The Agony of Planning… Part II

If you missed part one of this post, please read it.

There is no such thing as filling the void of a loved one; however, we can feel a love around us when the planning is taking place. It was bad enough having my father die at such a young age knowing he would not walk me down the aisle at my wedding. Fast forward and I felt my world come crashing down even more once my Mom-Mom died because she is the one who said “I want to see you get married!” Well, if Heaven is considered VIP Seating, she’s got the best seat in the house with my dad so that makes me feel a bit better.

You see my mom walked my sister Ashley down the aisle 5 years ago and frankly, I’m not certain she will walk me down the aisle because that is my decision. I tossed up the thought of having my dad’s brothers walk me, another “father figure” in my life and/or even walking down with my fiancé, Tony. Walking down the aisle to the altar isn’t about someone giving you away, it’s about… you can read all about that here which lays it out quite nice. I will most likely walk solo down the aisle, given that I do not have a panic attack in the back or run away somewhere crying my eyes out making the ceremony begin late.

There is SO much to think about when planning a wedding and it’s dang near overwhelming. I’m a floral designer and this is what I do for a living. After much practice, continued practice, schooling, competitions, you name it, often times I feel I can design a bridal bouquet with my eyes shut and 10 elevated designs in 200 minutes. That averages out to 20 minutes per centerpiece. The rest of this planning, I’m not educated in so that is why we’ve hired professionals to handle all that for us. And, the little decisions that are actually quite big in the grand scheme of things especially when a loved one is not present puts a damper on things. I know, I know… they will “always be with me” and “I’ll always have the memories forever”, but that still doesn’t make it any better. Sorry, Susan it doesn’t and you know that.

I’m going to miss them, but will not allow grief to bring me down. This is a celebration of life and I’m thankful for all those who are willing and are able to attend our wedding. Though my father will not be physically present, you better believe I’m still designing a boutonniere for him as if he were present. It’s going to be fabulous and fun just like him.

Those who are deceased will be with me in Spirit and with all the Angels and Saints, I’ll get down the aisle with ease to marry my fiancé!


Our wedding will be grand, I know it. It was the second best decision after thinking about getting married in Italy. Do you want to hear all about that ? Okay, I’ll tell you a little. We had a few glasses of red wine and delicious dinners as we talked about where we wanted to get married. I’m a parishioner at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral. It’s beautiful. When I first walked in, I had crazy anxiety. Satan is evil you know and he never wants you to receive the Eucharist. After the 3rd time attending Mass and going to confession there, I felt at home. Later, we stated the Cathedral is where we both wanted to marry. We also said a few months after our engagement that Italy was a grand idea. We could visit Deacon Justin, fly Father Mark (Tony’s cousin) from Spain and we’d get married! I think Tony’s sister was on board with this as well. Having the family on board was very unlikely and would most likely cause pain, stress and disappointment. This was all my plan to “run away” and not have to really think about those who have died that I’m having a hard time with not being present for our wedding.


Incase you skimmed over that last paragraph, moral of the story is we are not getting married in Italy. The look on my Aunt’s face when we told her our “thoughts” last year was let’s just say not good. Her son, Deacon Justin Gough is becoming a Priest and will marry us in August of 2020 here in Raleigh, NC. We are praying Tony’s cousin, Father Mark who is in Spain can fly here and co-celebrate with Justin. (He will be Father Justin after June. 20,2020). When me and Tony stared talking I told him I wanted Deacon Justin to become a priest before marrying us because I wanted us to see him get ordained. It was such a beautiful time for Deacon Justin and his family when he was ordained a Deacon.

… Part III – Season Finale coming soon…

The Agony of Planning Our Wedding

… without my Mom-Mom ( my mother’s mom). 

My triplet sister, Ashley; older than me by 2 minutes got married on February. 14, 2015. Our Mom-Mom was so happy for Ashley and Brent and the next chapter in their life they would begin to create together as a couple. I watched her walked down the aisle in St. Anthony of Padua Church then enter into the ballroom of the reception at Columbus Gardens with her son-in-law. She was all smiles and it made me so happy to see her celebrating with close family and friends. Side note: My sisters wedding was pretty amazing and it snowed that night as well!

Mom-Mom & Uncle Scott Jacob’s Wedding

Fast forward to April 2019, I called my Aunt in Maryland to tell her I was bringing someone with me for Easter Weekend to which she replied yes even though no-one knew I was dating anyone. No-one knew I had been talking to my fiancé, Tony since December when we met at a dinner party for the Raleigh Young Adult Group. Okay, Okay, so we didn’t really talk that much; actually not at all. However, after seeing one another at the second dinner party followed by Daily Mass, we started talking in March. You can read more about how we met on Spoken Bride.

Rumor has it that life goes faster as you get older and if anyone knows me pretty well, you’d know that I’m very picky about whom I date and that I like to live in the fast lane. As soon as me and Tony met, after our first date, he had a very good knowing that he wanted marry me, hence talking about it shortly after our first date. I often thought to myself I wish my Mom-Mom were still living so I could call her and tell her all the grand news! For awhile it was difficult to pick up the phone then stop myself from dialing her phone number!

Mom-Mom’s Wedding Dress!

She died on December.16,2016. This is a day I will never forget and though I miss her dearly, I’m glad we talked as often as we did and much of it was about weddings! We had many conversations about fashion, what the family was doing, where the kids were going next, what soccer game they had and more. We shared our opinions on why brides should not wear cowboy boots under their wedding dress, but then agreed that it was not our wedding and who are we to say what others do 😉

MY Wedding Dress. Time for alterations soon!

Because she was a very private person this post is not about her personally and her illness before she died, but rather hardships of not having someone very close to me present for all things wedding planning now that it is my turn. I do know there are many brides and grooms out there planning without a loved one and know that you are not alone; I get it, it’s hard, sometimes it sucks and is downright the last thing you want to do. My Mom-Mom heard heard about many flower shop sagas since I started as a young designer, the flower competitions and the numerous clients I had while living in South Florida. No amount of planning can ever fill the void or replace the loss of a loved one.

When I said “YES, to the dress!”, I messaged my Aunt and asked her if Mom-Mom would love dress # 1 or #2 . She said that she would love the one we loved which is the one in the bag from Coastal Knot. I went solo from Day 1 traveling to different bridal boutiques and stores to find “The Dress”. It was stressful because some of the places were not clean, I had bad experiences and some of the staff was not so kind. A single woman coming in by herself surely needs a helping hand in the dressing room, wouldn’t you think?

It wasn’t until I went to Coastal Knot that I felt 100 % comfortable and knew that I’d get my dress there; the staff is fabulous! Some say if a loved one cannot be present to ask a close friend, even go with your DAD or go alone. Due to planning around others schedules, me living in another state than my family and close friends, I chose to go alone. There are a few girls here in North Carolina who I would ask, however planning around work schedules and when is convenient for them was starting to stress me out just thinking about it. Tony’s mom was so wonderful because I sent her photos from Dress # 1 all the way until I actually said “YES!”

Now that we are 6 months away, it’s time to hire a floral designer … anyone know of a good one ? 😉 ” Will want 2 b extravagant!” – Mom- Mom.

Text Message from Mom-Mom

… to be continued …