My Sister’s Jamaican Destination Wedding Mon
So, this is not going to be my typical wedding blog. For lots of reasons. 1. It’s my baby sister’s wedding–WAAHHHH!!!! 2. I was not the photographer. So what you will see here is not a complete story–for example, there are hardly any getting ready photos, no photos from the ceremony–cuz I was in it, but most importantly because the story of their wedding day doesn’t begin in Jamaica. Kayla and Eric got engaged in May, decided on a destination wedding shortly there after, and then 80 of their closest family and friends booked trips to Jamaica. Then we waited for March to roll around.
It was 6 weeks before their wedding, that Kayla got the official breast cancer diagnosis. What the F&#@. I can only tell you my side of this particular story, and having your baby sister, 28 years old, diagnosed with breast cancer with no immediate family history, is earth shattering. I’m talking up is down, left is right, the sky is no longer blue, everything you know is wrong. I don’t know if you think about cancelling your wedding when you receive such–I NEED A MINUTE news. She never mentioned it to me. But they had 80 people…80 who had booked and paid for trips to Jamaica. We were freakin’ going to Jamaica!
So, wedding planning was on, as was finding out what her treatment was going to look like. So, after the diagnosis came more tests & dress fittings, more scans & centerpiece shopping. She went to a pre-op appointment one afternoon only to go directly to her final dress fitting. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. She looked amazing, stunning, I mean a real knock out in that dress–but she was miserable, breaking out in hives, and fighting with my mom. (ok, that last part is very wedding planning typical)
WE WERE LUCKY. We kept getting calls with GOOD news. It was not genetic–so Dayna & I were at no higher risk, bone scan came back clean, she would not need chemo. I am tearing up writing this. The bad news doesn’t get me, I go into this robotic “fix it” trance, where I am all about facts- and things we can control- and what we can do. Good news makes me cry like a little baby. It’s a strange place to be when you are celebrating surgery, a month of radiation, and a cancer pill for 10 years. But we were—we still are!! She could wait until after the wedding to have her lumpectomy and had no restrictions on her wedding trip! LUCKY.
I don’t know why it took me 6 months to write this blog. I think it was because I didn’t know how to start it. I know what Kayla wanted– a “normal” wedding blog. But this wasn’t a normal wedding to me. It was my baby sister’s wedding and she is the strongest chick I know. Again, I am only telling this story from my perspective. I can’t imagine what my parents went through. What my sister Dayna felt or how Eric handled the news. As for Kayla, well I know she felt annoyed, because she told me, daily. Yes, cancer is annoying. (And to skip ahead in this story: surgery went perfect, radiation is over, she feels great–the only thing currently annoying Kayla is her daily pill)
I FINALLY decided to talk about something so personal— to tell this part of Eric & Kayla’s story— because we were lucky. And we were lucky because she found it, herself. And when she discovered something “weird,” she had it checked out immediately. (if you know Kayla, this in itself is a miracle–she doesn’t do much that isn’t last minute) She is 28, no family history, it would have been so easy to put it off, ignore it. I still don’t do self exams as often as I should, but I definitely do them more. I know you hear the ole–“it can happen to anyone” speech all the time. But seriously, it can happen to anyone. The lucky ones catch it early.
So that leads us to Jamaica, no one talked about cancer in Jamaica. It was 6 days of celebrating Kayla & Eric, their love & their friendship. And celebrate we did–some of us a little harder than others. (It was the sun, or the green drinks, or the day drinking–can’t be sure). We were at an amazing resort, had perfect weather, with the best people in the entire world.
So, finally–here are the photos. We took just 15 minutes of the day for me to grab some portraits then the next day trashed the dress (and the suit).
The stats: The weather was perfect, cocktail hour had a steel drum band, dinner was on the dock at sunset, & after we had danced the night away we all took a dip-in the lagoon-in our formal wear.
Posted on: September 3, 2017alisha