For engaged couples across the world, the period leading up to their wedding can be incredibly exciting. Emma Letts can certainly attest to that, as she continues to prepare for her big day in August 2019. However, after her bridal shoes arrived in March, the bride-to-be caught a glimpse of a surprising message on their soles.
A resident of Kibworth Beauchamp, England, Letts’ life changed forever on Christmas Day back in 2016. On that day, she and her partner Richard Wilson became engaged. Unfortunately for the happy couple, though, that news was overshadowed by a heartbreaking announcement in January 2017, which left the bride-to-be crestfallen.
Indeed, Letts’ mother found out that she was suffering from lung cancer at that point, and the prognosis wasn’t too promising. According to the doctors, she had around a year or two left to live. With that in mind, the family matriarch planned to leave various messages to her relatives in the form of written letters.
Later that year, Letts’ mom sadly succumbed to her cancer, passing away before her daughter’s wedding day. Unsurprisingly, the bride-to-be was left heartbroken by what happened. “It’s been so hard planning a wedding without having her with me, and I have had lots of tears,” she admitted to BBC News in March 2019.
As Letts suggested, the wedding plans continued to take shape despite her mother’s illness, with the ceremony set for the summer of 2019. On that note, her bridal shoes arrived in March from Lace and Love, a wedding shoe designer based in Leicestershire, England. A woman named Amanda Weise operates the business.
Weise gave a bit of background on Lace and Love’s origin via the company’s official website, explaining how her business came together. “When getting married to my husband Kevin I wanted some lace, vintage looking shoes to match our wedding,” she wrote on the site’s About page. “I couldn’t find anything anywhere. So eventually I had lace designs painted onto my shoes.”
On that note, Weise’s sister faced a similar issue ahead of her big day some 12 months later. However, after finding some lace shoes that cost more than $900, the designer decided to take action. “While chatting one night and looking at similar priced pairs, I announced that I could probably do that!” she continued.
“So a few pairs of practice shoes were purchased in preparation for [my sister’s] big day,” Weise wrote. “I posted the pictures of my creations to a page I created, just to see what my friends thought and get some feedback. That page quickly gained a lot of followers, even from outside of my friends list.”
With that in mind, Weise then summed up how the company has grown in that time. “Initially just a fan page, I made pairs for family and friends so I could showcase the pictures,” she added. “Now, Lace and Love is a fully fledged business with customers from all over the world.”
From there, Weise listed off the various accolades that Lace and Love has earned since then, highlighting the company’s success. In addition to that, she’s provided shoes for a celebrity ceremony, while also appearing on television as well. Indeed, the designer featured in an episode of the reality show Don’t Tell the Bride.
At that point, Weise then lifted the lid on the inner workings of Lace and Love. “I still work alone,” she wrote on the business’ About page. “My husband helps out with the technical side when I need him, such as updating my website, as I have no patience for technology!”
“Oh and the dog offers emotional support by trying to cuddle me when I’m working and looking at me with big brown eyes!” Weise concluded. “So that’s us in a nutshell. I will keep making the world more beautiful, one pair of shoes at a time and hope you choose us to make your feet unique.”
However, the shoes that Letts obtained in March 2019 were “unique” for a very different reason. Some time after the order had first been made, her mom sent a message to Lace and Love, offering to buy them instead. Alongside that gesture, she also had a very special request for Weise.
As Letts took a closer look at her new shoes, she discovered a hidden message engraved on both of the soles. “Wanted you to have a gift from me on your wedding day,” it read. “Your wedding shoes are my gift to you. Hope you have a magical day. Lots and lots of love and big hugs, MUM xxxx.”
Unsurprisingly, Letts was incredibly emotional after unpacking the special pair of heels. “I had absolutely no idea; my fiancé knew about it,” she recalled to BBC News. “It was just an absolute shock. I pulled out the one shoe and I saw part of the message and I couldn’t think who it would be.”
Letts then spoke about her immediate reaction after reading the message, which led her to touch upon the letters that her mother had written. She said, “I started to cry.” Then she continued. “I was just absolutely in bits.” And then she added, “I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk. I didn’t get a letter [from my mom], she just ran out of time. So this is special to me.”
With that in mind, Letts made a post about her mother’s gift on Facebook, outlining her delight at the time. “I cannot stop looking at my beautiful shoes,” the Kibworth Beauchamp resident wrote on the social media website. “I am totally in love.” The subsequent responses to that also proved very helpful for the bride-to-be.
Indeed, Letts discovered that she wasn’t alone in dealing with the loss of a parent before her nuptials. “It’s really nice to hear that obviously, what I’m feeling, that other people have gone through it,” she told BBC News. “And to know that there are people out there who are planning weddings and not having their mom there.”
Meanwhile, Weise touched upon the role she played in bringing the emotional message to life. In addition to that, the designer also detailed the correspondence she shared with Letts’ mother, confirming that she knew about her condition. On that note, the Leicestershire resident had a clear goal in mind.
“It’s probably the most emotional pair of shoes I’m ever going to make,” Weise told BBC News in March 2019. “Hopefully it will give [Letts] a bit of comfort on the day. It will be like walking down the aisle with her mom.” From there, the Love and Lace founder spoke about the first conversation that they had had.
“It was [Letts’] mom who told me she had cancer and wouldn’t be there for [her daughter’s] wedding day,” Weise recalled. “She told me on the first message she sent me.” At that point, the designer then shed some light on the mother’s decision to buy the shoes, despite Letts putting down a portion of the payment beforehand.
“[Letts’] mom actually emailed me and said she wanted to pay for the shoes,” Weise continued. “I said, ‘Well she’s already paid half.’ She said, ‘Can I pay for it all and then you refund her the money when she gets the shoes?’” As for the message itself, the idea originated from a different source.
Indeed, it was Weise who made the initial suggestion about the personalization. “I asked [Letts’] mother if she would like to send one to be put on the soles,” she told U.K. website the Independent in March 2019. “And the message you see was exactly what she sent me.”
“I am so glad I could be part of this and make these shoes for [Letts] that mean so much,” Weise added. “Not only to her, but to people all over the world.” The business owner then spoke about the mom’s bittersweet intentions regarding the heartfelt message that she had left for Letts.
“I was aware that [Letts’ mother] was terminally ill at the time,” Weise told BBC News. “I think Emma was kind of hoping she would see the wedding. From the message that she wrote [on the shoes], I think she did intend for it to be after she was gone.”
Much like Letts did after receiving the shoes, the Lace and Love Facebook page shared several images as well. Alongside those photos of the custom heels, Weise revealed that the Kibworth Beauchamp resident had gotten in contact to offer her thanks. However, no one could’ve predicted what happened next.
Weise’s Facebook post quickly went viral, earning more than 1,200 likes and more than 160 shares on the social media website. In addition to that, it also generated more than 140 comments from online users, most of whom praised her for delivering the heartwarming message to Letts. That wasn’t all, though.
Indeed, some other users noted that the tale had earned plenty of international coverage, resonating with readers across the world. “Your story reached the Brazilian media,” wrote Paulo Sugai in the Facebook comments section. “I’m almost in tears with this beautiful gift. I wish you lots of blessings and love!”
“May the bride’s day be enlightened with this touching and emotional gift!” Sugai added. That particular comment drew a response from Lace and Love, which read, “Thank you! Reaching Brazil is amazing!” Meanwhile, another overseas user offered their response to Letts’ moving story on the social media website, touching upon a couple of points.
“This is one beautiful, blessed story!” wrote Facebook user Jan Brassfield-Masiker. “I couldn’t imagine what [Letts] was feeling, but how amazing you could all pull this off so she could receive a gift from her mother. This made its way to Illinois! Many more blessings for your business and many more for the bride and groom!”
Those feelings were reiterated by fellow social media user Jo Gibbons, who wrote a warm message to Letts. “To the bride, I wish you a life of joy with your husband,” Gibbons said. “And may the memory of your mother guide you in the choices you make, because you know her love will always be with you.”
Elsewhere, another user spoke about the impact that Weise’s personalization would have on Letts’ wedding in the summer of 2019. “And they say shoes aren’t that special,” Aubrey Isme wrote in the comments section. “I beg to differ! This pair of shoes changed this woman’s special day! Good on everyone involved!”
As the messages of goodwill continued to flood in, one other comment stood out above all the rest. Indeed, Facebook user Lori Holaday revealed that her mother passed away just before her wedding as well. However, in a somewhat similar situation to Letts, she had discovered something that helped her deal with the loss.
“I can totally relate [to this story],” Holaday wrote on the social media website. “I lost my own mom three weeks before my wedding day!” And she added, “The day she passed, my dad gave me her wedding set, which I had never seen off of her hands before that day.”
“As I sat alone that night pondering, remembering and wondering, I came across an inscription on the inside of her band,” Holaday continued. “‘AHR to BJD August 5, 1961.’ My parents initials and anniversary. It was a message of peace.” With that in mind, the Facebook user explained what she did next.
After seeing the hidden engravement on the ring, Holaday decided to follow her mom’s lead. “I took my husband and my wedding bands back to our jeweler the next day, and asked him to do the same for us,” she wrote. “‘MAH to LLR May 1, 1999.’ I wore her wedding set on my wedding day with full confidence she was with me!”
Holaday added, “[I] have ALWAYS been grateful for such a tender mercy and a new family tradition!” On that note, the Facebook user also posted a photo of the ring alongside her message, with the inscription in full view. Meanwhile, Lace and Love looked to share Letts’ story across its other social media platforms as well.
Away from Facebook, a photo of Letts’ bridal shoes was also shared on Lace and Love’s Instagram page in March 2019. With the company boasting more than 2,200 followers on the social media website, its post garnered another big response. Indeed, the image earned close to 400 likes and generated 60 comments from online users.
As the story continued to earn more international coverage, Weise then reflected on everything that happened. Unsurprisingly, the designer was taken aback by the incredible reaction to her work and the message to Letts. “I don’t think anything could have prepared me for the response [the shoes] would get,” she told the Independent.
“It’s the perfect illustration of how a personalized service like mine can mean so much to people,” Weise added. “The response to [Letts’ wedding] shoes has been nothing short of mind blowing.” She went on to say, “I’m honestly so shocked and amazed with the amount of people the story has reached.”