Emotional + Heartfelt Wedding Planned in Just 2 Weeks
June 20, 2017
New England
RomanticUrban SpaceSpring Weddings
For Danielle and Richard, their gorgeous wedding was not just a celebration of love, it was a celebration of life. The two had been together and had three handsome sons over the past 17 years before Richard was diagnosed with cancer. A reminder of life's fragility, they decided to reinforce their commitment to each other through marriage vows. Their nuptials were planned in just two weeks with the help of wonderful friends, family, and vendors – an exquisite celebration of endless love – before Richard passed away shortly after. A. Fogarty Photography and Happy Camper Film & Photo captured this heartbreakingly beautiful day, and both the photographer and the Bride share touching words below.
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From A. Fogarty Photography... On March 8th, I received a call from one of my very best friends. She told me that she and her partner of 17 years were finally going to get married. She asked if I would be interested in capturing their day alongside our mutual best friend, Mackenzie Lamoureux. Of course I was filled with excitement for her and grateful to be a part of their day. She also told me it would be happening on March 25th, just a little over two weeks away, and that they would be surprising their three children the day of the event. With Richard’s diagnosis of stage four colon cancer, they were reminded with each passing day how truly fragile life is. That’s when they decided to embrace life and celebrate love with the ceremony their whole family has been dreaming of for 17 years.

If you know Danielle, you know her incredible capability to pull off an amazing vision. As a designer herself, she has exquisite taste and the impeccable skill to bring a vision together. She also has a magnetic energy that draws the most loving, passionate, talented people into her life, and her wedding vendors were no exception. Being a part of the industry, I reached out to my local network to see if anyone was available to help bring her vision to life in such a short amount of time. I was (and still am) overwhelmed by the generosity of this beautiful community I feel so grateful to be a part of. Countless talented and gracious vendors donated their time, services, and products to help Danielle and Richard make this celebration memorable.

I remember walking into the venue the day before the wedding, and Danielle turned to me and said, “Amanda, I always dreamed of this day, but I seriously never thought it would happen. This is what I’ve been dreaming of. This is my vision.” She did not compromise; she (with the help of so many) made this wedding day a perfect reflection of who they were as a couple – a celebration to remember. On March 25th, 2017 I watched that 17-year-old dream come true. I watched a beautiful Bride see her vision come to life. I saw true love and heartfelt speeches about Richard and Danielle’s life together. So many friends and family gathered together to celebrate life in the now, and I will be forever grateful to have been a part of it.

From the Bride... Life can simultaneously be both so captivatingly beautiful and so immensely heartbreaking. Richard and I were very blessed in our lives together; we have three beautiful boys and went on adventures filled with joy and excitement. We also encountered our fair share of trials and tribulations. On September 16, 2016, Richard was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. After several months of chasing treatment options and grasping for faith, staring face to face with fear and uncertainty, we chose to rise in faith and love.

After 17 years of convincing ourselves that we were perfectly content with being permanently engaged, suddenly nothing felt more right than to cement our love with vows of marriage. It was close to "impossible" – a word we heard too frequently. But our amazing community rose boldly to the challenge. Quite seamlessly, venues, vendors, and friends offered services, time, and energies. The outpouring of the human spirit was overwhelming.

As a designer and wedding planner, I have collaborated on and implemented many nuptials. I have scoured inspirations, layouts, and wordings with a soft heart tug toward styles and textures that appealed to my personal style. I knew in my heart that if I was going to do this, I wanted to execute it in a way that captured us. I did not want a structured ceremony, but rather a celebration of life and love, a reflection of our story, and a heartwarming memory to share with all of those that have supported us along the way.

The day arrived so quickly and unsurprisingly yielded little to no worry. I was quite simply enraptured by the love and generous souls of those that executed this day, constantly spellbound with the largest of emotions. I have so many special memories – the quiet moment in solitude before our first look while staring out into the vast horizon of ocean water; the embrace of my handsome groom as the reality of the day sunk in deeper; the sweet surprise of telling our children that we would be getting married, and they would be our best men; being walked down the aisle together by my unconditionally loving parents; catching sight of my 92-year-old grandfather who was the first love of my life and who has the unfortunate disease of dementia; grasping the hands of my best friend with no intention of every letting go. The love and the emotions that filled the brick walls of the historic Portland Co. was enough to warm even the most bitter early spring Maine day. Words don't quite seem to capture the essence of what it was and what it will remain forever. My heart is just so full of gratitude to each and every individual who was a piece of it. It was a beautiful blessing amongst the storm, a union of hearts, and a reminder that love conquers all.