers, down to my wedding dress, he was there. I fell in love with my dress as I drove by Camarillo Bridal’s window. When I told Adam, he immediately said, “Let’s go!” Adam came with me to my dress fitting. He is the only person I want approval from. I want to make sure he fell in love with it as much as I did. I wanted to see his face the minute I had that dress on, and of course, his smile was from ear to ear.

Our venue was another game changing aspect. I love the beach, and he loved the woods. We both knew a wheelchair was going to be necessary for the wedding. He dreaded that, as we even looked into renting a “standing” wheelchair. But that was out of the question. As there was no such thing as renting one and if we bought one, it would have only been for it’s one time use. A beach wedding was a complete “No” from Adam as he always called the beach, “A big ol’ ashtray!” Having a wheelchair on a beach would only draw more attention to him as well and he didn’t want that. So we both agreed on a woodsy theme and Walnut Grove was chosen.

That day was the best day ever. I never thought I would have a beautiful wedding, but every detail was perfect. The venue even had a brick walkway from the ceremony area to the reception area. They were right next to each other too! There was a linoleum dance floor and a dirt path that was kept clean so not every rock or stone gave Adam speed bumps as he whizzed by greeting every one in his wheel chair upon each person’s entrance. After our ceremony, my cousin surprised us by making a handmade wooden sign. It was hung on the back of his wheelchair. It read, “ Just married.” As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, that first snapshot was the best. Our son holding my right hand and my left on his wheelchair. It was priceless.

Our first dance was one to remember by all as well. I delicately sat on his lap, one arm around the headrest of his wheel chair and my head on his chest. I kept whispering in his ear, “Don’t go too fast or I’ll fall ok? That would be so embarrassing!” He said, “I would never let you fall…” We giggled…we danced in circles for about 1 minute to our wedding song,“In my Life” by The Beatles. At the end of the night, we both were as happy as can be, and I promise you, ALS was on our mind the whole day, but Adam’s words played out in my mind and I’ll never forget it. “I may have ALS, but God knows… I’m going out with a BANG!”

Photography: Timon And Liz Wang, Liz Wang Photography | Dress: Camarillo Bridal | Cupcakes: Missy's Cupcake Creations | Wedding Cake: Bread Basket Cakes | Catering: Command Performance Catering | Hair And Makeup: Cara Hartley | Dj And Sound: Mark, Production Navigators | Photobooth: ShutterBooth | Wedding Venue: Walnut Grove At Tierra Rejada Ranch

ShutterBooth is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Shutterbooth

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From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
Coastal California Wedding Inspiration

The lazy days of summer may be dwindling but  the perfect seaside affair is right at our fingertips thanks to Brett Heidebrecht. He teamed up with Kylie Swanson + Poppy Lane Design and One True Love Vintage Rentals  for a shoot inspired by the raw beauty of the ocean and the most stunning silver gown by Carol Hannah. Glamour and the wild beauty of the beach are an unstopable combo. See it here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Beach
Styles
Elegant

From Brett HeidebrechtDrawing inspiration from the subtle beauty of California’s coast as well as Carol Hannah’s stunning silver gown, I wanted to mimic the soft and feminine textures of both the location and the dress in all aspects of this shoot. The backdrop of the mesmerizing blue ocean was the perfect setting to complement the light, airy mood and largely influenced both the decor and floral choices.

Styling countless beautiful pieces in such a breathtakingly beautiful location just outside of San Francisco was quite the dream. Brett Heidebrecht effortlessly captured each and every detail to perfection and Poppy Lane Design took my breath away with her magical floral creations. The MVP of this shoot undoubtedly went to the team at One True Love Vintage Rentals, who happily hauled such spectacular (and heavy) treasures into some not-so-easy to reach spots. I was blessed to work alongside such an incredibly talented team of vendors, one that any bride would be lucky to have on her wedding day.

Photography: Brett Heidebrecht | Floral Design: Poppy Lane Design | Wedding Dress: Carol Hannah | Cake: Knead To Make | Jewelry: Margaret Elizabeth Jewelry | Makeup Artist: Diane Catorc For Elite Bridal Artists | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Creative Director / Stylist: Kylie Swanson | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Handcrafted Hairpiece: Carlee Sizemore | Paper / Calligraphy: Juliet Grace Designs | Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Venue: Marin Headlands

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. One True Love Vintage Rentals and Poppy Lane Design are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
One True Love Vintage Rentals

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Poppy Lane Design

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22 Peony Filled Bouquets

It’s been coined the Prettiest Flower that Ever Lived by SMP editors and we’re showing you that the Peony lives up to all its hype. Especially when tied neatly into a bridal bouquet. The kind that suit any budget, any style of decor, any personality of bride who might carry it. Thanks to all of the fabulous SMP Contributors who helped us out with this post – shows that good taste runs far and wide!

Peony Bouquets
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SO many amazing floral bouquets tucked into SMP’s galleries!
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL BOUQUETS and even more Peonies right here!

Brooklyn Wedding with Urban Elegance

You’d be hard pressed to find a love story sweeter than this. What started as neighbors in Brooklyn for six years ended in an eventual date, proposal and wedding set in the very same neighborhood where it all began. Think classic elegance meets urban charm, with Gabrielle Aronas’ beautiful florals, Stacie Ford’s flawless makeup and Katie Osgood working magic behind the lens. More right here.

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Spring
Settings
Winery
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Elegant

From The Bride…For years Greg was just the boy who lived below me. We passed one another in the hallway of our Brooklyn brownstone hundreds of times and after 6 years decided we should be friends. We soon became inseparable and what started out as friendship quickly developed into so much more. We fell in love over Thursday night drinks, Sunday dinners and countless Yankee games and after 2 ½ years of dating Greg proposed to me at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Greg and I quickly jumped right into wedding planning. We met, fell in love, and got engaged in Brooklyn – so it just felt right to get married in Brooklyn too. After going back and forth on the size of the wedding we ultimately decided on 80 of our closest friends and family. We hoped that number was small enough to feel intimate yet large enough to feel festive. We visited several venues but after seeing Brooklyn Winery we immediately knew it was perfect for us.

Planning a wedding can easily become very stressful. Fortunately we worked with wonderful vendors who alleviated much of that stress. Rachel and Jessica at Brooklyn Winery were a godsend. They were so patient and always happy to answer our many questions. Our florist (Gabrielle Aronas) was an absolute joy to work with and her flowers and tablescapes created a beautiful and welcoming atmosphere. My makeup (Stacie Ford) and hair (Ramona Azcona) far exceeded my expectations. I have never felt more beautiful and I will always be grateful to them for their warmth and professionalism. And finally, hiring Katie Osgood as our photographer was quite possibly the best wedding decision we made. She is an incredible talent who captured our special day so beautifully. And as an added bonus she is super fun too! Many, many thanks to all of the wonderful people we were lucky enough to work with.

After 6 months of exhaustive planning, our wedding day finally arrived on April 18th, 2014. It was everything we had hoped for – a day filled with immense love and happiness. We are so thankful for the limitless support and devotion of our families. We loved celebrating with them and will cherish our many memories for a lifetime.

Photography: Katie Osgood Photography | Florist: G Designs By Gabrielle Aronas | Cake: Baked NYC | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Hair: Ramona Azcona | Calligraphy: TucciCursive | DJ: Scratch Weddings | Officiant: Kimberly Worley | Brides Belt: Marisa | Brides Dress: Mikaella Bridal | Brides Hairpiece: BHLDN | Grooms Tuxedo: Hugo Boss | Hotel: Wythe Hotel | Jazz Trio: The Lowdown Stoppers | Makeup: Stacie Ford | Venue: Brooklyn Winery

BHLDN is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Stacie Ford Weddings and Brooklyn Winery are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Stacie Ford Weddings

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Brooklyn Winery

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