“I Almost Died On My Wedding Day.”

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Dear Readers:

If there is one thing I love most about my work, it is the joy I feel when I get to spend time with my clients. Regardless of the mistakes I make or the challenges I face, there is nothing more precious to me than getting to know the men and women who come to me and allow me to be a part of their special moment. This is especially true when the event is a wedding. There is absolutely nothing like watching a bride or groom walk down the aisle and exchange vows with the person they have chosen to spend their life with. Yes, folks, I will admit it here: I am a big, mushy romantic at heart and I love hearing a great wedding story, regardless of whether or not I designed it.

Last week, I was a guest as the very very cool St. Regis Bel Harbour Hotel in Miami where my good friend, Sylvia Weinstock, was celebrating her recent partnership with the hotel for whom she will be designing all of the cakes.  It was a match made in “sweets” heaven. Both Sylvia and the hotel are amazing, and boy was I spoiled during the celebrations.

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While there, I heard the most amazing story of love, courage and determination and felt compelled to share it with all of you.  There, in the hotel, I met a lovely planner named Jodi who was there with her husband, Josh.  Here is the story, as told by Jodi:

For all you girls that are alway resisting been set up by your Mom or a relative, listen up:  That is exactly how I met the love of my life.  My now husband, Josh, had a lovely aunt who set us up.  We hit it off and were married in February of this year at the beautiful St. Regis Hotel in Miami.  A planner by trade, and a passionate one at that, I knew I needed a “wing man” to assist me in handling every last detail.  I came upon the amazing Lori Kelly. (After I share my story, you will understand why I call her amazing!) 

Our wedding began with a small Shabbat dinner on Friday night.  A happy and excited bride, I was excited and comforted that we were experiencing our dream wedding. However, I was also dealing with a bit of pain that I could not understand. I really didn’t look well. In fact, my sister walked into the room, looked at me and said, “You look like s***!”

 Thanks, big sis. The truth is that she wasn’t really all that off, but I brushed it off as wedding nerves. Before I knew it, I started to experience severe pain in my left shoulder. I was concerned, but brushed it off as a result of a tension headache, something I deal with often.  The next morning, we met for sunrise yoga (something I encourage all of my brides to do on their big day). Unfortunately, I was not feeling centered at all. I went through the motions and found myself escaping throughout the day to cry in my bedroom as a result of the pain I felt.  I took some pain medication and decided to suck it up: I was not missing our big day.  Finally, I was put into my dress and Josh and I met on the balcony for our first look.  I was in so much pain but there with my whole heart.

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The rest of the evening happened as though I was in a dream. I was ushered down the aisle, exchanged our vows and we danced our first dance and the Hora. Still, I was in more and more pain and it felt as though my dress was getting tighter by the moment. After my sister gave her speech, I could not take it any longer. I turned to her and told her, “I need to get out of this dress, now.”  Knowing something was very wrong, my planner, Lori, ushered me out of the wedding and I was suddenly rushed me to the Emergency Room.  My new husband, a doctor, was by my side making sure I received the best care possible.  Several hours later, I was told I had a hole in my stomach!  I was suffering from a perforated gastric ulcer that was leaking acid into my body, slowly poisoning me from the inside.  The doctors told me that had we waited any longer, I would have died.

As a planner, I still believe “the show must always go on,” but I was not aware that my determination not to spoil my own wedding was placing my life at risk.  Lori’s good judgement and professionalism resulted in guests not knowing about the episode until after the event.  Even though I spent what should have been time on my honeymoon recovering in the hospital, I was so pleased that I was a good sport and didn’t ruin my own wedding.

Well, readers, there you have it.  A story for the kids and grandkids, and an incredible one at that. I am so pleased Jodi is OK and wish she and Josh a very happy and healthy future.

Question: If you were this bride, would you have done the same or something different?



(Photos Courtesy of Haring Photography)

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