Love Is Not Cancelled | Congrats to This Week’s Giveaway Winners!

After receiving many wonderful entires, we are ecstatic to announce six more winners of our Social Media Giveaway! In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, it is our pleasure to provide these brides-to-be with a free Azazie wedding gown of their choice. Here are their stories:

Miranda Weinstein

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

2020 started out rough, and COVID-19 didn’t help. At the beginning of December, my mom was admitted to the hospital for a consistent fever, shortness of breath, and fluid around her lungs. At first, we thought it wasn’t anything too serious, but we found out that her cancer had grown and was impacting her lungs. In the middle of December, she went into respiratory distress and coded. The doctors rushed her to the ICU where she was intubated. She lives in Los Angeles, and I live in Washington, D.C., so I rushed back home as quickly as possible. That flight was one of the longest, most numbing experiences of my life. Her tumor had caused her lung to partially collapse, and all the doctors said there wasn’t much they could do. But my mom’s a fighter, so we kept fighting for her. We spent Hanukah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, my aunt’s birthday, and my 27th birthday, next to my mom in the hospital. While my birthday wasn’t the most enjoyable, I got a great present: my mom started breathing on her own! 

After 54 days in the hospital, my mom was discharged into a rehab facility and continues to work on her recovery after being intubated for a month. One of the things she told me when she was able to talk was that she kept fighting so she could dance at my wedding. 

My wedding was supposed to be on June 7, the day after my mom’s 63rd birthday. Then COVID hit the US. As my mom is immunocompromised and has recently managed to fight her way off of a ventilator, my fiancé and I made the decision to postpone our larger ceremony to 2021. But with my mom’s terminal cancer, the push brings other worries and complications. I’m hoping it’ll be safe enough to do a smaller family only ceremony this summer, but the unknown of COVID and my mom’s health makes any type of planning difficult. The happiness of getting married was one of the only things that helped me get through living at the hospital for two months, and now that everything is shut down and we’re stuck inside again, it’s been difficult. But love conquers all, so wedding or not, it doesn’t change how we feel.

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Hannah Zucker

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

My fiancé and I got engaged this past September after 5+ years of dating. It was the most perfect day and he had planned a surprise engagement party with all our friends and family that took place 2 days later. We soon began wedding planning and we locked in our venue and date for August 2020. We chose August 23rd because it was the exact same wedding date as my grandparents who had been happily married and inseparable for 61 years at the time. My grandma in particular was so excited about our wedding because I was the first grandchild out of 8 to be getting married, and we would be sharing the same anniversary date. Unfortunately, she passed away in March and will not be at my wedding. It completely breaks my heart, and all I wanted after that was to have the most special and beautiful wedding that she could be a part of spiritually. Of course once things got really bad with the virus I realized my dream wedding wasn’t going to be possible. I hadn’t hired all my vendors at the time and my dress fitting was supposed to be at the beginning of April but the store being in NY is still closed and not sure when I’ll be able to come in (I also live in Florida so it is more complicated).

All I want for my wedding is for it to be beautiful and to have all my friends and family there. With it being in New York, I don’t think it’s going to be possible. I wouldn’t want to put any of our guests in danger by having a gathering of 200 people even if it is allowed, particularly because of my 85 year old grandfather. At this point my fiancé and I decided that it makes the most sense to do a small ceremony in front of our family and closest friends in his backyard, and then celebrate our reception with everyone on our 1 year anniversary.

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

So the reason I am writing to you is because although I have a dress already that I am hoping is ready by August, I would want to wear a different dress to the ceremony and reception. It would be amazing to receive this giveaway after all the stress I’ve been going through the past 2 months and finally feel like something good is happening to me. Not to mention my bridesmaids all got their dresses from Azazie and love them!

Lastly, I’ve included pictures of my fiancé and I so you can put some faces to our story/relationship. I hope to hear back from your team and appreciate the time of whoever is reading this.

Evelyn Stinebaugh

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

My name is Evelyn. I am a nurse and the proud Health Services Director for a senior living and dementia community. My fiance and I have been together going on 13 years and we have 2 kids. As I’m sure you can imagine raising 2 children doesn’t leave much time, let alone money, to plan a wedding. We had been building up funds and dreaming of this day, and after almost 2 years of saving and sacrificing, working longer hours to gather the funds… we finally did it. We were ready to have our wedding. Everything was in place for us to say “I do” officially on March 22nd, 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic took it all away. All the money we spent on the deposits for the vendors is nonrefundable,  so we are waiting in hopes that we can reschedule our wedding with the same vendors, if not we will be out thousands of dollars. We have lost money on food and guest gifts that have now been wasted and need to be remade and repurchased at a later date. My fiancé has had his hours cut due to the pandemic and since the kids are home for distance learning we cannot work more to make up the difference. I’ve never been one to ask for anything and would rather work for it myself, unfortunately given my current situation I can’t get a second job this time…so I figured what more have I got to lose when it comes to the wedding.

Thank you for all that you are doing to make the dreams of many soon to be brides come true. Not all heroes wear capes…. some wear veils! In your case, some make veils!

Hailey Howard

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

If there is anyone I know that is deserving of this opportunity, it would be Hailey, hands down. Here is why: 

Hailey is both my friend and my colleague, which I am very blessed for. She has a heart of pure gold, and a perpetual smile… Somehow she blends optimism and realism together, and always has a listening ear for anyone. We work in healthcare and during this changing and uncertain time Hailey has been an invaluable source of kindness and compassion not only for her peers but for the folks we serve in our community and beyond… Hailey has worked tirelessly day in and day out to make sure that our members and their families are getting the resources they need… Without even knowing she has touched so many hearts and lives.”

Hailey and her fiance Michael are best friends and a beautiful couple, due to be married Oct 3, 2020. They share an apartment in Bath, ME with their beloved rescue dog Gordon. She would have been dress shopping at this time, with her mom and sister, but again she has put others before her with a smile…”

For these reasons and so many more, Hailey is deserving of a wedding dress she’ll love. She would be beautiful in anything, even a paper bag not because of how she looks but because of who she is. It is with so much love and enthusiasm that I’m nominating Hailey. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my submission and for being so kind as to have a giveaway of this nature. 

Heather Sneyd

Thank you so much for letting me share my story with you! My fiancée and I were planning to get married on April 18th 2020! Unfortunately our plans were disrupted due to the coronavirus! Our family was actually impacted from it! We all were laid off, my daughter was infected with covid 19. She is actually graduating high school and they canceled her prom and Graduation ceremony! We don’t have much money to begin with as it is. I was getting married in a dress I bought from Walmart! To even have a chance to win this dress would be a dream come true for us! Thank you so much! Have a great day!

Jin Chen

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

Normally, as an anesthesiologist, I would be the last voice that one hears before he or she goes off to dreamland for a surgery; now, I could be the last person someone will ever see in this life. Working more than 12 hour shifts and sometimes everyday of the week, I have been fighting in the frontlines ever since the virus hit New York City.  In the face of resource scarcity, my hospital has converted our familiar operating rooms into intensive care units so we could fight the odds that favors death. There are numerous trials and tribulations in this battle. One is our fight to get more personal protective equipment. We are still reusing masks and gowns for time exceeding intended, but our situation has tremendously improved after donations pour in from friends and strangers. Then there is answering calls from the family. It is extremely difficult for the family to understand the prognosis without visuals. I attempt as much as I can to paint a picture and to answer the questions over the phone, but none of us has satisfactory answers. We do not know for sure if the medications truly help, if the breathing strategies are appropriate for this disease, or if the patient will live. The worst of all stumbling blocks is the defeat. After days and sometimes weeks of caring for the patients, they pass.

In the midst of all of this physical and emotional toll, I am planning for a wedding for August of this year. Like many things during this period, there were many changes and uncertainties. We planned for months to visit my grandparents in China and to take our engagement photos in the photogenic region of Southwestern China. We planned on inviting our family from Vietnam, Australia, and China. We planned on having all of our friends who we do not see enough to enjoy with us a celebration of love. Now we do not know if any of that will go as planned. I am waiting for the day when I can finally print my wedding invitations with the correct date.

Real Brides, Giveaway, Contest, Azazie, COVID-19, Coronavirus, Love is not Cancelled, engagement

Thank you to everyone who shared their story! We will have more stories to come on the Azazie Blog next Friday!

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