Weddings

Bride Who Was Told She Would Never Walk Again Dances At Her Wedding

She's an inspiration.

In 2008, Jaquie Goncher of Marietta, Georgia was paralyzed from the neck down after she dove into a friend’s pool and broke her neck.

Jaquie and Andy Goncher said their "I dos" at <a href="http://apracticalwedding.com/ambient-plus-studio/" target="_blank">Ambient Plus Studio</a> in Atlanta.&nbsp;
Jaquie and Andy Goncher said their "I dos" at Ambient Plus Studio in Atlanta. 

Initially, Goncher’s surgeon told her the chances of her walking again were “too small to put a percentage on” ― but the grim prognosis didn’t deter her.

A year before her May 22 wedding in Atlanta, Georgia, she made it her goal to stand on the big day without the use of her wheelchair. And when the date came, she surprised guests by not only walking down the aisle, but also standing most of the day and even dancing at the reception.

Along with Andy, the bride said her mother has been her biggest supporter through it all. "She has held me and let me cry on her shoulder when I needed a pity party moment and she has celebrated me when I have achieved any goal."
Along with Andy, the bride said her mother has been her biggest supporter through it all. "She has held me and let me cry on her shoulder when I needed a pity party moment and she has celebrated me when I have achieved any goal."
Against all odds, the bride and groom shared a dance at the reception.&nbsp;
Against all odds, the bride and groom shared a dance at the reception. 

“I didn’t want to waste the miracle that God had given me by just accepting the comfort I’d developed in using the wheelchair,” the bride told The Huffington Post. “I wanted our wedding photos to symbolically show the long journey I’d been through.”

The couple was radiating love on their wedding day.&nbsp;
The couple was radiating love on their wedding day. 
Goncher looked beyond stunning in her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BJA92_2hI9P/?taken-by=elizabethdye" target="_blank">Elizabeth Dye gown</a>.&nbsp;
Goncher looked beyond stunning in her Elizabeth Dye gown

The first glimmer of hope came in the early stages of recovery when Goncher discovered she was able to wiggle her toes.

“[My surgeon] was completely shocked when he heard,” she said. “I remember when my mom told him he said, ‘In her lower extremities? Can I see?!’ He was definitely surprised.”

The couple met through a dating app in 2013.&nbsp;
The couple met through a dating app in 2013. 

Although Goncher was making strides, the road to rehabilitation was challenging, to say the least. In addition to physical therapy, she spent two to three hours in the gym six days a week, walking on the treadmill, using the stationary bike and building strength with core and leg exercises.

The photographers were with the bride&nbsp;for about nine hours on the day of the wedding. "She definitely stood the majority of the day. It was unreal."&nbsp;
The photographers were with the bride for about nine hours on the day of the wedding. "She definitely stood the majority of the day. It was unreal." 

Only a select few knew of Goncher’s plans to walk at the wedding. And even those who knew it was going to happen, like her husband Andy, were overcome with emotion. Photographers Halie and Alec of Love Stories by Halie and Alec told HuffPost that there were a lot of happy tears that day.

“Looking back on the photos, we can now see that everyone was just as in awe and emotional as we were,” they said. “But in the moment, neither of us could look at anyone else but her. We were shooting through tears in our eyes.”

The groom got emotional during the ceremony.&nbsp;
The groom got emotional during the ceremony. 

Through all the ups and downs, Goncher said Andy ― who she met in 2013 on a dating app called Let’s Date ― has been a supportive and loving presence in her life.

“He has believed in me and my goals but through it all I always knew no matter what the outcome, he would be my side,” she told HuffPost. “He made it so easy for me to open up to him about all the little embarrassing things that come with a spinal cord injury. He just loved me for who I was from the very beginning. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.”

Below, more photos from the day:

Emotional Grooms At Weddings