Even though it was already 7:15 pm, they gave themselves twenty-four hours to throw together a wedding. The bride immediately called her best friend in Manhattan and asked her to buy her a white dress from Zara. She got there just as the store was closing, but the staff stayed open—and pulled the store apart looking for the perfect dress—after they heard Richards’ heartbreaking story. But her friend hit a snag when she got to the FedEx office; it was after 9 p.m., and they could not accept anymore packages.
“She starting crying and pleading with people there to ship the package,” shares Richards. “One of the drivers overheard and took the box from her. He wrote the mailing information in pencil and had no receipt or tracking number to give her, but miraculously, the package got to me the very next morning.”
The very next morning, Killip’s parents and two of his three sisters also arrived—just in time to decorate the Richards’ family home where the ceremony would take place. Just after sundown on April 2nd, their Rabbi, Lewis Lamrass, performed the ceremony with Richards’ father watching.
“It’s about time,” he commented, “clad in a tuxedo and beaming the moment his daughter,” described the couple. After the ceremony, her father spoke about his wonderful memories with his family and the wonderful memories he expected they’d make in the years to come.
After the ceremony and his speech, Dr. Richards felt very tired, and he went to lie down. Richards adds, crying now, “But he never really got up again.” The next morning, he passed away—hours after receiving one of his greatest wishes: seeing his daughter married.
“It was an incredible rush of emotions, absolutely insane,” says Richard. “But in the end, my dad got his wish, and that’s all we really wanted.”
After losing her father, Richards didn’t feel ready to have the legal ceremony, so the couple waited until June 3rd when they were officially married and celebrated with the family and friends who couldn’t make it to the first ceremony.
Both Richards and her mother say they felt like their father and husband was still there.
Richards says, “I feel my dad’s presence every day…When I walked down the aisle, I was thinking, ‘Be strong,’ and how much I wish he could have been there. He would have been proud and overjoyed for us.”