A couple decided to have the first look for their wedding at a graveyard — but the generally morose setting was actually selected for a supersweet reason.
Nick Norwood’s mother, Dorothy, passed away a little more than a year before he was set to marry now-wife Shyanne in September 2017. Ahead of the nuptials, Nick admitted to his fiancée that her absence was hitting him hard. “I was like, ‘I just wish my mom was a part of it somehow, one way or another,'” he tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
His brother got married in 2016, shortly after their mother’s death. At that ceremony, there was a yellow rose and an empty chair for their mother, which nearly wrecked Nick. He didn’t expect to still be grieving for her when his own wedding came.
“I was surprised, because I was so excited and anxious to marry the love of my life, and I felt like … missing my mom started all over,” Nick says.
This was also hard for Shyanne at first. “Part of me wanted him to be superexcited for our wedding, and I didn’t understand, obviously, because I haven’t lost a parent,” she tells Yahoo.
But once she did understand, she hatched a plan. When it was time for their first look, Shyanne’s mother blindfolded Nick and drove him in a circuitous route to the cemetery. He had no clue where they were until he removed the blindfold and saw his bride. The photos of a tearful, overwhelmed Nick at that moment speak volumes about what it meant to him to be there.
They also kept his mother with them at the ceremony, where the preacher had Shyanne’s wedding ring tied to the bookmark of Dorothy’s Bible.
A year later, as the couple are expecting the birth of their first child in a couple of months, Nick decided to share a photo of the moment on Reddit as a way to honor both his mother and his wife’s gesture.
“I told my wife that really did make my wedding day,” Nick says. “Obviously, marrying my wife was the biggest part. But I just kept saying how much better that made my wedding day. I wasn’t thinking in the back of my head, ‘Oh, I wish my mom was here,’ because I felt like her presence was there, and I felt a lot of joy from it.”
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