Clare Crawley‘s mom wasn’t able to be there on her wedding day. The 42-year-old former Bachelorette revealed on the latest episode of iHeartRadio’s Most Dramatic Podcast Ever With Chris Harrison that her mom, Lilia, who battles Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, was not at her February wedding to Ryan Dawkins.
“I wanted to get married in Mexico. We both found this spot in Mexico. We were like, ‘This is our spot. We’re going to have this big celebration,'” Crawley said. “I’d been waiting forever to get married.”
The reality of Crawley’s mom’s health hit her then, as Lilia is “in the late stages” of dementia.
“I always wanted to get married June 21. It’s summer solstice. I was like, ‘What if she doesn’t make it to June 21?'” Crawley said. “She ended up getting really sick [in the] end of January. And so I said, ‘Let’s have a mini little wedding because she won’t be able to make it to Mexico anyway. A little mini wedding just for her. A special little one for us, for her.’ We were almost going to stage this tiny little wedding for her to be there.”
So, she and Dawkins set out to plan that ceremony, which was only going to have his two daughters and parents, as well as Crawley’s best friend and mom, in attendance.
“Not even my sisters were coming. We wanted to make it tiny. Everybody [else] was going to come to the big wedding,” she explained, while getting choked up. “But my mom ended up the day before getting really, really sick. She wasn’t able to make it. She’s OK still, but she was just really sick at the time and couldn’t leave the nursing home.”
Even so, Crawley said her big day was “the most perfect wedding.”
“Ryan, by nature, is an event planner, so he planned the whole wedding. I was kind of frozen with, what do we do? It was very last minute stuff and I was so worried about my mom,” she said. “But he took the reins, he planned everything… We had a little ceremony. We had the best vows to each other, super personal. It was in the spot that we had our first kiss. It was just the greatest little spot.”
After the ceremony, Crawley and Dawkins “we went to In-N-Out, got some burgers, and then went, in our outfits and everything, and saw my mom.”
Now, the couple is foregoing their Mexico plans, with Crawley explaining, “Turns out we’re not having the June 21 wedding, because that was everything I’ve ever dreamed of.”
Crawley previously revealed that she and Dawkins planned to have two weddings, one intimate ceremony with her mom and a destination ceremony later on.
“My mom is not able to travel or be around a lot of people, it’s overwhelming for her. I just want a special moment with her, for us to have a small, intimate ceremony,” Crawley said on the Almost Famous OG podcast last October. “[Dawkins] knows how much my mom means to me and how important she is in our lives. He also wants her to be there for the wedding. Time is precious and time is limited, so we want one with her, just a small intimate thing.”
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