Widow recreates Friends wedding dress scene after husband’s tragic death

Katie Swantek and her friends. (Photo: CATERS NEWS/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)
Katie Swantek and her friends. (Photo: CATERS NEWS/MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)

A bereaved woman got together with her best friends, who all wore their wedding dresses, and they recreated an iconic scene from the hit show Friends to help deal with the passing of her spouse.

Katie Swantek (31) from Nebraska in the US, decided to make new memories in her wedding dress because she didn’t want it to make her feel sad anymore.

Katie lost her husband, Brett (29), in a kayaking accident in June.

“We got married in 2015, had our first child the next year and Brett was unfortunately taken from us in June 2019,” Katie says.

“A friend advised me to clean out my closet and I came across my wedding dress. I remembered how happy I was the last time I wore it.

“I knew I needed to make new memories with the things that were important to me and Brett, so I put the dress on for the day.

“I thought that if I wore it just for no reason, people would think I’m crazy. So I figured let’s not to do it alone,” she says.

She called up her friends and the group of women spent the evening recreating the legendary scene from Friends where Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe are drinking in their wedding gowns telling tales of past relationships.

Katie says Friends is one of her favourite shows and this specific episode resonated with her at this point in her life.

“We didn’t cry and we weren’t sad. We were just happy together in our wedding dresses and we laughed for hours and hours. It was so needed.

“One of my friends couldn’t zip hers up to the top anymore, well a few of us couldn’t and we were in hysterics over that,” the x-ray technician and a volunteer EMT says.

Katie Swantek and her friends

She also organized a photographer to snap pics of the evening.

“I have new pictures of me in my dress, so now I can look at it and smile again. It was one of the best things I’ve done since Brett’s passing. It made me realize how wonderful and supportive my friends are.”

Brett, who was a sales manager and volunteer firefighter, loved kayaking. But two months ago during a kayaking session, he fell under the water and didn’t come back up. He was found 10 days later.

Katie Swantek and her friends

“We knew it was him. We saw his hand floating above the water and I recognized his wedding ring,” Katie says.

“He was amazing and everything I could have ever wanted.”

Katie says she would recommend what she and her friends did, to any grieving widow.

“My drunken, wedding dress-wearing evening was amazing. I never expected to be able to smile in that dress again but doing this was the only way I could make new memories in the dress I wore when I married the love of my life. It became a tool of my on-going recovery.”

Source: Magazine Features


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24