Watch: Bride who lost her sight asks her groom and guests to wear blindfolds as she walks down the aisle
A bride who lost her sight before her wedding asked her husband-to-be and guests to wear blindfolds so they could experience the big day in the same way she would.
Lucy Edwards, 27, a content creator and broadcaster from Birmingham, first began losing her sight at the age of 11 and six years later went completely blind.
She met her partner, Ollie Cave, 27, a VFX artist, in 2015 before she lost her vision and the couple got engaged in June 2018.
While planning their nuptials, Edwards came up with the idea of asking the wedding party to be blindfolded as she walked down the aisle so everyone would experience the moment in the same way.
“I didn’t think I’d be a blind bride when I met Ollie," Edwards explains.
"I was the happiest I’d ever been on my wedding day, but also the saddest."
While she only told a few people about the blindfolding as some people had expressed concern it wasn't "traditional", the newlywed says her guests were shocked at how sensory the moment was.
“By the end of the main ceremony, everyone’s blindfolds were wet with tears," she adds.
When she was four Edwards was diagnosed with incontentia pigmenti - a rare genetic skin condition which can cause a person to lose their vision.
She originally lost sight in her right eye at the age of 11, but by 17, she was totally blind.
By then, she’d been dating her now-husband, Cave, for a few months.
"I was sighted when we first got together," Edwards says.
"But there was always this looming prospect that one day I’d lose my vision.
"I had to tell myself it was a possibility - but I still had hope."
The couple set the wedding date for August 31, 2023, and, in 2022, Edwards decided she didn’t want her friends and family to see her walking down the aisle.
While those she told of the plan were concerned she’d be missing out on her big moment, Edwards says she felt it was more important for them to experience what she'd been living every day.
Edwards says she still grieves the loss of her sight, even 10 years on, but tries to remain as positive as she can.
Before the couple's special day they made plans to help make the event as accessible as possible.
They chose Kew Gardens for the venue, having looked into a tour guide who provides audio descriptions for tourists.
"I worked closely with a brand to make sure there was lots of signage all around the venue - which had QR codes that gave people audio descriptions," Edwards adds.
"Our place settings were written in Braille for the meal and we had lots of sensory food.
"We adapted the canapés so they wouldn’t spill on my white dress by glazing them in sauce instead of providing dips."
Edwards also ensured her dress was really tactile.
"I could feel the glitter under the chiffon of my dress - and each individual flower," she explains.
As her guests put on their blindfolds, Edwards made her entrance to Arrival of the Birds, part of the Theory of Everything film score.
"As I walked down the aisle, the instruments got to a crescendo," she says of the moment.
"You could smell the flowers, too. It was quite overwhelming for everyone.
"I think people were shocked at just how much they could hear.
"It was a sad moment, but really poignant. I’ve never felt two conflicting emotions so deeply.
“My chest was heaving, but at the same time I was absolutely buzzing. I had butterflies because I was marrying the man I love."
At the end of the aisle, Cave felt his bride's wedding dress to take it all in before removing his blindfold to lay eyes on his wife-to-be.
Speaking of the moment, the groom says: "It was one of the most emotional moments I’ve ever experienced.
"My blindfold was already getting a bit wet before the first bridesmaid made it down the aisle but when I heard the bells on our dog's collar I properly broke down.
"It meant that Lucy was on her way and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited.
"We really wanted to make this moment something that was equal for both of us and I wouldn’t have changed the way we did it.
"For that brief moment, everyone was experiencing Lucy’s world."
Additional reporting SWNS.