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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Monday
Nov142011

{Unfake Wedding Feature} A Tribute to the Bride

I had this wedding feature submitted to me a while back and like I do with any wedding I’m interested in featuring, I sent the photographer a copy of my “Veteran Bride” questionnaire for the bride to complete.

Often times, it takes a while for the photographer/bride to get back to me. So I follow up and generally say, “Where the hell is my questionnaire?” OK, I’m lying. I’m more polite than that. I just follow up and find out what’s going on.

I loved the look of this destination wedding and couldn’t wait to find out how the bride managed the Gandia, Spain, wedding from her home in Orlando, Florida.

I received an email from the photographer with news that the bride had passed away from Stage IV breast cancer.

Um, WHAT?

The photographer shared her Facebook page story with me and I read a few of her online obituaries to find out her story. It’s one that makes me mad (mammograms only being covered by insurance after the age of 40, Erin was 34 when she died), sad ( a young life that ended much, much too soon) and inspired (Erin’s strength in her battle against cancer).

You might recognize Erin. She was on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress (Season 5, Episode 11).

If you can get through her Facebook story (she was pregnant when she was first diagnosed) and her obituary with a dry eye, you’re a stronger person than I am. 

I read that in lieu of flowers, the family wanted  donations to be made to the YSC, Young Survivors Coalition. If you’d like to honor her young life, please donate.

I rarely ask this of my readers, but those of you who blog, tweet or on Facebook, I’d love for you to share this story and the link to the Young Survivors Coalition.

Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful.

And ladies, the one thing I want us all to take away from this? If something feels wrong in your body? PAY ATTENTION. Pay for that extra office visit. Ask the questions. Demand answers. Get a second opinion, or third, or fourth if you must. Trust your gut. Self exam. As someone whose OB/GYN found a lump (it was nothing), I quickly realized how careless my self-examinations had been. Do not be sloppy. Be thorough. Be concerned. Protect yourself.

So, enough with the sad. Time for the happy. At the time of her wedding in May 2010, Erin was cancer free, living in remission.

Her wedding was held at the Borgia Palace in Gandia, Spain. Her bridal portraits taken at Xativa Castle. I’m including some causal pictures of the couple in Spain before the start of the celebration, just ‘cuz they are so darn cute.

Photographer: Andrew Morrel Photography

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Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Erin & Adam!

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Erin lost her life to breast cancer on October 17, 2011.

In memory of Erin Pianko Howarth.

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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Response: livereference.org
    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Response: fatgamez.Com
    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog
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    Unfake Wedding Feature A Tribute to the Bride - Home - The Thirty-Something Bride Wedding Blog

Reader Comments (28)

A beautiful, sad story....

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Thanks for the tribute, Erin and Adam are dear friends of ours and their story wasn't supposed to end this way.
It is so sad that we have lost Erin aged only 34 as she was so special, so inspiring and such a wonderful person.
She had the most fabulous wedding ever and thanks to Andrew we have those special memories to treasure forever.
I hope Erin's story raises awareness in young woman, and if her story helps save at least one other woman we know Erin would be proud !

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Saull

Erin was a beautiful person, inside and out. I know, things like this are always said about someone who has passed, but Erin was truly a very special human being, one I was and continue to be very proud to have known. She touched everyone around her with her zest for living life to the full, despite and in spite of her her illness. She was a true cancer warrior, fighting to raise not only funds for cancer research or for the assistance of other cancer warriors who needed help with finance, but awareness that at 3o years old, you are NOT too young to have breast cancer, as she herself had been told. Erin's legacy...insist on a diagnosis. Pay for a mammogram if you have to, but don't let a doctor gamble with YOUR life! I love her today, tomorrow and always. She was my Daughter in Law, she married in Spain where I live and I am so very proud to have been a part of her life. If her experience can prevent this from happening to someone else, Erin would be thrilled.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Hambridge

Thanks for sharing Erin's story. She truly was a warrior and will forever be remembered with a smile on her face....always thinking of others.

November 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

She is beautiful. Thank you for sharing her with us. God bless you.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen

I just saw the episode that Erin was featured on (say yes to the dress) and it touched my heart to hear what a fighter she was against breast cancer then at the end when they showed her wedding picture and to find out she had lost her fight with cancer broke my heart ~~ my prayers go out to Erin's family and friends and know you are all blessed and better people because Erin was a part of your life. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia

I have just watched the Say Yes To The Dress episode with Erin and Adam. At the end of the show there was a dedication to Erin, advising the viewers that she lost her brave battle with breast cancer. Today is the 13th anniversary of my breast cancer surgery .. and I sit in my home, humbled by this brave young girl who fought with such dignity. And how she and Adam had such a short time together.


December 23, 2011

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

wow I just saw the Say Yes to the Dress with Erin and was so touched by her story and was shocked at the end when they had in memory of her 1977 - 2011 so i had to look it up. I am so touched by her story, I just read her story about the dr's visits and being diagnosed & pregnant. This just puts things into perspective. May she rest in peace & my prayers are with her & her loved ones. It just makes u ask God why, why would he take someone like this? But Im sure she is one of his heavenly angels and i look forward to meeting her in heaven one day, she is truly an inspiration

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDonna

I also saw this episode today. I was so sad to see such a beautiful young woman who had a wonderful spirit lose her battle with breast cancer. So very sad that she and her husband had such a short time together.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGinny

I just watched the show and my heart breaks for Erin and her family. The way Andrew looked at Erin was amazing. So in love...what a wonderfully caring man. I wish him all the best.

December 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet

Just watched the show with my wife and we were floored to see that Erin had passed away. We are the same age as Erin and from the Cleveland area she was from so it really hit home with us. Such a sad ending to such a wonderful couples journey. I will be saying many prayers for her and making sure to tell her story for two reasons. First so that we keep people aware of what to do and look for. Second, so Erin's battle and spirit are never forgotten. We extend our sympathies to Adam and her family and friends.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim

When I first saw the episode with Erin choosing her beautiful dress and talking about her story, I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time I thought that this beautiful young woman was an inspiration for all of us battling the disease. Tonight when I saw she had lost her courageous battle I was deeply saddened. My thoughts go out to her family and friends.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJane

I also just watched the episode of "Say Yes to the Dress" that featured Erin. When I saw the tribute at the end of the episode, I knew I had to find out more about this beautiful young woman. What a heartbreaking ending to a truly inspirational story. My thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica

I had seen the episode when it first aired some time ago, and I was astounded to see at the end of the airing tonight that Erin had passed away. The love that Adam has for her is so apparent, and I teared up when he told her that to hide her shoulders would be a crime. You can tell that she was the absolute epitome of beauty in his eyes. She seemed like an amazing, gorgeous, and strong person. God bless her family, and of course Adam during their first holiday season without her.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I too just watched the 'Say Yes' episode featuring Erin and Adam.
I was shocked to see that Erin had passed at the end. I have to say I shed tears as though I knew her.
Although Adam had expressed his feelings of 'just going for it'-that maybe Erin didn't have the luxury of procrastination-the reality was still heartbreaking.
God bless you, Erin...I didn't know you, what happened to you sure isn't fair, but you seemed to face it with grace and serenity.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDawn A

I had seen this episode before but tonight at the end of Say Yes to the Dress I saw the beautiful photo of Erin & her husband on their wedding day and was shocked to learn she had passed away. I am so very sorry for the loss her husband, family and friends must endure. We never have enough time with our loved ones. Based on their story and beautiful and fun wedding photos you can tell they made the most of the time they had together.

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Watching the show tonight i learned that this beautiful young lady who had found the beautiful dress for her unforgettable night, had lost her battle to cancer. This made me tear up. Then i looked her up and to look through Erin and Adams pictures together really saddened me! Im so sorry to hear about the loss of Erin, may God bless her family, friends and especially Adam, to lose such a beautiful bride in such short time! May God bless her soul! May we all see her one day in heaven!

December 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRita

I loved watching Erin and Adam, the love and kindness that they had for each other. I was so sad to hear that Erin had lost her battle with Breast Cancer. It made me cry that she didn't make it. That her loved ones have to feel the pain of her passing. For Adam who loved her and is a very special Man, and who was Erin's Rock. I so happy that Erin was able to have a Special Love in her life. That she was able to share that special bond even for a short while with Adam. To The Pianko-Howarth Families you are in my thoughts and prayers. May Erin Pianko-Howarth Rest In Peace.

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRee-Ree

I just want to extend my heartfelt condolences to Adam and the rest of Erin's family and friends. It was so obvious of the deep love between them. Erin seemed like such a beautiful person, inside and out, who brought happiness to everyone who knew her. My prayers go out to Adam and to hold onto the beautiful memories of his time with Erin. And to Erin's parents, God gave you such a beautiful gift in Erin that will be etched in your hearts forever.

December 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I was so sad to see that Erin passed away. I saw her on Say Yes to the Dress. I was immediately reminded though of her husband's intuition. He said that they shouldn't put their wedding on hold because of cancer. She got to experience something every girl dreams of. She made a stunning bride. My condolences to her husband and family. May she rest in peace

February 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

You can see the date....I jus finished watching Erin on the show...I really thought it would end differently...it intrigued me so much that I searched her name on the wb...to all her family ndfreindsi wish you the best andalwaysknow that's he isin abetter place.

Aug. 2012
Another viewer impacted by her personality:)

August 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

Patricia, I love seeing giant spikes on this post, mostly after they rerun this particular episode. I hope it can help in the tribute to her life that clearly continues to touch many.

August 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterLouise

I just watched her episode of Say Yes to the Dress. I fell in love with her. I was so sad at the end when i found out that she had passed. She was beautiful. Love to all the family. She seemed like a wonderful person.

October 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Oh my goodness, I am sitting here crying looking at these pictures. Erin was on my mind. I was telling my coworkers about her being on "Say Yes To The Dress." We were talking about "The Flapper Years", and it made me think of Erin's Headpiece and Wrap. I searched Say Yes to The Dress and found her, then found this. I am deeply saddened. She was such a doll! Personality, Beauty, and just a upbeat presence about her. I am so sorry to her family and husband for their loss.
Kelley Usher
Moffitt Cancer CTR

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelley Usher

I just finished TLC's special, Say Yes to the Dress episode about its most heartfelt moments, or something similar to that. I saw Erin's story on there and her tribute at the end --- like others, I shed several tears for this woman and her family. She's just a year older than I and cancer isn't something that [you] really think about until someone you care about is diagnosed with it, you know? Or if YOU are the one with cancer, of course.

I have lost 3 immediate family members to cancer and helped my mother through cancer, as well -- fortunately, she was diagnosed early and made a full recovery. I know I have to keep on top of my own health appointments and stay proactive. Please keep this a priority!

I will pray for Erin's family. God bless.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I also just watched TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" episode with Erin and Adam. Her story was so positive and inspiring, and when I saw the tribute at the end for her I was shocked. My prayers go out to her husband and family. I'm so happy she was able to experience such a great love while she was on this earth. Let her life be a lesson to us to live life to the fullest and embrace every moment with those you love.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanine

I also just watched the episode of SYTTD featuring Erin and Adam and was so saddened and stunned to see that she had passed away. May God bless Adam and her entire family. May it serve as some comfort to know that Erin lives on and is still inspiring and empowering women with her story. May she rest in peace.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I just watched the episode of SYTTD online. I thought Erin was so fabulous I immediately wanted to look her up. How heartbreaking to read she passed away. You could tell she was a beautiful person in every sense of the word from the little bit of her life that was shared on the show.

January 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterS. Gore

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