In a year when natural disasters, political turmoil and social unrest dominated the headlines, it was especially important to remember the ties that bind people together—namely, that of romantic and familial love. And 2017 had no lack of that. Funny fashion faux pas, empowered brides and tales of sweet love were among The Knot’s top 10 viral stories of the year. Read on to see which stories made the cut.
Lenore Cusick’s opinionated grandmother, Jean “G” Altman, had one important request for her granddaughter’s wedding day: that they strike a particular pose to commemorate Cusick’s big day. “G requested weeks prior to the wedding that she would like a photo of her holding the bride’s dress,” photographer Virgil Bunao told The Knot. “I almost forgot about it. Then, she brought it to my attention during the family photo session, and said, ‘When are we going to do my photo?’”
When Olympic gold medalist Shaunae Miller brainstormed how she wanted to pose with her eight bridesmaids, her thoughts turned to strength. Specifically, feminine strength. Miller and her eight bridesmaids donned matching one-piece swimsuits (hers was a plain white one with a corset top, while her bridesmaids donned black ones with the words “Bride Squad” emblazoned across the front) and posed for a professional swimsuit shoot in the Bahamas, where Miller grew up.
“All of my ladies are fit,” Miller told The Knot in an exclusive interview. “And I thought it would be a great way to show the strength of women.”
It’s (many) women’s worst nightmare: show up to a party wearing the same dress as someone else. Or perhaps more unthinkable still, five other women. In September, six wedding guests showed up to their pal’s nuptials in the same lace, navy, tailored pencil-dress, and the image of them posing together with the bride went, inevitably, viral.
Selfless bride Jess Nakryako had a lot on her mind on her wedding day—because in addition to walking down the aisle, she was in on a plan to help her best friend Jessica Kieley get engaged as well. At the reception, Nakryako passed Kieley her flowers during the bouquet toss, and Kieley’s boyfriend, Adam Brake, was down on one knee at the ready to pop the big question immediately after. The sweet story caught like fire on social media and reminded us of the power of love, times two!
Everything old is new again! When children’s book author Tammi Sauer shared a few throwback photos from her very ‘90s wedding to Facebook, along with a picture of the entire wedding party along with the caption: “Sorry about those dresses, ladies,” she likely didn’t expect what happened next. One of her bridesmaids, Heidi Mann, wanted to prove that there were no hard feelings about the floor-length, burgundy velour dress; in fact, she’d taken to wearing it around the home. Photos Mann shared online quickly went viral, and it’s not hard to see why.
Cassie Young wasn’t having it when a personal trainer tried to guilt her into slimming down for her wedding day. The bride-to-be shared screen grabs of a fiery exchange between herself and the unnamed trainer, who suggested that Young needed to “get in shape.”
“If you think of life as a ‘game’ with being skinny as how you ‘win,’ this guy is offering to play by the rules and get you there. I’m telling you the game is BOGUS. You don’t need the game. I reject the game,” she wrote. “Go be happy and live it to your fullest.”
One bride from Boise, Idaho, shared the ultimate “first look” when she donned her grandmother’s vintage 1962 wedding dress. Jordyn Cleverly wanted to keep the reveal a total surprise, and it worked. After seeing her granddaughter in the dress for the first time, Penny Jensen was “speechless,” according to Cleverly. “All I heard her saying in the back was, ‘Wow, wow, wow.’ I finally went up and hugged her and she whispered in my ear, ‘I married my high school sweetheart in this dress and so will you.’”
Roseann Sdoia had a lot of thoughts coursing through her on the day her leg was blown off at the Boston Marathon in April 2013, but finding love likely wasn’t one of them. What happened, however, is the stuff of fairy tales. Sdoia slowly but surely fell in love with the firefighter who saved her, Mike Materia. In the weeks and months following her hospitalization, Sdoia recalled to the New York Post this past February, she grew fond of Materia. “I was probably not the nicest to him from the get-go,” she said of their first meeting. “I was in pain. But now, we laugh and blame it on the morphine.”
Erin Goldberg had the ultimate surprise for her husband-to-be when the pair was set to take their “first look” photos on their wedding day—in place of the typical gown and hair and makeup, she decided to ditch the gown and opt for an oversized cat shirt and sweats instead. “We will remember how much pressure it took off the rest of the wedding day process having started off with that hysterical, laughing moment that just the two of us shared,” Goldberg told Yahoo. “It was a lot easier to relax and take more serious (and incredible) first-look photos when we were more comfortable.”
This is the story of the BEST first look I’ve ever witnessed. A few weeks ago, Erin reached out to me to adjust the timeline because she wanted to do a “fake” first look. I had no clue what she meant by that, but soon described to me this GORGEOUS cat shirt 😹 and 10 year old sweat pants and I knew this had to be done! Ean thought he was going to see his bride in her stunning gown (which I will absolutely be posting about later), only to turn around and see this glorious outfit. It was amazing. SO AMAZING. And so hilarious, so I had to share this story and these hysterical photos with you all. Enjoy! And congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Goldberg! 😸😻😼
Get the tissues ready! The most viral story of the year is a tear-jerker: North Carolina couple Laura Browning Grant and her husband, Navy SEAL Jonathan Grant, experienced an emotional roller coaster earlier this year when Jonathan was involved in a car accident that left him in a coma and then with severe brain damage.
After undergoing months of physical therapy, Jonathan was finally able to take slow steps again; the viral moment took place on one of his better days, when he could not only walk, but also plant a big kiss on his wife of five years.