Brides Blogs: Memories from Houston
"It Was So Surreal"
We never in our wildest dream could imagine even being on television, let alone being on the RACHAEL RAY SHOW! It was so surreal to know that we were getting married in one week and did not have to stress over one single detail. Our families were extremely grateful for the Rachael Ray show to be doing this for us, because they saw first hand what a terrible situation we were in. I got my dream dress for free. Since we got engaged I could envision myself in that dress from David's Bridal, but after the hurricane I figured I would not be able to get that dress because we could not afford to shell out any more cash. I am eternally grateful.
Although this wedding involved 33 couples, it felt like we were at our own special wedding. The Racahel Ray staff was EXCELLENT, and made sure to treat each couple like the most important people at Minute Maid Park. Television production is a hard field, but the staff never lost sight of making our day a day to remember. The food, decorations, music, photographers, and cakes were simply top notch. We could never say thank you enough. It was also great that Rachael, Gretta, Colby, and Kristan did not show up in the role of "talk show host" but as friends who wanted to help. I am sure that viewers will be able to tell that our wedding was AMAZING, but trust me what you see doesn't even compare to how fabulous this wedding was. We just hope when others watch that they realize two things, (1) that dreams really do come true and (2) ordinary people (Rachael Ray and her staff) do EXTRAORDINARY things. Thanks again.
-- Jennifer Washington
"An Experience We Will Never Forget"
Let me first take this opportunity to thank everyone that helped in putting the wonderful wedding we had together! It was truly a blessing for us and we will be forever grateful!!
William and I were supposed to get married on January 17, 2009. My dreams were shattered when I found out the venue went bankrupt with all our money. My parents paid the whole balance in full because they gave us a 20% discount. Losing $20,000 was a nightmare for us all. I felt so helpless when all of this happened and didn't know what to do. I cried every time I thought about the situation we were in.
When they told us that Rachael Ray was going to marry us, we were in total shock! I started crying because I was so overwhelmed with the good news and couldn't believe that this was actually happening to us. We went from not knowing when we were going to get married to getting married in a week! Everything happened so fast but that was actually the fun part of it all. Our best memory from the whole experience was just knowing that someone cared enough to throw us this wonderful wedding after everything we went through.
William and I think that it would be a great idea if all the couples agree to meet us next year on our anniversary, so that we can all celebrate together! Just when we thought that our dream wedding was gone, Rachael Ray and ALL her helpful crew came and made our dream wedding happen. We hope that everyone who watched the show will see how genuine Rachael Ray is and everything that she did for us. Thank you Rachael Ray!! This was an experience that we will never forget!
Lots of Love!!! William & Kristen Sanchez
"Walking Down the Aisle"
My best memory was walking down the aisle with my father and seeing Paul at the end of the aisle. He looked amazing in his tuxedo and at that moment, he was all I was thinking about.
I hope others appreciate that there are really good people in the world that truly help others in unfortunate situations. What was supposed to be the happiest days of our lives was ruined for a moment, but Rach's wedding rescue truly did a wonderful and amazing job by giving us a wedding of a lifetime we will never forget! We met some great couples through all this so we now how have new friends which is always a wonderful thing.
-- Dirusha Dehiptiya
"A Dream Come True"
When we first found out the Rachael Ray Show was hosting our wedding, we could not contain ourselves! These types of things do not happen every day and lets face it, we have had not had the best of luck with weddings up to this point. Once things did sink in, we were on a ride of a lifetime! When we met Rachael, she seemed like everything you would want in a best friend. You could see it in Rachael's face when she would step up on stage to announce a surprise; she was so excited to be making up for what was done to us and to give us the wedding of a lifetime! And, the entire crew was amazing! Everyone was full of energy and very passionate about their work.
By far, our best memory of the day was when we first stepped foot into the stadium and saw the beautiful transformation of the ballpark. Our families were absolutely blown away by all the preparation and hard work that Rachael and her team went through in order to grant us our fairytale wedding. We obviously never expected food of that caliber, or a menu prepared by Rachael Ray herself at our wedding! The entire experience was a dream come true; we had a picture perfect wedding surrounded by amazing people and Rachael and her team will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
-- Sarah Ravenelle
"I'm Getting Married in a Week?"
My mother told me that no matter what, this wedding will happen. "You ARE getting married!" were her exact words. Then, I received an email from the producers at the Rachael Ray show, asking us to tell our story and we later found out we were getting married in one week, at Minute Maid Park. What? I am getting married in a week? What a relief! I felt like a 40-pound weight had been lifted off my back. After all we had been through, I just felt overwhelmed with happiness.
The wedding was all that I could have ever dreamed of and more. My one special moment -- seeing my fiance Shane at the end of the isle all dressed up (I never saw him in a tie before that day) was unsurpassed by any other moment in my life. He looked so dashing! What a beautiful way to end such a tragedy. The wedding - gorgeous, and a free honeymoon? Oh Rachael, you and your surprises! Who can say that Wynonna Judd played at their wedding and they had a huge fireworks display at Minute Maid Park? I know 33 brides that were fortunate enough! I would have to say, Rachael Ray hit this one WAY out of the ballpark! Thanks again, Rachel Ray for making my day!
-- Elizabeth Cabiro
"Thank You, Rach!"
When we were told that Rachael Ray was going to throw us a wedding we were thrilled! She was making up for what was taken from us. What a great opportunity and experience to make the most important day of our lives even more special. The show did a wonderful job of making this day memorable, they even selected the song I wanted as our first dance, Shania Twain's "From This Moment," and played another song that is special to us (Brad Paisley's "She's Everything"). Our parents were so happy for us and I could see the joy in my 90-year-old grandmother as I walked to her after the ceremony.
We are so grateful for everything Rachael Ray did for us and how great she and her team were to us. Thank you Rach!
-- Margarita Garcia
"Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!"
No one knew what to expect, there was no rehearsal, just a moment of awe as we walked out on to the field and saw what was once a baseball field turned into a grand wedding gala! This was a special night for all involved. Again we just want to send out thanks to Rachael and her crew for turning a disaster into a night dreams are made of. /p>
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
-- Loc & Venessa
"My Heart Melted!"
A few days after Hurricane Ike hit, we found out that our wedding facility completely closed their doors and filed for bankruptcy. What makes this matter worse is that my fiance Jason and I paid for our wedding in full with some of my late mother's insurance money as well as money from our savings! We had lost a little less than $9,000 and we didn't know what we were going to do.
What Cinderella story would be complete without a fairy godmother? It just happened to be that ours was Rachael Ray! We got a phone call from Rachael Ray herself saying that she heard our story, and she wanted to adopt our wedding so we would not have to worry about anything anymore! We were speechless! I felt this big weight lifted off of my shoulders. I couldn't stop crying happy tears. Jason and I had received so much bad news since the hurricane hit that this good news arrived just in time. This phone call was the beginning to our fairy tale wedding.
My little brother, Jody Lea, walked me down the aisle to my future husband. My brother looked so handsome! He gave me to my future husband with ease. It meant a lot to have my brother give me away. My dad was not able to be there, and with my mother being deceased, it was very nice to have the family support there for my big day! I saw my fiance's big, beautiful smile, and my heart melted. We said our vows, and then we were able to celebrate our union. Jason and I shared our first dance together, and my little brother and I shared the father-daughter dance together. This had to have been the most memorable moment for me, and for Jason as well. For my original wedding plans, I was going to have a dedication dance with my little brother for my mom. It was going to be to Martina McBride's "In my Daughters Eyes." This song ended up being the father-daughter dance and the dedication dance that I intended to do in the first place! I shared a dream wedding with 32 other brides, but this wedding felt like it was my own! There were so many special touches that I would not have been able to accomplish all on my own that my fairy godmother and her dream team were able to do for us!
-- Heather Camario
"I Feel So Honored and Blessed!"
Growing up in Northern California most definitely did not prepare me for my first Hurricane. We live 5 minutes from downtown Houston where the winds got up to 100 mph. Like the majority of Houston we lost power for a week and had no running water. Then I got "the email." I was informed that our wedding venue had closed its doors, permanently. I was in a state of utter shock and disbelief. The wedding I had been so tirelessly planning for the last year and half was gone, along with my $8,500.00 deposit. This venue was supposed to showcase the fairytale wedding we so desperately wanted; we organized and planned everything around this space and in a heartbeat it was gone.
When I was contacted by the Rachael Ray show inquiring about our venue closing I felt so honored that the show was interested in telling our story. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect or believe they would be throwing us the wedding of the year!
Our wedding day was incredible! Absolutely magical! It went above and beyond anything we could have ever dreamed of doing for ourselves! I got married on the field of Minute Maid Park- who can ever say that they did that??? We had all of our closest friends and family experiencing this with us; my father (who is one tough cookie to impress) came up to me at the end of the night and told me that there never has been and never will be a wedding that will EVER top ours (and I agree)! I feel so honored and blessed to have been a part of this experience- everything was so beautiful and dreamy.
Thank you Rachael Ray and thank you to all of your staff- you have done something so special it's beyond words. This has been the most incredible experience of our lives.
-- Allison Jacobs
"An Incredibly, Amazingly Magical Wedding"
A producer called us the day before our original wedding date, and I remember telling her that we had no idea when we'd be married. The most Red & I thought would come of that conversation was your show running a segment on wedding disasters. Little did we know that you had plans to give us the day we were robbed of, and we never could've imagined how absolutely beautiful and incredible the whole experience would be.
After the wedding, I told my friends that even though there were other couples there, it seemed like it was our night and you'd gone out of your way to make the evening special and personal for each couple. Once they saw they show, they completely understood.
Red & I will never forget you and all of the awesome team members we were fortunate to meet. Thank you so much for outdoing yourselves in giving us the most incredible wedding gift of all - an incredibly, amazingly magical wedding.
-- Gabrelle & Red
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