LIFE

A Bride Held Her Wedding Reception At An Alzheimer’s Home To Be With Her Mom

by Angel Chang
Angel is a writer on the Original Content team at LittleThings. Check out her articles about crucial tips on female and doggie health. She loves to take long walks, volunteer with kids, try new food, browse through burger recipes, and code in her spare time. Feel free to let her know what you'd like to see her write up next.

Every bride wants to be surrounded by her loved ones on her special day.

Unfortunately, circumstances don’t always allow for this.

Certain family members may, for one reason or another, be prevented from attending the wedding.

In the past, we’ve seen how certain couples strive to make their wedding a special enough day for everyone in their lives — just like this bride and groom who surprise Grandma in the hospital on their wedding day.

This past November, Julia Napolitano faced the same issue. Her mother, Linda, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six years ago, and now lives in a special care center.

Julia and her fiancé, Justin, wanted to include Linda in the festivities, so they decided to bring the wedding to her!

With the help of the wonderful staff at Silverado Oak Village, and amazing turnout of all guests, the reception was a great and emotional success.

Scroll further to see the beautiful, touching photos from the reception, taken by Gravidee Photography, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

[H/T: TODAY]

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

Julia Napolitano, 30, and her love, Justin Phillips, were married in November of last year.

After a beautiful ceremony at their local church, the couple arranged for a mini reception at Silverado Oak Village, an Alzheimer’s home in Menomonee Falls, WI.

This is where Julia’s mother, Linda, lives.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

Six years ago, Linda, 66, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and is now in the late stages of the incurable brain disease.

Today, Linda no longer recognizes her daughter, or her husband, Umberto.

She has lost the ability to speak, but is fortunately still mobile.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

“I’m an only child, so taking care of my mom has always been in the back of my mind,” Julia told TODAY.

“She may not be the same person in every sense, but she is alive. And we need to share that life, even if it’s only for a short amount of time.”

Julia couldn’t bear the thought of having her mother leave the Alzheimer’s home, and all the people she’s grown used to having around.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

So, instead, she and Justin decided to bring the wedding to her!

The staff at the home arranged for Linda to get her makeup and hair done in preparation for the reception.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

The guests were given ceremony programs beforehand that explained the situation, and were invited to join the party back at Silverado Oak Village.

“Almost everyone decided to join us,” said Julia, who was surprised at the incredible turnout.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

When everyone arrived at the home, Julia was the last one to enter the room at the reception.

“I walked in, and the crowds parted, and then they brought my mom around the corner,” she said.

“That moment — when she got to see me in my dress… I can’t describe the feeling.”

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

And though Linda technically could not communicate with her family, she showed signs of understanding what was going on.

“Deep down, we all truly believe that she understood there was something special going on,” said Julia.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

Even the nurses at Silverado noticed the incredible effect the reception has had on Linda.

“[They] said that Linda has been in the best mood ever since that day,” Justin told BuzzFeed Life.

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

For Julia, the most breathtaking moment of the entire reception was when her parents danced together.

The couple, who have been married for more than 30 years, “swayed to the music, and as you can imagine, it was extremely emotional,” said Julia.

“He always assumed she would be there to give away their only daughter.”

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

Julia and Justin did their first husband-and-wife dance at that reception, in front of the most important people in their lives.

Though they went on to host a larger reception that day, it was here that they had their first cake-cutting, and were “surrounded by couples, staff, and residents dancing in wheelchairs.”

Bride holds wedding reception at Alzheimer's home

Julia is very thankful to the Alzheimer’s home for treating her mother like a part of its family, and for being so open to host the reception.

Since the wedding, Linda has been in terrific spirits, and in a stable condition. The newlyweds are grateful for all the support they have seen from family and friends.

“People who never knew Linda at all came to spend some time with us, and there wasn’t a dry eye to be found,” Justin told BuzzFeed Life.

Please SHARE if you were deeply touched by this wedding story!

Thumbnail: Gravidee Photography