Tiffany and Camden have a great story about love, perseverance and dealing with life when life gets really hard. Oh, and they got married in the middle of all of it! Tiffany is our guest blogger today and is a way more talented writer than I am so I’ll let her get to it.
I actually met Camden our sophomore year of high school, when a mutual friend introduced us at a football game. I was immediately struck by how cute and nice Camden was, but he never asked me out so we simply remained friends, staying in touch but taking separate paths in college and eventually moving out of state.... Read the rest after the pictures!
Ten years later, when Camden moved back home to Texas from California, he finally contacted me (thank you Facebook!) and asked if I'd like to go see a Dame Edna show. After a fun first date of drag comedy and pizza, we found common interests such as Harry Potter, music, and travel, went on more dates, laughed a lot, and eventually fell in love. In our seven years of dating, we have traveled to China, Turkey, Germany, Canada, Ireland, Peru, and all over the United States!
Camden proposed on New Year's Eve, 2014. Five months later, in the middle of wedding planning, I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I was young at 31, had no family history of the disease and no genetic predisposition, so it was shocking and completely out of the blue. Thankfully, I caught it early (do your self-exams ladies!), but our lives were completely upended. Mike, Blue Bridal Boutique, and Petals, Ink. graciously rushed my dress and flowers so that I could have a bridal portrait session before I began treatment. Camden was there by my side after four surgeries, four rounds of chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation. He helped to "cold cap" me during the infusions-literally freezing my scalp with dry ice- to prevent chemo-induced hair loss, which was a complete success. Throughout all of this, we continued with wedding planning (it helped me stay sane, and gave me something to look forward to!), and the date was set. By February 2016, I had completed radiation and was in complete remission, ready to walk down the aisle in March! Our love had only grown deeper through our ordeal, and when I saw my groom at our "first look" I could not help but tear up with joy at the enormity of his love and strength that had brought us to that day.
When looking at wedding venues, the Hummingbird House in south Austin really stood out. The owners are professional gardeners, and it shows, from the "living wall" of flowers and succulents to the lush landscaping and fountains, it was the perfect venue for a dreamy garden wedding. The newly built glass-walled pavilion sealed the deal since we could have the best of both in the outdoors for the ceremony and indoors for the reception. I chose a soft palate of pastels, lots of greenery, and spring blooms, reflecting the season as a time of new beginnings and renewal. I wanted the florals to be soft and sprawling, with a "just picked from the garden" look. I let my bridesmaids (our sisters) choose their own dresses within our color scheme, and I was very happy with the results- elegant and coordinated without being too matchy-matchy.
We chose to honor Camden's rich heritage and my newly adopted Jewish faith with a traditional yet modern Reform Jewish wedding. Our florist, Petals, ink., custom built the birch chuppah (canopy) with blush roses that matched our Ketubah design (Jewish wedding contract), and the lace cover was a vintage find. The ceremony included Camden's late grandfather's Tallit (prayer shawl) which the rabbi wrapped around our shoulders, binding us together as we shared a cup of wine from the same silver Kiddush cup Camden used at his Bar Mitzvah. We put a modern twist on the traditional Seven Blessings as well- the rabbi would read each blessing in the original Hebrew, and then our guests would read an English blessing corresponding to the theme of the prayer. It was wonderful to feel the love radiating from the words as our friends and family blessed our marriage in unison.
Our taste favors the vintage - Camden had a family heirloom diamond re-set into an Art Deco style engagement ring, and our home is a 1950s ranch house- so our wedding reflected this sense of style. I chose a Justin Alexander gown of Chantilly lace and added a deep v-neck and half sleeves, the edges finished with seed pearls for a classic and timeless look. In my bouquet I carried a lace handkerchief my grandmother carried at her own wedding in 1955 (my "something old"). At our welcome table, we had wedding photographs dating back to the 19th century from both sides of our family.
The "paper moon" photo booth was very popular in the 1920s-40s and I wanted to bring that fun vintage element to the wedding as well. At first, I thought we'd have to build one ourselves, but then I found Dappsy on Etsy who makes all kinds of amazing moons! Guests had a lot of fun posing with the moon and were able to take home the instant prints as favors.
The cake topper was a vintage 1950s gem that I found, cleaned up and got crafty embellishing, and the cake itself was a classic, simple design of garlands and Swiss dots.
Our first dance was a fun jitterbug to the 1954 hit "Sh-Boom" by The Crew Cuts- we practiced that dance for months, even during chemo and radiation! We also had our DJ play a lot of 1930s-1950s music during dinner and dancing- we had so many compliments on the romantic selections by Fats Waller, Al Bowlly, The Ink Spots, and Sam Cooke.
At the end of the evening, we departed in a 1963 white Bentley sedan, a perfect end to a beautiful night- the end of one journey back to health, and the beginning of a new one together.