Bride with Chronic Migraines Gets a Wedding Redo With Celeb Planner Mindy Weiss

My Wedding Do Over
ESSENCE.COM Mar, 28, 2012

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After a debilitating migraine kept her from enjoying her original wedding day, Patrice Johnson was given a second chance to meet her husband Stanley at the altar, with help from the National Headache Foundation’s “Rewrite Your Day” campaign.

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The morning of her wedding day, Patrice, who has more migraine days than normal ones, knew there would be trouble. “I started having symptoms of a migraine,” she says. “I continued to go on, but as the day progressed, my headache got worse.”

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When you’re a busy working mom and wife, migraine or not, Patrice says her life must continue. “When I have a migraine, I’m down for the count,” she says. “My whole family stops because I am the center. We have three kids. They know when mom has a migraine. They know I’m at the bottom of my bedroom closet balled up with everything turned off. They try to cater to me. It means so much.”

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Patrice and her husband hold hands at the altar, and this time, she feels beyond great. Weiss’ ceremony decor absolutely blew them away.

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“During our original first dance, my migraine was so bad, I just put my head on his shoulder,” Patrice remembers. “We had practiced and I was going to sing to him. But instead I dozed off on his shoulder. It wasn’t what I planned.” This time, they had the romantic solo dance of their dreams with family by their side, cheering them on.

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“Patrice’s story hit so near and dear to my heart,” says Weiss. "I just knew my team and I had to give her a vow renewal ceremony and celebration dinner that would leave her and her husband, Stanley, with fond new wedding memories that were free of Chronic Migraine.

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“The event took place at a quaint plantation in Baton Rouge called Mount Hope, and we decked out the space in beautiful bouquets of stargazer lilies, which are Patrice’s personal favorite,” says Weiss. "We also placed candles throughout the room to give it a very soft and romantic feel.

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When Stanley first saw Patrice on their redo wedding day, he was overcome by emotion. “The look on his face was like ‘oh my gosh this is my wife’,” says Patrice. “That is the look I had always dreamed of. He looked at me like I was a queen.”

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“The decor was so amazing,” says Patrice. “I had a beautiful bouquet of stargazers, my favorite. The napkin rings, the table cloths, everything has bling.”

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“Patrice has spent more than a decade giving back to her country and local community through serving in the Louisiana National Guard and volunteering in charities and community groups, so I am glad that I was able to give her something back,” says Weiss.

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“I didn’t have to do anything but show up, this time,” says Patrice. “I met Mindy there. I was crying and we were hugging. I was like a kid on Christmas jumping up and down.”

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“Since my story aired on the local news, if I’m out somewhere, people will come up to me and tell me their stories,” says Patrice. “I’ve met so many people that know that they’re not alone and that I struggle with them.”