A bride surprises her 90-year-old grandma, who was too unwell to attend her wedding by wearing her wedding dress during a visit to see her instead.
Maria Sanzo, from Bridgeport, Connecticut, is the backbone of her large Italian family, having had five children; 13 grandchildren, including bride Emily Antenucci-Struss; and 13 great grandchildren.
She’d attended every birthday party, soccer game, graduation and wedding, but after a fall resulted in fluid building up on her lungs and high blood pressure, she was unlikely to make Emily’s wedding.
Emily, 29, said Maria was the person who taught her about the meaning of family, love, and hard work, and for that reason she asked her grandmother to be her flower girl earlier in the year.
She spent time in hospital and a rehabilitation center, and though she made progress before the big day on June 24, she was not well enough to travel from Connecticut to the Rhode Island wedding.
After the wedding, Emily was determined for her grandmother to see her dress, and so she planned to drive from her home in Philadelphia to surprise her.
Emily didn’t tell her grandmother she was in the area so on July 17 as she walked into her house wearing the dress, Maria laid eyes on Emily and beamed before receiving a loving kiss from her granddaughter.
Emily’s family captured the moment on video, so that they could cherish it for years to come.
Emily said: “I rounded the corner and as I saw her smile, it made me tear up but also feel extreme happiness she would see me in my wedding dress and we could have this moment together.
“Because she hadn’t been doing so well for so long, I truly wasn’t sure if that day would ever happen.
“Her smile was so genuine and happy – she has had a tough go at it and seeing her beaming, smiling from ear to ear and so surprised is a moment I will remember forever.
“My Nonna and her late husband, ‘Nonno,’ sacrificed so much for our family – the least I could do was recreate one small aspect of the wedding day so we could enjoy the moment together.”