A Deeply Meaningful, Family-Focused Wedding Day

Danielle and Brendan’s wedding is the definition of a meaningful family-focused celebration. In the midst of planning, Danielle’s father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and the couple reoriented their wedding to what mattered most – her father’s attendance. Featured on Style Me Pretty, an amazing lineup of vendors, including L. Marie EventsKaren Hill Photography and NST Pictures, came on board to help and in the end “My father was well enough to walk me down the aisle,” said Danielle. “And I was met by the most patient, supportive, and loving groom. It was perfect.” 

From the bride…

For the beginning of our engagement, Brendan and I were living in different cities. Needless to say, planning our wedding while apart was difficult. In September 2015, I relocated to Los Angeles and assumed planning would improve. But the move put me in a different time zone from my family and vendors, thus making communication with decision makers a new challenge. Although there were certain logistical difficulties we had to overcome given our distance issues, Brendan and I worked as a team and had the blessing of time. (We were engaged for more than a year and a half.)

We were in the full swing of wedding planning when we faced with our greatest challenge in January 2016: my father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and living in the emergency intensive care unit of a hospital. Doctors were unsure of his prognosis and the idea of planning a party, albeit our wedding, became impossible to bear. I spent the majority of that winter and spring flying between Los Angeles to see Brendan and New York to see my parents. The future was more uncertain than ever, and we were treating every day with my father as a gift. For a while, we were unsure if the wedding would happen and we decided to put all planning on hold. In February 2016, we made the decision to completely change our arrangements. We did so by taking a step back to acknowledge the things that were most important to us. We wanted to be married in the church we had both grown up in and we desperately wanted my dad attend the ceremony. Anything else would be a bonus.

Given all of the unknowns we were juggling, and in an effort to make the wedding day as manageable and comfortable as possible for my father, we opted to adjust our wedding to a family-only ceremony followed by an intimate dinner. All aspects of the day were pared down, including our guest list and our plans for a tented reception. While some people might hear this and instinctively be upset on our behalves, everything worked out for the best and allowed us to focus on what this day was all about. We felt that our wedding day should be centered around the sacred life partnership we were entering and what that meant for our parents, the individuals who had helped us get to this point in our lives. It was truly the most special day and although it was not what we had envisioned originally, we would not change a thing. My father was well enough to walk me down the aisle and I was met by the most patient, supportive, and loving groom. It was perfect. We’re incredibly grateful to our family, community, and the wonderful vendors who supported us through this entire process. You all made an impact on our wedding and greatly helped us during a bittersweet time.


Event Planning Lisa Marie Events // Floral Design In Full Bloom by MJL // Wedding Dress Pronovias // Cake, Club Piping Rock Club // Stationery The Printery // Shoes Manolo Blahnik // Rings Frederic Goodman // Tux J.Crew // Transportation M&V Limousines and Broward Limo // Painter Philip Jordan of Jordan Mural Design, Inc. // Bagpiper Pipes and Dreams Music // Garden Planting Fields Arboretum // Cinematography // Photography Karen Hill Photography




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