"You are the most indescribable person in the world," he told his sister, the one person he was afraid of losing initially when she got engaged.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 9, 2020. It has since been updated.
When a bride gets ready to tie the knot with her man who will show her a new and loving life, it doesn't mean she forgets about the people she grew up with. Though physically she might be far away from them, they reside in her heart and remain there as she makes a permanent place for her new husband. And for Ashley Rice, one of the most special people who hold her heart is her little brother, Nick, which is why she knew she had to do something special for him on her wedding day.
As the bride and her fiance, Brian Sedar were planning their wedding events, one of the things they had agreed on was the "first look." It's the event wherein the groom gets to see his bride in her ensemble for the first time. However, "I like the idea of the first look, but I didn't want one with Brian because I'd always grown up imagining walking down the aisle," Ashley Rice, now Sedar, told Insider.
She wanted Brian to see her look only as she walked down the aisle. "I had always imagined us seeing each other as I walked down the aisle," she said, according to Good Morning America. But she did like the idea of a "first look" and she was wondering whom she would do it with. "I was chatting with a friend at work about what I should do, and she instantly said, 'Well you obviously need to do one with your brother,' and it just clicked," she told the news outlet.
Nick, who has Down Syndrome, was indeed the perfect choice as he is her "best friend." "My relationship with Nick is a beautiful one, but also a normal one. I'm his biggest supporter and we love each other fiercely. But, he is still my little brother and we do normal things that brothers and sisters do. We bicker and we annoy each other. We frustrate each other at times, and then the next day they are forgotten, and we're back to normal, and that's normal. At least it is for us," she said.
Though Nick was happy when she got engaged, he was conflicted as he felt like he was losing his big sister, Ashley told Insider. "I could tell that when we got engaged, he was struggling with these feelings of loving Brian and being really happy that Brian was going to be my husband, and then also dealing with the stress of losing me," she explained. But with time, the loving brother had accepted her sister's fiance completely. "He loves Brian. They hang out just those two all the time." This was why Ashley knew doing the first look with her brother was perfect.
When the time came for the first look, photographer Kelsey Watroba captured the sweet moment the bride and her brother faced each other. "When Ashley said that she wanted to share a first look with her brother, I immediately loved the idea," Kelsey told Insider. "I really admire that Ashley and her husband Brian chose to plan their wedding around what was right for their family, regardless of what is popular or traditional."
"He was just like teary-eyed and blinking. You could tell he was just feeling so much emotion," Ashley said of her brother. "He couldn't even say anything. It was exactly what I wanted." When he could finally speak, the bride recalled, "He said, 'You are the most indescribable person in the world. I can't even describe it.' It was very sweet and we were both in tears. I'll never forget it."
Growing up with a younger brother with a disability is "something I wouldn't change for the world," she told GMA. When photographer Kelsey put up the pictures on Facebook, it went viral. "Little did I know that this first look would turn out to be one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, in my entire career as a photographer," she told the news outlet. "There was not a dry eye in room."
Check out all the pictures on Kelsey's Facebook page:
Cover Image Source: Facebook | Kelsey Gene Photography