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A Bride Held Her Wedding Reception At An Alzheimer's Home So Her Mom Could Attend

If Mom can't come to the wedding, bring the wedding to Mom.

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Linda Napolitano's end-stage Alzheimer's meant she wouldn't be able to attend her daughter Julia's Nov. 7 wedding. Instead, Julia brought the celebration to her.

Justin Phillips / Via Gravidee Photography gravideedesign.com

Linda was diagnosed with the disease six years ago and now lives in Silverado Oak Village, an Alzheimer's home in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. Julia and her husband, Justin Phillips, arranged to have a mini reception at Silverado Oak Village before the formal reception.

They included a note in the ceremony programs inviting guests to the mini reception; nearly all of the guests attended.

Justin Phillips / Via Gravidee Photography gravideedesign.com

The staff arranged for Linda to get her hair, makeup, and nails done before the special event. The mini reception, which included a cake-cutting and dancing, was also open to all residents of the home.

"We were overwhelmed by the support of our friends and family as they joined us," Phillips told BuzzFeed. "People who never knew Linda at all came to spend some time with us and there wasn't a dry eye to be found."

Justin Phillips / Via Gravidee Photography gravideedesign.com

"I'm an only child, so taking care of my mom has always been in the back of my mind," Julia told Today.com of the importance of celebrating with her mom. "But as a girl in my 20s, to hear that my mom had been diagnosed with this horrible disease... you just think, 'Oh my gosh. No.'"

"She may not be the same person in every sense, but she is alive," she added. "And we need to share that life, even if it's only for a short amount of time."

"What was really magical was the moment when she danced with my dad," Julia continued.

Justin Phillips / Via Gravidee Photography gravideedesign.com

"They swayed to the music, and as you can imagine, it was extremely emotional," she said of her parents, who have been married for 30 years. "He always assumed she would be there to give away their only daughter."

"Even though her mom's cognitive functions are severely diminished, all of the nurses have said that Linda has been in the best mood ever since that day," Phillips told BuzzFeed Life.

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