Kandice Benford had more than the usual bridal worries about her hair and makeup on her wedding day. The 32-year-old hairstylist developed a serious case of vitiligo in the days and weeks leading up to her nuptials—and, she tells The Knot, stress may have been to blame.
“I just worry a lot and wanted everything to be perfect for our big day,” she says. “I started seeing more spots appear in April after my husband got sick.”
According to Benford, she first developed vitiligo, a condition in which the skin loses pigmentation, back in college, but the spot quickly went away. This time, however, the spots appeared on her skin. Luckily for Benford, her husband-to-be, Elliott, was a source of unwavering support.
“I was ok with it at first [because] it was only a little, so I hid them,” she says. “When it started spreading more, my husband told me I didn’t need to hide it. I’m beautiful without it. I told myself that I had to toughen up and love myself even more. With the support of my husband and family encouragement, I’m able to do anything!”
Benford told People that she opted to go with minimal makeup on her wedding day just to make sure that natural beauty Elliott was so crazy about would shine through.
And the confidence worked; Benford tells The Knot that her wedding day was “perfect.”
“I was so nervous,” she says. “[But] after it was all done, I wish I could’ve done it again. My favorite moment was when it was over and I could breathe again and start my new journey with my husband. I love that Elliott is very supportive and always has my back.”
The Mississippi newlyweds are now enjoying married life, and looking back, Benford concludes to us that her experience with vitiligo has taught her that there’s very little she can’t do with Elliott by her side.
“I just want to encourage other couples to love one another through the good and the bad and to always put each other first,” she says.