Thursday, March 15, 2012

Reality Check

Let's just to say I have been stressed, busy and overwhelmed lately is a HUGE understatement.
In the past 3 or 4 weeks  i have ---
booked a wedding venue
made the 1st draft of the guest list
booked a photographer
got the caterer
set the menu
got floral quotes
got the bridal party together
bought the bridesmaid their cowboy boots to wear down the aisle
booked the pastor
begged my mother to reduce her number of invites made the 2nd draft of the guest list
had a major dental appointment
got the doggy wrangler
and then.....
went on a trip to Las Vegas
got off the plane and watched  moved my sectional out with the fam
and then immediately went and looked at wedding dresses in two different stores
got up the next day and drove to Cincinnati to the bridal district
said yes to the dress the day after vegas
and jumped right back into the work craze that has been SLAMMMED
worked on the third draft of the darn guest list
oh and then after vegas, we had approx a week and half to pack all my things up and out of my apartment.
holy crap!
i get exhausted just thinking about it.

and that is just it....i am sooooo tired.
kev and I are still not on Kentucky time
and this time change has made it even worse.

Today, the exhaustion set in.
and i may have been on the verge of a meltdown.
And then I read this....

The following is by Scott Stump. A contributor.
It's about a photographer' experience with a very special bride
He is right...every bride or bride to be should read this.

Photographer Emily Harris had a powerful idea: She could document the events leading up to Lainie Schultz’s wedding. But would the bride-to-be, who is battling a rare form of cancer, be interested?
It turned out that she was — so much so that Schultz immediately told Harris about an intimate moment she could photograph. The following day, Schultz’s fiancé was going to shave her head.
“It’s fate that it happened that way,” Schultz said about receiving the call from Harris. “What I was going through was personal, but it’s something people need to see. A lot of people are scared of cancer, and it’s important for people to see that you shouldn’t be. ... I won’t live in fear.”
The Fort Lauderdale couple allowed Harris to document the head-shaving session and several other personal moments in the weeks leading up to their March 3 wedding in Palm Beach, Fla. Harris’ photos of Schultz dealing with cancer while planning her wedding have captivated thousands online.

Their story has struck a nerve as the antithesis to the obnoxious behavior and excess popularized in television shows like “Bridezillas” and “Platinum Weddings.” It also has served as a reminder that a wedding is about the love between two people, not the specifics of the event itself.
“I have a lot of friends getting married, and they’re so worried about every little detail,” Schultz said. “Of course I worried about what my wedding would look like, but I didn’t get that stressed. If I showed up and there were no tablecloths, no band, or no flowers, all that matters is that my family is there and I’m marrying the love of my life. Unfortunately, being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness puts life in perspective.”

Harris said the story of Schultz and her now-husband, Joseph Jones, 27, affected her on a personal level.
 “I work with so many bridezillas, and it drives me crazy,” Harris said. “This re-lit something inside me because this brings the focus back to a marriage being about the love and devotion between two people.”

‘No sadness, no tears’

Schultz developed adrenal cancer when she was only 18 months old. She remained in remission until 2008, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that time, she also learned she has a genetic mutation that causes a rare disorder known as Li-fraumeni syndrome, which affects only about 1,000 people worldwide.
“I’m fortunate because a lot of people who have the syndrome, their whole family has it, and it wipes out entire families, but I am the only one in my family,” Schultz said. “I had cancer as a baby, and I didn’t think I would have it again. I never thought at 28 years old I would be fighting cancer, but it’s basically my full-time job.”
Schultz regularly does outreach work with the American Cancer Society to help others and spread the word about early detection and regular checkups. She initially wanted to document her life leading up to her wedding by herself. Instead, she turned to Harris, a former newspaper photojournalist turned wedding photographer, to help her.
Harris confessed that she expected Schultz’s head-shaving photo shoot to be a melancholy event. It was quite the opposite.
“I kind of had this vision of this sadness in some ways, but once I got there, there was some booze and food and their parents, family and friends were there,” Harris said. “It was kind of more like a party. Everything she was doing was so out of the ordinary from what a cancer patient goes through. She has such a great outlook on it.”
“As crazy as it sounds, it was kind of cool she was there documenting it,” Schultz said. “It was a personal moment for the two of us, and it captured the emotion and love that we share for each other.

Jones, who had shaved Schultz’s hair one time previously, had some fun with it.
“I just shaved her head in multiple hairstyles,” Jones said. “I did a Rihanna haircut, and she thought it was funny. There was no sadness, no tears in my eyes, because we just always try to stay positive.”
The two met in 2004 and were dating for four years when Schultz found out she had cancer again. Jones never wavered in his love for her. Schultz has since heard depressing stories from many other cancer patients; she estimates that three out of five of them had their relationships end in a breakup or divorce after being diagnosed.
“As sad as it sounds, it’s all about the person going through the disease,” Schultz said. “Some people can't take the situation being all about one person. It takes a special person to have special compassion. My husband told me, ‘The day you were diagnosed was the day I married you. I wasn’t going to leave your side.’”
“I dropped everything, got us a place together four years ago, and we’re moving forward together,” Jones said. “A lot of people do leave. I’ve seen it happen, and that’s just horrible.”
In 2010, Schultz had a hysterectomy because of a mass on one of her ovaries, but Jones was more concerned about her well-being than her ability to have children.
“He said, ‘I would rather have you here,’” Schultz recalled. “‘We can always adopt a child, and you’re more important.’”
Leading up to the wedding, Harris also documented Schultz receiving a chemotherapy treatment in Coral Springs, Fla. She also captured typical pre-wedding events, like Schultz trying on her dress and the couple sorting through their RSVPs from guests.

Finally, the big day arrived for the wedding in Palm Beach.

For the last song of the night, the band played LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” and Schultz did more than let her hair down. She threw it off.
“I threw my wig off, and my husband put it on,” Schultz said, laughing. “The band almost fell over. They had no idea what I was doing.”

Also detailed in the photos was the couple’s “honeymoon,’’ which consisted of Schultz getting a chemotherapy treatment two days after their wedding. The newlyweds wore their bride-and-groom Mickey and Minnie Mouse hats for the occasion.

Is that not one of the most touching things you have ever read?
I felt tears running down my face when I was finished.
It really gave me the reality check and perspective I needed.
It is sooooo easy to get caught up in the stresses of a wedding
(who to invite, the dress, the colors, the center pieces, the food....blah blah blah)
but in the end NONE OF THAT EVEN MATTERS. 

my favorite line in that whole article was this quote
"If I showed up and there were no tablecloths, no band, or no flowers, all that matters is that my family is there and I’m marrying the love of my life"

AMEN got that right.

What matters is that I am marrying the man I love more than anything, my best friend. And we are building a life together based on love with God's hand on us.
Nothing can get any better than that and nothing else matters.
I am so blessed beyond words...more than I can even grasp at times.

I hope you, even those not in wedding mode or married, enjoyed this as much as I did.

(I copy and pasted the entire article from and all photos by Emily Harris)


Katie said...

thanks for sharing that article, it really puts things in perspective! and she looked beautiful without hair! it really makes you sit back and realize what marriage is all about! said...

I needed to hear this right now! My wedding is quickly approaching.. and my stress levels are high. thank you for sharing!

Courtney said...

That story makes me want to cry. It is such a wake up call about what my wedding is all about. So inspirational. On the other hand you are a crazy woman!! You have accomplished a ton!!

Stephanie said...

Wow. Totally makes me step back and feel grateful for everything that I have. THanks for the reminder, love!

And stop that stressin'! Everything will work ALWAYS does!! You are going to make one beautiful bride and like she says, if there are no flowers, no tablecloths or no band...there's only one thing that matters...that you're with your family and friends and are marrying the one you love the most! :)


Stephanie said...

Wow. Totally makes me step back and feel grateful for everything that I have. THanks for the reminder, love!

And stop that stressin'! Everything will work ALWAYS does!! You are going to make one beautiful bride and like she says, if there are no flowers, no tablecloths or no band...there's only one thing that matters...that you're with your family and friends and are marrying the one you love the most! :)


Erin said...

I totally bawled reading this… what an inspirational woman!!! Great story!

And youuuu need to def stop stressing because you are on top of everything :) And like the article mentioned, if things don't go right- it truly won't matter. There were actually numerous things that went "wrong" on our wedding day, but I didn't waste 2 seconds on it. I was there with the love of my life and all our friends/family!

The Pink Growl said...

I am in tears right now! This is the best reality check ever - the past week I've been under the same stress as you with trying to narrow down our wedding date and venue. I can't make my mind up and it's killing me. But really, who cares about that stuff? It's all about the love that a wedding brings. Thanks for sharing that!

Pamela said...

Wow. Reality check. Amazing! Thank you for sharing girl!! Don't you worry, every single thing will work out like it should for your wedding day!!

Brittany said...

Such a great story!! Thanks for sharing!!

I love Cinci's bridal district. I had no clue it was there until my future mother-in-law told me about it. We ended up going there in October and I finally said "YES" to my dress!!

Marci @ a smile a day said...

Wow, what a great reminder. It's so hard not to get caught up in all the wedding craziness. That is one strong woman!! I am planning mine right now too but still have 7 months left...I have been putting off the guest list this whole time when that should have been one of the first things I finished. I think I am doing things kind of backwards oops. Keep on keepin on girl, you have gotten a LOT done!! Good luck :)

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