James and Christina were simply meant to be together – how else can you explain their chance meeting? While out on a date, Christina saw a childhood friend, who was also out to dinner on a date. The two couples joined each other for dinner … and the following evening, Christina and her friend’s date, James, ended up going out together! They quickly became inseparable and five years later, James proposed to Christina at the same restaurant where they had dinner on their first date.
When your Dad walks you down the aisle and then officiates the marriage, when the one-of-a-kind wedding veil is hand painted with silver flowers that sparkle like beaded lace (Jonathan Hayden, Open Style Lab), when the bride wears her Grandmother’s wedding shoes for the marriage ceremony and then changes into vintage Chanel white pumps for the magical Moroccan garden reception (Kerry Fabrizio, Fabufloras Design) – you know every piece of this wedding has been intimately and meaningfully planned by a bride who knows fashion (Open Style Lab).
But there’s so much more to Christina and James wedding then first meets the eye:
Christina explained in a PBS News Hour Weekend interview (pbs.org, October 14, 2018): “For the last eight years, slowly, both my arms and shoulders became paralyzed. They don’t exactly know what I have. They think it’s motor neuron disease, most similar to ALS.” So as a bride with a disability, Christina planned a wedding “… that was as inclusive as possible for people with disabilities (Alexandra Macon for @overthemoon, March 19, 2019).”
And how special it was:
- The Bride’s Oscar De La Renta strapless gown was skillfully altered to include pockets since Christina can’t hold a purse,
- The wedding and reception were planned at one venue, The Fairmount Park Horticultural Center. As a public venue, it complied with ADA (American with Disabilities Act) regulations making it wheelchair accessible and “… less taxing for people” Christina explains (Alexandra Macon for @overthemoon, March 19, 2019),
- The reception was decorated as one of the Bride’s and Groom’s favorite travel destinations: Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Special lanterns, lovingly bought by Christina on their trip, were hung with greenery and flowers over the bridal table – spectacular! (Kelly Fabrizio, Fabufloras Design)
- Seating cards, invitations, and all wedding stationary were offered in script AND in braille for guests with a vision disability (Alexandra Macon for @overthemoon, March 19, 2019),
- To protect sensitive ears and hearing, ear plugs in special bags were set at each table during the reception (Alexandra Macon for @overthemoon, March 19, 2019),
- Many of Christina’s wedding vendors had a disability to reflect and be inclusive of the real world: According to the CDC, one in four Americans has some sort of disability (Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 16, 2018).
- Wedding flowers were collected at the end of the evening and revased for patients at a local nursing home and hospital through Forget Me Knot Flowers.
All in all, it was a beautiful, magical wedding that left Christina and James asking, “Can we do it all over again?”
Florist: Fabufloras Design
Photographer: M2 Photo