A Heartwarming Story of a Wedding Planned Just in Time

When the bride's mother was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer, planning was put on full speed.

As many brides find during the wedding-planning process, not everything goes as planned, and when such is the case because of the health of a family member or friend, it can be especially disheartening. This was true for Rebekah Powers and Tim Robertson, who said "I do" 740 days before their official wedding date.

"Our original plan was to get married at my mom's house on the Cape and DIY the whole thing over two years of planning," explains the bride. "But she was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer this spring, so we decided to plan the whole thing in 70 days to make sure she'd be able to enjoy it with us."

Bride in green wedding dress with mother of bride stage four ovarian cancer

Though her mother passed away soon after the nuptials, the couple was honored to have the chance to celebrate their special day with her thanks to the team at Boston's Verb Hotel, who assisted them in planning the celebration. Rebekah and Tim created a celebration that combined the bride's punk rock spunk and Jewish beliefs with the groom's traditional Portuguese Catholic traditions. In a break from tradition, Rebekah wore an engagement ring with a green center stone with an antique veil and vintage jewelry completing her accessories. She also donned a green evening gown, which was picked out by her mother – who served as the matron of honor in a peach dress. The couple's nieces – dressed in peach sequined dresses with 1920s-inspired headbands – and nephews stood with them throughout the ceremony in lieu of a traditional bridal party, and Tim's brother was the best man.

Green gemstone center stone diamond engagement ring
Mother of Bride matron of honor in peach dress stage four ovarian cancer
Bride in green wedding dress, mother of bride, family on transportation to wedding

The outdoor nuptials took place beneath a chuppah to honor the bride's family beliefs. Rebekah and Tim wrote their own vows, and to honor Catholic family members, the Irish Blessing along with readings from Corinthians were included in the ceremony. "My mom had stuffed a lace hanky into my bra when I was getting dressed. She was pretty weak from chemo and rested her hands on my shoulders for support during the ceremony. At one point she started to cry. She reached for the hanky and retrieved it from my cleavage," tells Rebekah. "Needless to say, she got a good laugh out of our guests, which was perfect timing because everyone was in tears!" The vow exchange concluded with the Jewish tradition of the breaking of the glass.

Outdoor wedding ceremony at Verb Hotel mother of bride as matron of honor
Ceremony arch chuppah with green pine needles and vibrant colorful flowers
Mother of bride stage four ovarian cancer matron of honor at wedding ceremony

The décor of the eclectic celebration was inspired by Boston, Cape Cod, rock-and-roll, and a Gatsby-flapper flair. The color scheme featured shades of green, rose gold, copper, peach, coral, blush, and "a little pop of magenta," adds the bride. "The [venue] played a huge part in how we wanted the whole wedding weekend eclectic aesthetic to feel – a combination of deco elegance, mid-century modernity, California nonchalance, and Boston punk rock." Cocktails and mocktails were provided by the on-site Hojoko restaurant throughout cocktail hour.

Hojoko Verb Hotel cocktail mocktail at wedding reception cocktail hour

When reflecting on their day, Rebekah and Tim wouldn't change a thing. Though their dream Cape Cod wedding plans were altered, their friends and family – including most importantly, the mother of the bride – gathered for a celebration that they'll truly never forget. "I know the bride and groom are supposed to be the featured act, but my mom stole the show, and we were happy to let her!"

Mother of bride matron of honor in peach dress with sequins stage four ovarian cancer at wedding
Photos by Samantha Allen Photography; Alterations: Vintage in Vogue; Beauty: Bre Welch for Leather & Lace Artistry; Bridal Gown: Rina di Montella; Bridal Salon: Vows Bridal Outlet; Cocktail Hour: Hojoko (Sam Sherman); Entertainment: Phil DeSisto for Goldblood and Associates, Hayley Thompson King for Banditas; Floral Design: Laura Jean Pecci for Observatory Boutique; Venue: The Verb Hotel (ceremony), The Hawthorne at The Hotel Commonwealth (reception)

Authored by: Kelcy Christy