Couple Gets Surprise Wedding, Planned in 2 Days With No Budget So Bride's Ailing Mom Could Attend
As Erica Morales' mom began losing her battle to cancer, the couple made an appointment to get married at City Hall. But, the community had other plans.
A New Jersey couple were shocked when friends and family organized a surprise wedding for them on no budget and with just two days' notice so that the bride's ailing mother could attend.
Darrell Meyers and Erica Morales had been engaged for years when they made an appointment at City Hall a week in advance to be married in front of a Justice of Peace.
After starting dating in 2001, Meyers proposed on February 21, 2007. Morales was pregnant with their second child at the time and the couple wanted to put off the wedding until a later date.
But not long after the proposal, mother-of-the-bride Alicia Reyes became sick. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and Morales was kept busy accompanying her mom to every doctor's appointment.
"Between running a family and helping my mom with everything, we didn't even think of setting a date," Morales told InsideEdition.com.
Morales' mom is now in hospice care, after undergoing countless rounds of failed radiation and chemotherapy. Despite all efforts, Morales said that the cancer has metastasized, and Reyes is now so weak that she can hardly eat.
"We never asked [how long she has]. We don't want to know that," Morales said. "It's in God's hands."
Morales refused to risk not having her mom at the wedding: "I can't even imagine getting married without [my mom] there."
So the couple decided to get the job done at City Hall.
The pair had prepared their outfits for the entire family when Morales decided with two days' notice that she wanted to have her family photographed on the big day.
She reached out to a coworker, who had been by her side throughout her mom's illness. The coworker immediately asked her sister Abigail for a favor, and she was determined to do more than just take pictures.
Andy and Abigail, the couple behind Abigail Gingerale Photography, reached out to Pearl Event Planning to see if there was anything they could contribute.
One of the lead planners of Pearl Event Planning was ordained, making it possible to perform a ceremony anywhere. They also reached out to Underground Artistry to do hair and make up for the family. The Rose Garden in Hamilton, New Jersey was also happy to jump in and donate their venue.
The wedding came as a total surprise to Meyers and Morales. In fact, Morales was hesitant to cancel her appointment with the Justice of Peace, Pearl Event Planning wrote in a blog.
"I didn't even know until the day-of that I was going to have an aisle!" Morales told InsideEdition.com.
Unlike most busy brides, her main concern was whether her mom would have the energy to make it through the entire ceremony, but Reyes was even able to enjoy the lunch and reception after the couple had said their vows.
When Morales and the bridal party prepared to drive to the venue, they were surprised with a stretch limo at their door, donated by CAT Limousine.
Despite all of the surprises, Meyers said his favorite part of the day was still, "seeing my wife come down the aisle." Meyers reaction was all captured in video by Simply Shire.
"He cried!" Morales laughed in response.
"I still get chills every time I think about it," Morales said.
"People get married every day, but what they did for us without even knowing us was so extraordinary," Meyers said.
After a full day of celebrations, the couple jetted off on their honeymoon for one magical night in the Poconos.
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