Walking down the aisle on your wedding day is a moment that most little girls dream of from a young age. Who can blame them? It is one of the only times in life when you are permitted to be unapologetically happy about being the center of attention.
As you float down the aisle with all eyes upon you, time seems to move in slow motion. It may only be a few steps, but it can easily feel like a mile. For one bride, in particular, walking down the aisle felt like a journey that would never end.
When planning her dream wedding, Jacquie Goncher knew there was one thing she wanted to accomplish on the big day. She wanted to walk down the aisle. However, the 25-year-old was met with a challenge.
When she was 17 years old, Goncher was left paralyzed after diving into a shallow pool. At the time, she thought that she’d die, but was left wheelchair-bound after the accident and told that she would never walk again.
However, Jacquie was determined to prove the experts wrong after her boyfriend Andy proposed. The happy couple, who met after Jacquie’s accident, spent a whole year planning their special day, and it included a special surprise.
Jacquie is pictured below at the top of the aisle.
Determined to walk down the aisle, Jacquie spent six days a week at the gym, dedicating hours to strengthening exercises. She hoped that her year-long commitment to physical therapy would mean she could make her dream come true.
And, with a lot of hard work and determination, Jacquie did the unthinkable on her wedding day.
“[I] didn’t want to waste the miracle that God [has] given [to me by] just accepting the comfort,” Jacquie told the Huffington Post.
“I wanted our wedding photos to symbolically show the long journey I’ve been through.”
“Because of my blood pressure, I couldn’t stand for more than 30 minutes,” she said. “I knew I’d be able to walk down the aisle with help, but what I really wanted to be able to do was to stand at the wedding and dance at the wedding without the wheelchair.”
Jacquie kept her plans a secret, only telling “a few close friends” what she intended to do.
“I wanted it to be a surprise,” she said. “I looked at the ground the entire time because I was so nervous and excited, but I know from people that told me that there were a lot of tears.”
The guests erupted into tears at the sight of Jacquie walking down the aisle, but their joy only intensified as the couple waltzed around the dancefloor for their first dance – which was, in fact, their first ever dance together.
The couple had an artist capture the incredible moment on canvas.
“It’s been a really, really long journey with a lot of ups and a lot of downs as well,” an overwhelmed Jacquie said. “It’s just all been God in my life and leaning on my faith in him.”
Thankfully, science has developed a robotic suit for those who need extra assistance when walking again:
Jacquie’s inspiring story has struck a chord with all who are familiar with it. Her remarkable journey has proven that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible even when you’ve been told otherwise!
We wish her and her new husband all the best in their married life.