Boda, Hacienda Heights

A change in plans

Soon after Sean and I got engaged, we started checking out wedding sites and blogs. We did some initial planning. I wrote a just family guest list for my side. It was over 150 people. We didn’t have anything set just yet, but first on the list was to make an appointment to talk to one of the priests at St. John Vianney. I had no doubts that I wanted to get married at SJV. I daydreamed about it last August at my neighbor Jorge’s wedding to his high school sweetheart, Heather.

Heather and her father

I talked about having the wedding at SJV with my mom. We discussed Sean going through RCIA (he has to become Catholic first). She was really happy to hear a Catholic wedding was part of our plans.

Less than ten days later, SJV was burned down by an arsonist. After I processed the news and watched the video of the fire and viewed the photos, I immediately thought of the fall 2012 wedding I wanted. It’s not going to happen in the same church where I made my First Communion, celebrated my quinceañera, and was confirmed.

What it looks like now...

I cried when I saw the burnt doors on the LA Times photo gallery. “Those were the doors I was supposed to stand behind on my wedding day,” I thought. I’m not going to stand nervously in the narthex (foyer, sorta) with my arm hooked through my dad’s arm. He isn’t going to walk me down the aisle. I’m not going to kneel at the sanctuary in front of the altar and say my vows there in front of my family and friends. I’m not going to hear the pianist play Canon in D on the gorgeous pipe organ. My mom and Sean’s mom won’t light the candle in front of the lectern. I won’t take a bouquet to the statue of the Virgin Mary on the left side of the church. Sean and I won’t walk down the aisle together. And we won’t be greeted and congratulated by friends and family outside.

I felt somewhat selfish thinking all this, but couldn’t help it. I never envisioned what my wedding reception would look like except that it would be big and there would be a mariachi, those things were a given since I’m Mexican. But the ceremony? That was a different story.

And now it’s changed


9 thoughts on “A change in plans

  1. Jorge Ortiz says:

    Sorry Cindy! This must be really hard on you and on so many other people that had the same dream as you did. Heather and I always envisioned our wedding ceremony at SJV and we were able to realize that dream last year. The next day I though about all the people who had made plans for this summer/year to get married there or have their quincenera and realized that those dreams were no loner possible. Its sad and hurts our hearts every time we think about it. Heather and I were fortunate enough to have had our ceremony at SJV. Bryan was going to do his first communion next month and it hurts to know that he wont be doing it inside our beautiful church anymore. I wish this was a dream and this never happened….

  2. diana says:


    I’m so sorry about your dreams and what you and the rest of your parish is going through. I thought and prayed for you all this Sunday at church. I can’t imagine my church burning down at this time of year.

  3. the mama says:

    Cindy your wedding mass is going to be just as beautiful if not more, because you are surrounded by pepole that love you and care for you. The church continues in our hearts.
    Cindy I love you and I cried a lot when I read this, but all your dreams will come ture I know because you have a good man supporting you.

  4. Ericka, Tasha & Sherisa: Thanks all for the kind words and condolences. It still saddens me to know that so many people were hurt emotionally by the work of an arsonist(s).

    Your and Heather’s wedding was beautiful and I’m thankful I got to be part of it. Will Bryan’s First Communion be at another church? It seemed like Fr. Tim mentioned that some of the upcoming sacraments like communions and confirmations will be held at nearby churches.

    Thanks for the prayers. It’s actually kinda neat to see people I know in the news stories. It reminds me that it really is a tight knit community and SJV will come through this stronger.

    Didn’t mean to make you cry. The location is just one aspect, the people are what I really want… I am sad I won’t get to hear Fabiola sing in SJV. She would’ve sounded awesome there.

  5. I’m sorry about your plans having to change! That really sucks. I can’t speak from experience (yet) but I think wedding plans would be less stressful if we could be flexible about things. Which is hard because as girls we fantasize our whole lives about the fairytale. I hope you find a back up location that you like!

    By the way, I made the same list for “just family” and it was like 100!!! My poor boyfriend. He has a tiny family. LOL

  6. Lisa, thanks. It’s definitely added another to-do to the long list of wedding stuff that we’ve barely begun to tackle. I think the priests from SJV can still marry us but will have the ceremony at a nearby church.

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