Our wedding ceremony rehearsal was done at my Aunt and Uncle's estate in Burbank Hills with smoke rising behind the mountain behind us and small bits of ash falling in the sky. Locals did not seem concerned at the time so we continued our plans and met for an extraordinary rehearsal dinner at Petrossian Paris in Beverly Hills. On the way back we saw a wall of fire stretching across the mountainside from the highway. Exiting the highway and making our way ... through the neighborhoods with immediate devastation we knew the flames were near our family home, our wedding venue. The roads were blocked off keeping others safe as one home had already been lost. Only residents were allowed to enter Burbank Hills to grab a couple of personal items before a forced evacuation of the area. Just a few hours remained before our big day. I couldn't help but think about the future of my family's home, the residents of Burbank, and the beautiful wildlife that live on that hill. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined such devastation in such a short amount of time. Our families had flown from all over the United States to celebrate a day Troy and I had been planning for over a year, and in a matter of hours our dreams seemed out of reach.
Both sides of extended families and friends helped with the evacuation efforts. Important items, including the wedding dress, were hastily packed into the three vehicles. The majority of the family was able to stay in a large home that had been rented out for the occasion. We all stayed up past 3 am discussing what had happened and how, when, where, or if the wedding would take place. Keeping in mind that the majority of our families had been in California for a week prior and were scheduled to return home on Sunday the options were limited; either cancel or try to make it happen on Saturday with less than a day to plan a new location. Early that morning calls were made to multiple venues and by the grace of God my most coveted was available - The Ella Ballroom at Noor in Pasadena, California. The team at Noor, understanding our situation stepped up, above, and beyond to make a wedding fit for a princess happen with less than 7 hours to prepare. Invited guests were contacted, vendors graciously and without hesitation accommodated the changes, plans were revised and put into action. The wedding was on, and it was spectacular. colored wedding wears for over size ladies
Within the devastation and chaos of the moment this joining of families was put to the test and came out stronger. The bond we now share as a result of the fires and our wedding is something out of a Hollywood movie. Undeniable. Resilient. Faithful. With the devastations across the country; Harvey, Latuna fires, and the potential of Irma we are a testament to the awesome power of love and support that provides hope. Hope is the driving force that allows us all to overcome and prevail against even the worst situations.
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