I’ll be the first to admit it- weddings can get out of hand, and quickly.
For every lovely moment, there is a bride who throws a fit when she sees a crease in a linen, or bridesmaids who drink far too much and then proceeds to stumble through their speeches. I’ve seen far too many bar tabs at the end of the evening that could rival my student loans. For most, it’s the happiest day of their lives and it’s been a joy to be a part of it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that much of the time, it’s excessive.
Then there was Kayleigh and Brian, who asked for nothing but time.
Brian was diagnosed with Epithelioid Sarcoma, a rare cancer that measured the remainder of his life in months. Months. They were happily engaged and then had to make the decision to move up their wedding with very little planning done and little money saved in which to plan.
I caught wind of their story in a chance conversation over dinner with friends in February 2010 and within 48 hours, the Richmond wedding community pulled together and were set to give Kayleigh and Brian the wedding of their dreams at the end of that month. I have no doubt that February 21, 2010, will forever be one of the most important days in my life. And as you can see from this wonderful set of images capturing the day, it was one of the best days of Kayleigh and Brian’s lives as well.
Thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to keep up with the family rather easily but I’m so very sad to share this evening that Kayleigh and Brian’s story is coming to a close as Brian was put on Palliative rest to ease him from pain. Kaleigh’s mother Kelly has been keeping everyone updated on their status, and just yesterday evening, shared one of Brian’s final wishes.
Brian has asked that a tree be planted in his name at Maymont, a local estate and park where friends and family can visit and remember the better times. Kayleigh and Brian have two small children and I can just imagine what a comfort the tree will one day bring to his family.
A tree donation at Maymont is $600, and I would like to take this opportunity one more time to ask for your help. Brian was diagnosed young and was unable to work and carry health insurance while Kayleigh hasn’t been able to work because of the time she dedicates to staying at Brian’s side. Very simply put, let’s try and make this happen for them.
If interested in donating, please email me at Meghan (at) ofdconsulting (dot) com and I will send you the information for sending along a donation. Everything collected will go directly to Brian’s final wish and I will personally match each donation until we hit the necessary amount to donate a tree in Brian’s honor.
Please remember- every little bit counts. And let me take this moment to thank you in advance for considering it. And thank you to Kayleigh and Brian, for reminding us that a wedding isn’t just about the decor and bar tabs. I am a better person for knowing them, and for that, I’m grateful.
Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion. ~The Dalai Lama
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.
Photography by Meghan McSweeney Photography