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WEDDING: Til (Impending) Death Do They Part

Couple Get Hitched While Groom May Just Have Weeks To Live
by Dave Good  ~

In the photographs, Laura Kemp and Brett Fafard are goofing on the beach for the camera, he in a tux and she in a satin gown. Their smiles say it all: wedding. And if the groom’s laughter and the bride’s joy are underscored on this day by the sobering knowledge that Fafard has only a precious handful of weeks left to live, it does not show. This is a happy day. For a moment, the newlyweds have stopped the clock.

In June of 2009 Fafard, 24, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplants failed to stop the progression of the disease. When it finally reached his brain, doctors told him there was nothing left they could do.

Fafard wrestled with whether or not to marry Laura. After dating for a year or so, they’d talked about it. “I didn’t think it was fair to her, to put her through that. But if I’d been selfish, I’d have asked her to marry me four months ago.” He wavered until his condition took a turn for the worse.

“He had a seizure,” Kemp says, “and then he had another one.” This was two weeks ago. They had been eating dinner in Provo where they are both undergrads at Brigham Young University. That was the moment she realized they didn’t have much time left.

“And depending on how much time we did have,” she says, “I didn’t want to spend it apart.” Fafard proposed. Kemp accepted. Now, all they had to do was pull off a wedding with virtually zero resources between them. And, time was of the essence.

The couple chose Coronado’s Silver Strand, set a November dateand called Fafard’s sister Dominique Molina in San Diego with the news.

“When they decided to get married,” says Molina, “we sprung into action.” With less than 10 days to prepare Molina called on Amy Vargas, a San Diego-based wedding planner.

“I don’t think I’ve had a dry eye all week,” Vargas says.

Emotions were running on high not just because of the event’s Job-like circumstances but also because the entire wedding day, including the flowers, the food, live music, even the bride’s gown was gifted to the couple through the kindness of area businesses and community members.

“We reached out,” Molina says, “and everyone’s been so generous.”

Naturally, the last-minute timetable demanded creative solutions. When Abbey Event and Catering donated the use of their 40 foot-long sleek Explorer limo but couldn’t find an available chauffeur, company owner Zapher Dajani drove it himself.

“This is only my second time,” he says.

Dominique Molina’s husband Tony, a Chula Vista policeman was called on to officiate the wedding. Likewise, this was only his second time as well.

After today, how will Mr. and Mrs. Fafard spend their time in the coming weeks?

“I envision us cherishing every single moment being together,” Laura says, “and not taking for granted what we have and how special it is.” The newlyweds will leave for a Mexican Riviera cruise on November 28.

“It’s a tragic but amazing story,” says Amy Vargas, her eyes pink after the wedding. The setting sun turns everything, waves and guests alike, a shade of blood-orange. “I hope the doctors are wrong,” she says. And then the tears start, again.

Dave Good is a freelance writer, photojournalist, and restless San Diegan. He writes about pop music and culture at large for a number of publications including the San Diego Reader. His stories have appeared in San Diego Magazine, Los Angeles Journal, Goldmine, BluesWax, SignonSanDiego,, and more.

Here are some pictures of their love story before and after their wish come true wedding!!

Their Pre-Wedding Photos by Carrie Butler Photography

Their Special Day Photos by Kristina Chartier Photography

We are so excited to share this amazing story of love and strength with all of you, we heard about this heart-touching story through some of our members who participated with their services, time and talents to make sure Brett & Laura would enjoy their wedding day and the beautiful memories of their unbelievable journey! The Bridal Bar is proud to mention that Pink Star Design, Continental Catering, Dining Details, Plush Lounge Furniture & La Valencia where a part os the 22 amazing vendors that collaborated in the realization of their wedding day celebration!

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San Diego Weddings and Parties

ShopLocalSD: Bridal Bar in La Jolla

Building the beginning of a “happily ever after”
By Rebekah Sager
Posted on Sat, Nov 20th, 2010
Last updated Sat, Nov 20th, 2010

Anseth Page Richards is not your ordinary wedding planner.She calls herself a couple’s coach, whose job it is to help brides and grooms over the first roadblock to marital bliss—planning a wedding. Born and raised in La Jolla, Richards says she has seen the planning of a wedding end a relationship before it has had a chance to begin the “happily ever after” part.

Revolving table decor.

Photo by Rebekah Sager

Whether it’s finding a CPA or lawyer (both of which she recommends for newlyweds), a florist, a pole dance instructor or a pyrotechnic DJ, the Bridal Bar is a one-stop-shop for organizing the “big day” or any big event.

Ten years ago, thanks to Hollywood, a movie starring Jennifer Lopez called The Wedding Planner, changed the role of that job. The wedding planner became as essential to a successful wedding as a great dress and a beautiful cake. “Prior to the movie, it was the mother of the bride that did all the work,” Richards says. “But our world has changed and become very specialized–when you need your computer fixed you hire an IT guy, if you’re getting married you hire a wedding planner.”

Every bride is special.

Photo by Rebekah Sager

The Bridal Bar kind of works like a PR firm/concierge service: They vet vendors such as caterers, photographers, and florists and choose the best six. Those vendors become “members” for a fee. Couples come to the store to discuss the budget and look of their wedding, and the Bridal Bar can direct them to the appropriate vendors–saving them the time and energy of trying multiple bakeries, listening to multiple DJs, or tasting multiple caterers.

Weddings can be tricky to plan and budget. Bridal Bar suggests that weddings usually fall into one of three catagories: Enjoy, Relax, Dream—the differenceis how money is proportioned, according to the couples’ priorities—maybe more on food, or more on music, etc.

Although Bridal Bar has suffered in the last couple of years due to the economy, Richards says 2011 is going to be a great year. “The luxury wedding market was hit hard, but the modest vendors had very good years,” she says.

Weddings in general will be a booming business in the next few years due to the Baby Boomers’ kids are coming into marrying age. One third of the Boomer’s kids will be marrying in the next five years.

Although all of the Bridal Bars are independently owned, the original store and the brand was started in Los Angeles by Harmony Walton. There are three locations–one in Beverly Hills, one in San Diego, and one in Atlanta.

The Bridal Bar offers bride and groom gifts, jewelry and engraving; basically anything a bride could think of, and some things she didn’t. They help brides and grooms connect the dots.

“It’s our goal to help couples live happily ever after,” says Richards.

Article Courtesy of
About the author: Rebekah Sager is a San Diego writer and blogger. Her work has been published in San Diego Magazine, Pacific San Diego, Where magazine and the South African literary journal Words etc. Her Web site is More by this author

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We asked three wedding dress experts from local bridal salons for their favorite gown picks.  Find out which dresses they recommend and why.  Photos courtesy of The White Flower, Bliss Bride and Chez Bride Moderne.

Courtney Cole-Arlidge of The White Flower

Eve of Milady gown
“Eve of Milady is a time-honored favorite for her unique and luxurious choices.  This gown is singular in her collection for its decadent use of lace in place of hand embroidery.  The bodice fits exquisitely, lending the bride a sumptuous hourglass figure.  Decadent silk and a hem draped with French Alencon lace make this one of my favorite ball gowns ever.  An added plus: It’s exceptionally light and easy to wear.”   Eve of Milady Style E3 $3190 (including jacket)  This dress was featured in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Exquisite Weddings Magazine.

Martina Liana gown
“This exciting new design introduces a modern twist to a classic gown.  The gown is constructed from the finest French Alencon Lace with Parisian Silk Chiffon accents.  The built-in corset makes this lace gown especially flattering. To add to the glamour, customize your gown with hints of Swarovski sparkle, like on the one shown.”  Martina Liana gown Style 313 $3325 (including wrap)

Sienna gown by Simone Carvalli
“This gown is our newest addition to the boutique, and it’s already stealing hearts.  Made from beautiful silk satin, it features an alluring crumb-catcher neckline.  Flattering asymmetrical ruching, handmade flower petals, and Swarovski crystals highlight the skirt.  This fit-to-flair gown will create a dynamic look for your special day.  We are thrilled to share this new collection with San Diego.”  Simone Carvalli Style Sienna $2850

Anne Davis of Bliss Bride

Anne Barge gown
“Brides love the clean, architectural lines of this natural waist A-line. The pockets add a fresh and playful touch that’s hard to resist!   Brides who want to feel like the dress is something they would wear everyday will gravitate towards this dress.”  Anne Barge LF161: $2770

Christos gown
“A perfect balance of traditional and modern with the partially fitted shape and re-embroidered Alencon lace, this gown has a vintage, romantic feel.  Its hourglass silhouette compliments many body types.”  Christos 4015: $4940

Papillon gown by Jenny Packham
“Truly the dress for the non-traditional bride, this gown is glamorous!  Paired with a birdcage veil or feathers, it makes brides feel like they just stepped out of an old Hollywood movie.”  Jenny Packham “Papillon”: $4275  This dress was featured in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of Exquisite Weddings Magazine.

Holly Bowen of Chez Bride Moderne

Va Lena Valentina gown
“This gown is one of our favorites!  It is made with light weight Italian silk and flatters many body types.  Plus it’s only $3,410!”

Royalty gown by Kenneth Pool
“This strapless, satin gown is over the top and very unique.  The full skirt, crystal beaded belt and softly draped bodice are gorgeous!” Royalty gown by Kenneth Pool $5800

Bijou gown by Amsale
“This silk taffeta gown is very romantic.  With hand-made Taffeta and Organza flowers, it would be perfect for a garden wedding!” Bijou gown by Amsale.  $8300

Wedding Dress Picks courtesy of Exquisite Wedding Magazine

Go to The Bridal Bar for additional information on great Bridal Salons and more!

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Packages created exclusively for your intimate holiday celebrations by Panache Productions

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KC AND GARTH 11.12.10

It was a truly memorable day for KC & Garth at The Pelican Hill Resort

The expectation….

The romance….

The food….

The dancing….
The beginning of a lifetime of unforgettable memories….
And it was all captured by the artistic eyes of  the experts at True Photography

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Wedding Hairstyles:  With a few exceptions ( Douglas Hannant and  Melissa Sweet come to

Carolina Herrera, whose gowns were inspired by creative women throughout history, showed some of the most distinctive and beautiful hairstyles. This polished chignon was a favorite—the large, single blossom adds a touch of Billie Holiday-style glamour.

  • This Carolina Herrera model shows off a bolder approach to fresh flowers.

The three oversize calla lilies tucked into her bun are a bit over the top, but somehow the sculptural, sensual quality of the look really works.

  • Another favorite hairstyle from Carolina Herrera, this time with a Daisy Buchanan-esque vibe.

If you’re going to be wearing a vintage-inspired gown, this romantic faux-bob is the way to go.

If you want to wear your hair down but out of your face, this hairstyle from the Rivini show is an excellent solution.

  • Just twist back and pin four separate sections at the crown of your head.

This intricate bun at Romona Keveza was stunning—great for a summer wedding when you want to get all your hair off your neck.

A bun-chignon hybrid at Angel Sanchez paired with soft blue-grey eyeshadow—a subtle way to do a smoky eye for your wedding day.

Glittery hair accessories were all over the runways—the Ines Di Santo show had some of the prettiest and boldest, paired with off-center updos.

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with braided updos, so I was happy to see a few fresh takes, like this one.

Courtesy of Lauren Matthews from The Beauty Bridal

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