THREE FACTS: (1) Nargiz was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and the wedding will combine her family’s traditions – they are Mountain Jews, or Gorski, and their culture is a mix of Persian and Middle Eastern influences – and Ryan’s American Ashkenazi background. (2) Nargiz’s mother tragically passed away last summer, so she has been facing wedding planning without her mom by her side. (3) Nargiz is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!
Thank you, Mom!
Being engaged is overwhelming as it is, but being engaged and not having your mom by your side adds a whole other layer of emotions to the overall experience. It has only been a year and a half since my mom passed away, and sometimes my siblings and I still forget that she’s not here with us anymore.
I am thankful I had 28 years with my mom and I know there are others who’ve had less time or no time with their mother. Still, I can’t help but wish I had more time with mine, and the time we had together wasn’t enough.
She was looking forward to the day I got engaged. She loved Ryan and she was excited to watch us take the next steps in our relationship. Even on her last day on this earth, she thought about our engagement and our wedding. I know this because the morning of the day that she passed away, she gave me money for my wedding dress.
Despite the pain and the suffering, she was thinking about me and about my wedding dress. I didn’t think it would be her last day but I guess she felt it. We weren’t even engaged but she wanted to make sure that she would be part of the process even if she couldn’t physically be there for it.
The night Ryan proposed in Paris, I felt a wave of emotions coming through. I wanted to call her and tell her so bad. It was like a missing piece to the most amazing night. Every girl calls her mom first after she gets engaged and I couldn’t do that. I didn’t get to hear her voice or see her reaction on FaceTime. I didn’t get to experience watching her excitement when hearing the news. Calling and texting both of our families and our friends just wasn’t the same. I am thankful to have a supportive family and many amazing friends but the void was still there.
Finding the Dress
Planning the wedding so far has been stressful but manageable. Sometimes it comes in handy to be assertive, organized and on top of things, and planning a big event like this is one of those times. Despite my ‘Type A Personality’, a part of me wishes I had my mom to go to for advice and to get her input.
One of the hardest choices to make was picking my wedding dress. My mom and I used to watch ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ on TLC and she would comment on the dresses and which styles she would like to see me in. When she passed away, I knew wedding dress shopping would be difficult. I was avoiding dress shopping for a while because my mom wouldn’t be there with me.
I am lucky to have two sisters that my mom blessed me with. My sisters are both half of my mom and together, they make a whole support system. They are the ones that know exactly what I am going through (along with our brother) and what we’re missing. I am so grateful to have them in my life.
Unfortunately both of my sisters live out of town, so dress shopping with them was difficult to do. I did have a chance to go to my very first bridal appointment with both of my sisters and two (out of three) of my nieces; they are 4 and 6 years old. It was a fun experience, especially watching my nieces picking out fun princess dresses.
They were having a blast and made the process so much better. My 4 year old niece, Fianna, found a beautiful pink ball gown and stood guard by it until the consultant took it off the rack to put in my dressing room. She wanted to make sure no one else took it.
Later as the appointment went on, other girls walked into the store for their appointment and I heard Fianna say to them, “Sorry girls, I got the pink dress!” She is hilarious. I tried the dress on just for her and she loved it, she couldn’t stop smiling and I loved that moment.
None of the dresses at my first appointment sparked my interest but it was a good start and I am glad I shared that special moment with my sisters and two of my nieces. I ended up going to 8 different stores before I found my dress.
Throughout the appointments, the experience became more and more fun. I was able to have a couple of my friends join me, one of my cousins, my future mother-in-law and my future sister-in-law. Everyone kind of came when they could and I am lucky to have them all in my life.
Despite the support I received from them, I still felt a sense of incompleteness during the appointments. I would search for my mom’s opinion and my mom’s voice. It was hard making a decision because I always imagined her being there with me picking out my dress.
Thank god for the Internet, I was also able to FaceTime with both of my sisters during the appointments and/or send them instant pictures. That helped a lot!
When I walked into my 8th bridal store appointment, my eyes were immediately drawn to one dress. I waited until the end to try it on because I wanted to get the other dresses out of my head.
I was in the dress for over a half hour before I finally said it was the one. I stood there searching for some assurance and even though my mom wasn’t there to provide me hers, I did receive everyone else’s, including my sisters who video chatted with me as I was in the dress.
Although my mom wasn’t there when I picked it, she made sure to be included with the process, and having my sisters’ assurance made it even better. I am very excited to wear my dress and very grateful for my mom for my wedding dress.
Click here to read all Nargiz’s planning posts to date.
Nargiz & Ryan’s Wedding Vendors booked so far: