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Guests Wore Black Blindfolds During Wedding To Support Blind Bride

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Picture your idea of the perfect wedding day. Maybe it features bright blue skies, a breathtaking venue and a fairytale bridal dress with an intricate lace train.

Whatever you envision, realize that your senses play a key role in bringing it all to life. Just that single word, “envision,” suggests how much we rely on our sight to capture memorable moments.

But 32-year-old Steph Agnew wasn’t able to experience her own wedding day in this manner. A massage therapist from South Melbourne, Australia, Agnew is legally blind.

It wasn’t always that way, making Agnew’s condition a particularly painful progression. But by asking her guests to don black blindfolds at her recent ceremony, she found a unique way to help them share in her special day.

Agnew told website Nine.com.au that she lost her vision gradually, due to a condition known as cone-rod dystrophy. She was initially diagnosed at age 19, and over the subsequent decade her vision deteriorated almost completely.

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These days, Agnew can see only subtle shadings and shadows. She estimates that only about three percent of her sight remains.

That’s not the only heartache her family has been forced to endure, however. Sadly, this same rare condition affects multiple people in Agnew’s family, too.

Agnew’s mom, Linda, and two of her three brothers live with visual impairments. Blindness.org explains that cone-rod dystrophy impacts cells in the retina toward the back of the eye itself, and there’s currently no cure.

But the condition certainly didn’t keep Agnew from finding love. In fact, she’d actually lived next door to her 49-year-old groom, Robbie Campbell, for 18 months.

The massage therapist and police officer initially resided in the same apartment complex, and first crossed paths in the corridor. Later, they got to talking at one of their building’s monthly social events.

And when they eventually decided to tie the knot, they knew they wanted to help raise awareness about visual impairment. They also wanted to create an extraordinary experience Agnew could treasure for life.

 

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That’s why every guest was asked to put on a black blindfold as the couple exchanged their vows. As reported by honey.nine.com.au, Agnew’s mother also closed her eyes in loving solidarity.

“We wanted our guests to be able to really be present and hear our vows the same way my mum and I did, everyone loved it and gave such great feedback about how special the day was,” Agnew said, according to Fox News.

In addition, close friend and wedding photographer James Day devised another distinctive way to help Agnew capture her magical day.

Day worked with Agnew’s brother to infuse swatches of fabric with various scents. These swatches were given to Agnew by different guests and loved ones, at different points throughout the ceremony and reception.

Agnew admitted that this thoughtful sensory detail “made me cry a lot.” And because the couple chose a wedding venue near the home of Agnew’s aunt, the bride can recall the beautiful views from a time when she had her vision.

 

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Additionally, an owl carried the rings to Agnew, so she could feel the delicate brush of the bird’s feathers against her fingers. Fox News reported that the groom described the whole experience as “incredible” and “mind blowing.”

“I’m proud of us as a couple coming together to make this happen,” Campbell said. “She’s an incredible, inspirational woman.”

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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