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Pass The Smelling Salts…

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Granddaughter Weds In Nursing Home – Couple Switches Plans So Grandmother Can Participate

OMAHA, Neb. — When Rozalind Pietrantoni-Elliott, 23, became engaged, there was no question of what type of wedding she wanted.

“I always wanted a really big, I mean over the top ordeal,” said Pietrantoni-Elliott.

After their August engagement, the bride and her fiance, Joseph Elliott, immediately started planning a spare-no-expense wedding at Omaha’s Joslyn Castle.

Their plans changed in early December.

Click on the above link to read the rest of the story and watch a news video.

{ 69 comments… add one }
  • Enna January 18, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Couple sound very nice to me don’t think it is selfserving at all.

  • Cordelia January 18, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Some might see this as making a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, but I don’t find this very heartwarming. I cannot say whether they sought out the media for attention, and won’t judge either way on that point. However, the fact remains that they were originally planning, in the bride’s own words, an “ordeal”, and their interviews make clear that that’s exactly what they would have had if Grandma had not become sick. But Grandma gets sick, and Her Majesty deigns to get married sooner and closer to Grandma. Isn’t she special?

    I REFUSE to celebrate someone for doing what they should be doing as a matter of course. She is NOT of especially good character for drawing back from selfishness and extravagance. Selflessness and humility should be EXPECTED, NORMAL BEHAVIOR, not something we laud and celebrate just because selfishness and extravagance has become more common. Including family and friends should have been one of her priorities in planning a wedding, not something that occurred to her when she realized one of them could not make it to her grand party.

    I would not call her a ‘perfect bride’, but a reformed bridezilla at best.

  • Pam January 18, 2011, 1:38 pm

    If no one notifies the media about the “happy stories” then how will they be covered? If we want a more positive spin from our news sources, then we have to let them into the positive/self-LESS events.

  • bookworm January 18, 2011, 2:20 pm

    This is such a good story to start the week out with. This bride really knows that a good party is made when your guests are comfortable, not when you get everything you want.

  • Allie January 18, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Sorry, but I’m sticking to my guns. There’s no such thing as altruism, and if this was truly the sweet gesture it is portrayed to be, we wouldn’t ever have heard about it. The correct response to the reporter, regardless of how they “got wind of” the story would have been “Sorry, the matter is private. Go find a feel-good human interest story someplace else.” Just FYI, I took the following line to indicate that the bride and groom sought out attention, although it could be interpreted otherwise and simply be attributed to sloppily written/edited copy: “Elliott explained his offer to KETV.”

  • Sharon January 18, 2011, 5:06 pm

    Wow, Cordelia. Just… wow!


  • irish January 18, 2011, 5:26 pm

    @Cordelia, I don’t think there’s any reason for the assumption that the bride in the story was a ‘reformed bridezilla’. Wanting a big wedding in itself is not wrong, and I also don’t think there’s any indication that it suddenly occurred to the bride that she might include her family. There’s no indication that anyone was about to be left out before the grandmother became sick.

    To put in a personal illustration, my brother got married in the last year. A month before the wedding our last remaining grandparent had emergency surgery (no evidence of illness prior to this) and for a while we weren’t sure whether she would make it to the wedding. Though she improved hugely over the few weeks, she made the decision not to travel the 100 km or so to the wedding although her doctor told her she could if she so wished. It is not fair to say that everyone should change their plans to include family members who are suddenly unable to be involved. This couple was in a position to do so, though naturally it came at great inconvenience and probably financial loss, and I have huge admiration for them. But some couples can’t – it’s not for us to judge what’s possible in somebody else’s life.

  • alli_wan January 18, 2011, 6:11 pm

    “We can do something later on,” said Pietrantoni-Elliott. “Renewing our vows, an anniversary. Time isn’t our issue. There’s plenty of time for that.”

    The last line of the story is what sours it for me (and perhaps for other posters as well). What could have been a nice, sweet story (without the previous quotes about the ‘ordeal’ the bride was hoping for) is spoiled, like finding a hair in your slice of wedding cake.

    Why? Because the bride can ‘do something’ later on. She can have her real, fancy, princess party later, which makes it sound like this wasn’t a ‘real wedding’ and it will be upgraded in the future, when Grandma probably can’t make it. I’m particularly puzzled by the ‘time isn’t our issue’ comment. We assume that if the wedding was moved up and relocated for sickly Grandma, time was exactly the issue, because Grandma doesn’t have enough of it. What exactly do you have time for? Planning the wedding Grandma isn’t invited to?

    Do I think it’s nice that the bride included her Grandmother? Yes. Is that the only workable solution? No, depending on different aspects of Grandma’s health. Was the nursing home able to comfortably accomodate all the guests? Were the residents of the nursing home inconvenienced by the hubbub? We really don’t know.

    Press coverage of people doing what is expected and making normal sacrifices is frankly sort of tacky (but not knowing how large Omaha is, perhaps this does constitute news based on population size). I know that’s not necessarily the bride’s fault, for all we know the retirement home wants the press coverage, but it’s distressing how elevated these actions become in popular opinion. “Pass the smelling salts” indeed. While the story is arguably sweet, sentimental, and positive, but only ‘perfect’ and heroic if you have very low expectations.

    Sorry, my hanky stayed dry.

  • RP January 19, 2011, 12:33 am

    @ Cordelia – That’s quick a leap you took there. I hope you didn’t hurt yourself trying to reach that conclusion. Planning a large wedding does not make the bride selfish or a bridezilla. You have absolutely no reason to believe that the grandmother wouldn’t have been included had she not gotten sick.

    I’m particularly puzzled by the ‘time isn’t our issue’ comment.
    @alli_wan – The bride and groom don’t have a time limit on when to have the ceremony they had originally planned. There isn’t a law requiring that a ceremony happen within a certain timeframe so no, time isn’t an issue for having the original ceremony.

    Though from the rest of your comment perhaps you think that there should be a law against vow renewals in general? I don’t understand this. If they hadn’t been able to do the ceremony they wanted due to a really big storm or something then no one would blink at them doing it the ceremony when renewing their vows. But if plans got changed because someone became ill then you’re not allowed to ever renew your vows because then the original ceremony doesn’t count? That makes no sense.

    @ All Complaining That We Even Heard About This – Yes, you’re absolutely right. G-d forbid there ever be any nice, fluff pieces in the news. The news should always about bad things happening. After all, spreading knowledge about something nice occurring always undoes the good that was done by that event. Like how reporting on a soup kitchen makes the food in the stomachs of the people served disappear, reporting on this surely destroyed the memory of the marriage for the grandmother.

    I swear someone could singlehandedly end hunger worldwide and there would be people whining that “They only did it to try to get the Nobel Peace Prize, the jerk”. How depressing it must be to never be able to hear about anything nice without dismissing it just because you heard about it.

  • Anonymous January 19, 2011, 2:41 am

    Alli_Wan, I think that’s taking it a bit far. The couple didn’t say that they had time for “planning the wedding that Grandma wasn’t invited to”–I think they were skirting around the fact that, by July of 2012 (i.e., their original wedding date), Grandma might be DEAD. So, that’s why they were having a smaller wedding now, at the nursing home, where Grandma could participate. They weren’t planning to deliberately exclude her later, and they weren’t planning a second “gift-grab” event either–a vow renewal or anniversary party is different from a wedding, because gifts aren’t expected–it’s really just another party, and having a party isn’t rude in and of itself, as long as you don’t turn it into a gift grab, and you treat everyone with respect throughout the planning, preparation, and execution of the event. So, I don’t see anything wrong with what they did, only the fact that they publicized it.

  • Yertle Turtle January 19, 2011, 5:19 am

    alli_wan, I agree that the bride’s comments about ‘doing something later’ didn’t sit too well with me at first, but if she and her husband have their hearts set on throwing a big party in a more festive and roomy setting than a nursing home, I can only wish them a fun time. As long as they avoid gift-grabbiness and other etiquette evils they get a pass from me.
    I like to see gestures of kindness given attention in the media. Not every couple would consider doing this (I’ll admit I wouldn’t have, and I never wanted an OTT wedding) – maybe that doesn’t make it extremely heroic, but it’s sweet all the same.
    One news story is not exactly a media frenzy either.
    Cut the bride some slack, and give the groom credit too – it was his idea in the first place after all!

  • alli_wan January 19, 2011, 10:10 am

    In response to RP:

    Though from the rest of your comment perhaps you think that there should be a law against vow renewals in general? I don’t understand this. If they hadn’t been able to do the ceremony they wanted due to a really big storm or something then no one would blink at them doing it the ceremony when renewing their vows. But if plans got changed because someone became ill then you’re not allowed to ever renew your vows because then the original ceremony doesn’t count? That makes no sense.

    I don’t think there should be a law, I think ‘do-overs’ are tacky.

    Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we want it. Sometimes you actually have to sacrifice. If you make the sacrifice then have a big party later to negate that sacrifice, yes, I find that tacky.

    I also find it tacky to have a ‘small wedding’ and then a big white blowout later because a) you couldn’t afford it before or b) you sacrificed to accomodate something, either illness, pregnancy or deployment but then had the ‘real party’ later when the reason accomodated no longer mattered. (Like when Grandma is dead).

    Whether that is what the bride had in mind in her quote is not clear, it is entirely possible that she just planned on having a very nice anniversary party later, but when juxtaposed with her description of her ‘ordeal’, that isn’t the first interpretation that springs to mind. So it leaves a bad taste in my mouth and does not inspire me to hold her up as a paragon of etiquette. Honestly, sacrifice is called such because you give up something for something or someone else. Sacrifice is not ‘postpone until later’.

    I don’t think the bride and groom are bad people, but they are heroes to me either. Doing the expected standard is not heroic.

  • Cordelia January 19, 2011, 3:42 pm

    alli_wan: “Doing the expected standard is not heroic.”

    THANK YOU. 🙂

    The fact that they changed plans to accommodate a family member was very nice, but it is not laudable to do something you should be doing as a matter of course, just like you don’t weep with joy every time your child completes his homework, or buy him a pony each time he puts his dirty clothes in the hamper. Grace and civility should be something expected, not celebrated.

    Furthermore, the fact that they say they’ll do something big “later” (i.e., no worrying about Grandma’s attendance since she’s already been to the wedding) turns my stomach. It’s almost like the big party is worth nearly as much as Grandma’s presence. Not nice.

  • irish January 19, 2011, 3:44 pm

    Well alli_wan, who insisted that all brides should make a sacrifice? I don’t get the impression that she’s blowing her own horn. If anything she may have been downplaying what she did, just saying ‘well I don’t mind giving up my big wedding really, we can always have a party for everyone later’. Also, while I respect your views on do-overs, I think the concept of having a small family wedding followed by a big party is pretty common, and doesn’t violate etiquette at all (as long as it’s not just a gift grab).

    Wanting to include your grandmother and wanting a big marital celebration in a castle are not mutually exclusive. I love my family, I’d like to think I would give up a lot for them. But I still want to visit the Caribbean some day, and why shouldn’t I? The bride has every right to a later celebration, it’s her marriage and presumably her money. No, I don’t think the bride and groom are heroes either, but I think they went above what was necessary and for that they deserve either praise, or just no reaction.

  • Sharon January 19, 2011, 4:58 pm

    RP, I think your last paragraph hit the nail on the head. No matter what good a person does there will always be people who find fault and nit pick it to pieces.
    Sorry, but some of the posters here sound like a mean mother in law, nothing you ever do is gonna be good enough, but by golly you better keep trying if you know what’s good for you!

    I don’t think anyone would call the bride’s actions “heroic”. Her actions were NICE. And, forgive me, I like to hear about people doing nice things. Even if it is a small thing that is not out of the ordinary, I still like to hear about something nice. (Although, the bride’s grandmother might beg to differ with you, she probably does think her granddaughter and her new groom are heroes.)

  • Anonymous January 19, 2011, 5:11 pm

    Alli_Wan, I don’t get why you think vow renewals are so horrible, but anniversary parties are okay, just because the first implies a “do-over” type situation, and the second is a different party altogether, even if the festivities are pretty much the same. I guess what I’m trying to say is, the reason why this was a nice thing to do wasn’t because they “made a sacrifice,” but rather, because they made it possible for Grandma to participate in their wedding. That doesn’t mean that they can NEVER have their special day, and I don’t think that Grandma would object to it if they wanted to have a bigger celebration later on, after she’s either healthy enough to participate (because, after all, it was just a minor heart attack), or no longer with them, if things go the other way.

  • NoSoupForYou January 20, 2011, 5:14 am

    Wow. I can’t believe how nasty and ungracious some posters here are being. I read that news story and thought, What an amazing, sweet thing that young woman and her fiance did! Honestly, in this Age of Bridezilla that is the 21st century, how many stories like this one do we hear? Answer: not nearly enough. It seems to me that the selfish, OTT bride is not only a la mode but perfectly acceptable to society in general and even expected. There’s a whole generation of young girls being brought up on Bad Behavior reality shows; congratulations to the bride and groom for setting an outstanding and, sadly, increasingly rare example.

  • Silverlining January 24, 2011, 9:57 pm

    “Furthermore, the fact that they say they’ll do something big “later” (i.e., no worrying about Grandma’s attendance since she’s already been to the wedding) turns my stomach. It’s almost like the big party is worth nearly as much as Grandma’s presence. Not nice.”

    Maybe it’s not the big party. How many people do you think the bride would have loved to share the day with (and who would have loved to share the day with her) weren’t able to do that?

  • Crystal January 25, 2011, 3:42 pm

    For the posters that thought the final comment about “plenty of time for that later” spoiled an otherwise nice gesture:

    To be honest, I understood the comment in a completely different way. For me, it underscored the idea that a marriage is not a single-day wedding event… it’s a lifetime commitment. They have all the time in the world if they decide they want a big party for a vow renewal or anniversary celebration. It was more important in the present to be certain that her grandmother was honored and included in their ceremony, because she doesn’t share that same luxury of time. For too many bride(zilla)s, it’s all about that one and only day – not about the idea that you have the rest of your life to be with this person… to celebrate, and sing, and dance, and cry, and sometimes yell. Time is not an issue for them, because they have a lifetime of memories to make – big and small – whether they decide on a huge, over-the-top party or not.

    I know everyone has a unique perspective, and my own view was one of a thoughtful, loving gesture. It genuinely made me smile to see a news piece that didn’t include anger, hate, and pain.

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