For some brides, walking down the aisle can be overwhelming symbolically, but for Gina Giaffoglio, who was left paralysed from the waist down after a car accident in 2008, it would be more difficult than that.
But she amazed her guests by making her wedding day even more special by walking down the aisle, supported by her father, as this amazing video shows.
After her accident, Gina, 27, a former athelete, underwent physical therapy and stayed fit, keeping her job at her father's gym. After her recovery, she reconnected with a man she had known since high school, John Springhower and the two started a relationship. When John proposed in 2012, she decided what she wanted most was to be able to walk down the aisle after spending six years in a wheelchair.
Wearing a special leg brace designed to be concealed by her wedding gown, and crutches, Gina underwent a year and a half of physical therapy to train herself to be strong enough to walk down the aisle.
Her fiance John, and her close family knew her plan, but to the rest of her guests, it was a total surprise. When she began walking down the aisle, many guests were overwhelmed and more than a few joyful tears were shed.
In an interview with American TV network KETV7, Gina's dad Gary said "I told her, 'Whether we roll down that aisle or whether we walk down that aisle, we're going to do this.' It's been her dream."
Gina's positive attitude and enthusiasm was what attracted John to her when they met. She said "He's just that wonderful of a guy that he doesn't see the chair. He just sees me for me and forgets about how I get around," Gina, 27, told KETV7.
Gina commented "When you can't feel anything, and you're doing something you used to do that you used to take for granted – because I did, everybody does. When you're back up and doing it, especially having dad on my arm, it's a floating sensation you can't even explain. It's not even about the walking; your emotions are floating." She hopes that her story will inspire others to appreciate the little things they take for granted in life.
Her story was captured by KETV7, watch below - but make sure you've got some tissues to hand.
Words: Victoria Gray, Images/video: KETV7