Josh and Erin wedding at Hidden Meadows in Snohomish
About a month ago, Brooke Bosler of Unforgettable Weddings and Events asked those in the Snohomish Wedding Guild if anyone could help her in donating their service for one of her wedding couples. Brooke saw a post in a local moms group on Facebook made by the bride Erin, and reached out to her to offer wedding planning services, as well as to help find other vendors who might be willing help. This family is dealing with the unimaginable. Josh, the groom, is battling brain cancer and his prognosis from his physicians hasn’t been optimistic. Here is Erin’s story that she shared with a local group called Wish to Wed, which helps people in need plan a wedding:
"My name is Erin and I am the soon –to-be bride (Bride) and my fiancé is Josh! Josh and I met in February, 2016 on a dating site that led to us meeting for dinner. I remember thinking to myself, “I should just cancel, it’s just going to end in an awkward whose going to pay the bill and never speak again”. I’m so glad I didn’t cancel…. I remember leaving that restaurant after about two and a half hours of great conversation, GLOWING and calling my sister to tell her all about it. It was honestly the best date I had ever been on, there were no awkward pauses between conversations and I just felt an instant connection to Josh.
We went on a few more dates and the rest is history. Josh and I didn’t waste any time and few months later I moved in with Josh and his two boys, Jack and George. Since I’ve been with Josh we have had the boys at least 5 days a week, so we shortly meshed into this little family. I considered the boys, MY BOYS, and my family accepted them as their own. When you know you know, right? I knew I had always wanted to be a mom, have a family and do the family life. And here it came, in this perfect little package. Our lives were busy, fun and by no means perfect, but we enjoyed the life we had.
Then if you fast forward 9 months to December 8th 2016, our world got flipped upside down. Thursday morning I got a call from Josh’s brother and I still remember it to this day, the only words I got out of it were “Seizure” and “Emergency room”. I told my boss I needed to leave and rushed to the hospital. Once I got there they told Josh’s brother (Mike) and I that the CT Scan showed something, so they needed to do an MRI. Mike and I waited for what seemed like hours and finally Josh was brought back in, and then the doctor. The doctor explained to us that they found a golf ball sized tumor that they could either get a biopsy of or just remove completely. December 9th, Josh was taken in for brain surgery to remove the entire tumor and the next few days to follow were some of the hardest we had ever had. Josh recovered AMAZINGLY from his surgery and was released from the hospital just 2 days later, on my birthday (BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER). Two short weeks later (December 23rd), we got the phone call saying they would like us to come in ASAP, and this is where Josh was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Anaplastic astrocytoma brain cancer. This type of cancer is a highly aggressive brain tumor that has the tendency of coming back. He did Chemo/radiation for the following months and was out of work for about 10 months.
We were told before he started all of his treatment that it may make him infertile and not be able to conceive any more children. Josh and I decided to not use any birth control from that point further and let whatever happen, happen. Nine months later, after his treatments and just getting back to normal life, we got pregnant. We gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Warren, on 05/31/2018 and we all just felt like our life was great again. We were a family of five enjoying normal things…. Jack was enjoying being in soccer, George was playing basketball and we just enjoyed our life. Josh and I were made very aware this cancer could come back and we definitely had that in the back of our mind but we just had so many things going on that took our minds of that.
Every three months he would get an MRI, and we were always nervous wrecks getting the results. January 30th, 2019 was the day we were dreading. His cancer has returned and his doctor didn’t give us many options besides chemo which she told us would only add a few months to a year life expectancy. A YEAR???? WHAT? Radiation was out of the question and we are still waiting to see if surgery would be another option.
Josh and I have been talking about getting married for a LONG time, but with him being out of work for so long the first go around we were just getting back on our feet and felt like we were in such a good spot in life. I told Josh that all I want is to marry him, I didn’t care about a ring or a wedding, none of this seemed important anymore. We got home, just emotionally drained, tired, depressed and in disbelief. I was texting my mom about possible dates to get married so that the family could be there so she was aware that we wanted to get married. My mom came over just after we had broken the news to the boys because we wanted them to know what was going on, IF it does come down to dad only having a year. She asked to talk to Josh and took him to the room, the boys and I were just sitting on the couch, little Warren in his bouncer, and we were just crying thinking about how we would ever be able to do life without dad. My mom told Josh that a lot of moms pass down their rings and she would love to give him this ring of hers if he would accept it. Josh came out a few minutes later and got down on his knees and proposed to me. I was ugly crying. All I ever wanted was to be surprised for a proposal and I’m so hard to plan surprises for and I had NO idea. He was able to get some words out and I was just crying, and managed to say yes.
I don’t know how we got to this point so fast, planning a dream wedding that neither of us could have ever imagined. I shared my story on a mom group that I’m apart of on Facebook and it skyrocketed. I just needed to vent and get everything out and the generosity of people offering to do my hair and makeup, and then one wedding coordinator that offered her help. I put her in contact with my sister-in-law and it’s just been more than I could have ever imagined."
As soon as I saw Brooke’s post with what Erin had written, I immediately offered to photograph the wedding. I simply couldn’t imagine what they were going through. After a few weeks, I had Josh, Erin, and their three boys in to my studio so I could get to know them and be best prepared to document their love story. From the moment they walked in, it was very obvious that they were not only the most appreciative people ever, but also the sweetest and most positive people ever. Jack and George, their older boys are as sweet and well mannered as you could ever hope for a 10 and 8 year old to be and their baby is as cute as can be. I was beyond touched by their story and family.
Brooke and Karie, the wedding planners, had pulled together a dream team of wedding vendors. I could go on for a long time about each and every one, but I’ll just say that many of them are the best of the best in our region, and each and every one of them donated their services to help out Josh and Erin. It was truly an incredible thing to witness come together over the several weeks prior to their wedding.
From the moment I walked in on their wedding day, I was blown away with the endless love and appreciation everyone gave me. I anticipated seeing sad and happy tears throughout the day but was amazed how bright and light the whole day went, and left at the end of the night after getting hugged a few hundred times.
This family (I’m including their friends in the family category) are truly some of the most genuine and loving people I’ve ever met. The whole day ended up being one of the most happy, fun, and loving weddings I’ve ever been a part of. In spite of everything that they’re facing as a family, their wedding day was simply perfect, and that’s how all weddings should be.