An Open Letter to the Motherless Bride

Dear beautiful Bride-to-be,

Let me start by saying I’m so sorry. Whether she’s been gone for 6 months or 6 years, I’m so so sorry.

I wish there were some magical words or a wand I could wave that would take this hurt away, but I know firsthand that nothing I say will make it go disappear.

We haven’t met and we may never meet. I don’t know you, but I do know your pain. I’ve walked the road that you’re about to walk and I want so badly to wrap you in a hug.

You’re in the midst of planning one of the biggest days of your life. You’re trying to find the perfect dress. You’ve changed your color scheme 20 times. You’ve searched high and low for the best shoes. You’re about to walk down the aisle toward this wonderful human that you’ve waited a lifetime for. You want to scream from the rooftops about this beautiful love that you’ve found.

But in the midst of all of that joy and love is an overwhelming feeling of grief and heartbreak. It comes to you at the most unexpected times. It washes over you when you’re writing out the list of invitations you need to send and her name isn’t on that list. It slams into you again when you try on a dress that you know is THE DRESS and she’s not there to cry about how beautiful you look. For me it hit the hardest at my rehearsal. I didn't have bridesmaids so I was trying to figure out who to hand my bouquet off to. I had a chair in the front row reserved for Mom and my sister-in-law suggested I let Mom "hold" my bouquet. *cue sobs*.

It seems no matter how surrounded you are by aunts and cousins and siblings and best friends and all of the people who love you, there's a part of you that still feels like something's missing and you’d do just about anything to have her here with you. 

My advice is simply this:

1) Allow yourself to have the space needed to grieve this loss. It's okay to cry. It's okay to give yourself time to work through the pain. You don't need to feel guilty for being sad in the midst of this season of joy. You don't need to act like everything is fine and pretend that this doesn't hurt. 

2) Have some part of her there at your wedding. Whether that be a reserved chair, a picture of her, or a necklace she wore. Take her with you. 

3) Know that if she could be here with you today, she would be beaming. She would go on and on about how you're the most beautiful bride she's ever seen. She would hug you. She would tell you how incredibly proud she is of the beautiful woman you've grown up to be. She would wish you every single happiness this world has to offer. She would laugh and dance and cry.

Since she can't be here with you today, consider this letter a hug from your mom. You're going to be a stunning bride and I hope your marriage is even more beautiful than your wedding day.

The chair for Mom at my wedding. Her favorite flowers were tiger lilies.

Her necklaces in my bouquet.

Forever grateful to Laurenda Marie Photography for capturing our day so beautifully.