By Cristin Trosien
“We Did Live Life, And Loved Each Other
Every Moment Of It.”
An Engagement and A Surgery
After two years of dating, Mike took a relaxed moment at home to propose to Kristen on her 25th birthday. Not wanting a long engagement, the couple planned to have their wedding only six months later. The bustle of planning quickly took a backseat only two months before the big day; Mike began to feel sick and was subsequently diagnosed with testicular cancer. During a time when most engaged couples are preparing seating charts and menus, Mike and Kristen found themselves preparing for a major surgery. The surgery left the doctors optimistic but just two weeks before their wedding, they found out that Mike would also need to undergo chemotherapy after the nuptials. Kristen remembers, “We were devastated, but determined to have an incredible wedding and to enter into this battle as husband and wife.”
An Absolutely Perfect Day
Kristen and Mike were married on July 17th, 2010, at Kristen’s grandparent’s church in Cheboygan, Michigan. After the ceremony they took pictures in front of the Mackinac Bridge and danced the night away at their reception, surrounded by family and friends. Kristen describes the day as “absolutely perfect in every way… Mike and I vowed that day to always love each other and to be together until death do us part.”
Mike Smiling Down
With Kristen by his side, Mike continued to fight his battle with cancer for the next four years, but lost to it in December of 2014. As this month marks their five year anniversary, Kristen decided to donate her gown to The Brides Project, feeling that it would be the perfect way to celebrate the brief but loving relationship that she and Mike shared. “To be able to help cancer families in need by donating my dress means the world to me and I know Mike is smiling down on this!”
Kristen and Mike may not have gotten to grow old together as planned, but in her words, “we did live life and loved each other every moment of it!” The Brides Project is so proud to represent the Cancer Support Community as it supports those families, just like Kristen and Mike’s, touched and scarred by Cancer. And, we are beyond honored to be entrusted to pass on Kristen’s gown – and all of the love that it represents – to another Brides Project bride.
Say Hello to our Featured Volunteer, Krista Gravatt!
Volunteer Position: Bridal Consultant and Volunteer Event Planning Assistant
How long have you been volunteering with us? Since Feb 2015
What do you like most about volunteering at The Brides Project? The fact that we are taking a positive experience (getting married) and using it to help support people who may be in a difficult situation (cancer diagnosis, chemo, surgery, etc). People who come into our shop usually have a passion for our mission and want to help. Also, the fellow volunteers are awesome!
Favorite memory while volunteering: We had a wonderful, good-humored family come in-a mother and two daughters. They were bilingual and the bride said something to her
mother through the dressing room curtain, and I asked if she was telling her mother how much the dress cost. Her mom started laughing and said I must be bilingual too. We had a good laugh about it. She ended up buying that dress!
Current Celebrity Crush: It’s a tie between Bradley Cooper and Channing Tatum.
Any interesting hobbies/hidden talents? I was a fencer in college, I play piano by ear, and I’m a licensed Zumba instructor.
Would you like to volunteer with The Brides Project? Contact us!
By Cristin Trosien
Photo courtesy of Kat Foley Photography
The Brides Project loves to extend its family of fabulous brides to those who didn’t happen to purchase their gown from us, but do find us after their big day and decide to donate. Bride, Julie McGill, was one such bride.
A Great Time Dancing All Night
A Donation She’ll Never Regret
She goes on to offer this advice to brides, struggling with the same decision: “If you are hesitating about donating… Think about your wedding dress in a box in the back of your closet. You may think you want to save it for your daughter…but IF you even have a daughter, don’t you think she will want to shop for her very own wedding dress, just like you did? You are NEVER going to wear this dress again. Love your photos and memories and share it with someone else!!! It is truly the best thing to do. Just DO it.”
Thank you, Julie! We couldn’t have said it better. Your donation is greatly appreciated, and inspiring. Donation information is always available at http://www.thebridesproject.org/donate/
By Cristin Trosien
A Laguna Beach Wedding
Kelly Vantrease and beau, Brode, got married early in the morning of October 18th, 2014, on a cliff overlooking the ocean at Laguna Beach. Kelly is a California-native and always knew that she would love to get married at this, her favorite beach.
Kelly found her West coast-bound gown at The Bride’s Project after visiting other bridal salons in both Ann Arbor and her hometown of Los Angeles. Upon visiting TBP, she was “surprised with the number of dresses available, certainly more than [she] had seen in any store.” She found her dream dress, albeit different than what she had pictured initially, thanks to the help of three volunteers in the shop. “They were warm and funny and it was like having three personal shoppers.”
On their wedding day, the morning marine layer in the air made for beautiful pictures on the sandy beach, and the couple kicked off their shoes and had some fun. However, the couple underestimated the surf and both got wet! Kelly’s dress still has sand stains, but she plans to keep it forever – dirt and all.
The sparkling Caribbean ocean, this fabulous bouquet, and this absolutely lovely blushing Bride; I’m pretty sure this wedding right here is the definition of paradise. Natalie Franke and Krista Jones captured it all and the picture perfect weather added a silver lining to every moment between this sweet Bride and Groom. As I dream of a Jamaican vacation, this gallery is where my travel fantasies will begin. Read More.