Bride Plans Her Wedding in 24 Hours, Just for Mom

Aly and Anthony Femia at their in-hospital wedding. Photo: FacebookAly Femia of Connecticut planned to spend three leisurely years nailing down the perfect wedding plan. But she was thrown a curve ball when her mom received a terminal-cancer diagnosis in late January, prompting her to pull together a whirlwind ceremony, white gown and all, within 24 hours so that her mother wouldn’t miss her big day.

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“My favorite part of the day was having my mom see me in my wedding dress, wearing a string of her pearls, and seeing her smile,” Femia, née Enia, told BuzzFeed. “I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.”

Aly and now-husband Anthony Femia graduated from Greenwich High School together in 2008 but began their romance while both attended Manhattanville College in New York. He proposed marriage in 2012, on a getaway at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, but they decided to put off the event until Aly finished grad school and Anthony recovered from shoulder surgery. But then Aly’s mom, Mary Quinn, was diagnosed with lung cancer that had already spread to her brain.

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“Everyone, please pray for my mom, as we received the worst possible news today. Please send positive thoughts and wishes our way,” Aly wrote on Facebook. The young woman’s father died of lung cancer 16 years ago. “Maybe that’s why it was even more important to me to have one of my parents at my wedding,” she told BuzzFeed.

After her grim diagnosis, Quinn was admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital and doctors told Aly she should plan to get married “tomorrow” if she wanted her mom to be present. So on Jan. 28, the hospital's caring staffers began helping Aly whip together her wedding—complete with donated food, flowers and cake. On Jan. 29, the bride walked down the aisle of the hospital corridor, on the arm of her stepfather as her mom looked on.

Aly and her mom years ago. Photo: FacebookYahoo Shine could not reach Aly for comment, and a Yale-New Haven Hospital spokesperson told Yahoo Shine on Monday that Quinn is no longer a patient at the facility.

They say that life is what happens while you're busy making other plans; sometimes the "ideal" wedding timeline changes drastically with unexpected news.  Earlier this month, Kevin Stixrud and Victoria McClure of Mesquite, Texas, organized their nuptials in just two and a half weeks to ensure that the father of the bride—newly diagnosed with terminal gastrointestinal cancer—could be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. A couple of months before that, a pair of 18-year-old high school sweethearts tied the knot in California after the bride, Leslie Rivera, was told that she had an aggressive form of leukemia. And in April of 2013, strangers donated enough time and money to help bride Jennifer Batugo, diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, to plan and carry out a dream wedding in less than a month.

As for newlywed Aly, after her own bittersweet ceremony at the hospital, she changed her Facebook status to “married” and wrote a message to Anthony: “I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours.”

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