One Year After The Las Vegas Shooting, A Wedding Planner Proves Love Prevails Over Violence
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

One Year After The Las Vegas Shooting, A Wedding Planner Proves Love Prevails Over Violence

*Trigger warning: this content contains potentially sensitive material with mentions of mass violence and casualties*

One Year After The Las Vegas Shooting, A Wedding Planner Proves Love Prevails Over Violence
Valerie Durham

(All quotes were given by Amber Anderson's testimony or interview).

At first glance, you would never guess Michaela, a blushing bride to be, suffered through the United States' deadliest mass shooting in history. But she did.

During a country music concert in Las Vegas, exactly one year ago today, a gunman opened fire on the attendees, which ended the lives of 58 people and injured another 500. You've heard the descriptions, whether you wanted to or not.

But this story isn't about that day. It's about how one bride to be moved forward, and because of several acts of human altruism, got a dream wedding out of it.

Upon reading about Michaela through local news outlets, Amber Anderson, owner and lead wedding planner of Heavenly Day Events, was drawn to the fact that this young mother was engaged. Of course, Amber knows what it takes to plan a wedding, and of course, she immediately recognized that this tragedy would likely bring any wedding planning to a halt.

Amber went straight to Facebook on a mission to find Michaela. Within an hour, she not only found Michaela's maid of honor, but she had rallied enough Austin wedding vendors to essentially provide an entirely donated wedding to Michaela and Greg.

The Internet broke in Austin, Texas that night. To see the outpouring of love was powerful. People were stalking the threads and commenting with excitement each time a vendor volunteered their service. Readers shared how the whole thing was restoring their faith in mankind. It was a joyful community event, right there at 10 p.m., while lying in bed, just trying to help a stranger. Tears were shed and a group came together in solidarity.

"LOVE WINS" was the mantra of this event. As one can imagine, what the couple went through "…will haunt [them] for the rest of their lives, but the hope is, that by coming together, we proved to them that humanity…has their back," Anderson said.

It turns out, experiencing trauma really puts wedding planning in perspective. Michaela was so calm that Anderson cheekily describes her as the opposite of a bridezilla, more like a "…bridechilla!" On that special day, with wedding bells ringing angelically in the background, Michaela remained hilarious and happy. Because of the lack of nit-picking, the ceremony went wonderfully and the couple continues to thank the company that made it happen.

When you see her in her wedding portraits, embellished dress and all, it is difficult to imagine Michaela's panic on the night of October 1. She did two remarkable things: she survived and she kept moving forward.

Even though simple actions like taking her children to a museum with construction nearby can trigger her, she isn't consumed by fear or discouragement. "This is her story and she is grateful for it… her second chance in life."

One year out from the shooting, we still do not know what motivated the hateful massacre. When I asked Anderson what motivated her to act in love, she simply replied, "why not?".

Genuinely, that is exactly how you should be empowered to think after learning about this event. I think it's just a matter of being aware of others. If we can simply be mindful and aware of others, we can easily meet their needs. Sometimes that can cause inconvenience, but other times, it can be as simple as mailing a card or sending a text. Small acts of kindness really lift a spirit.

Even on a micro level, be thoughtful and compassionate towards others.

"Go and do."

Special Thanks To:

Wedding Coordination: Heavenly Day Events, Lead Coordinator Amber Anderson and Assistant Coordinator Hailey Nichols

Venue: Graceland Oaks, Kira Nichols

Photography: Valerie Durham

Videography: Bonnie Newman Creative

Floral: Zuzu's Petals

Cake: Simply Delicious Custom Cakes

Transportation: Limos of Austin

DJ: GOBO Entertainment, Larry Page

Bride's Hair and Makeup: LoLa Beauty

Bride's Dress: Bridal Blue

Bridal Party Hair and Makeup: Erica Gray

Rentals: Whim Hospitality, Bee Lavish

Photobooth: Oh Happy Day Booth, Kelsey Harrison

Wedding Band: Matt O'Desky

Invitations: Dragonfly Designs

Calligraphy Vendor: By His Grace, Grace Elliot

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments