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My Fair Wedding

Riderwood resident part of popular reality TV show

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Yvonne Payne lives a full life, and it got fuller the moment she moved to Riderwood, an Erickson Living community in Silver Spring, Md., more than six years ago. Her daily life consists of meeting beloved friends to play mah-jongg, bridge, or Wii bowling. Because she s not bogged down by the tedious tasks that used to fill her life like household repairs and upkeep she s free to do what matters. Now that she lives at Riderwood, she can just pick up and go whenever a loved one calls, like when her niece asked her to be a bridesmaid in her wedding last October.

On the road

Yvonne didn t have to do anything to prepare for travel she didn t have to stop her mail or worry about house or lawn maintenance all she had to do was get the required bridesmaid s dress, book her ticket, and show up at the church on time. A few weeks before the wedding, Yvonne s niece called her and said everything had changed for the better. At the last minute, the reality showMy Fair Weddinghad chosen the wedding for the show. Everything would be custom designed and held at the Vibiana in California. The dresses would all be custom made, hair and makeup provided, and the show promised the women they would feel like princesses during the Venetian Carnival-themed wedding and reception. After the women admired their dresses, the cameras started rolling. Yvonne says everything was so relaxed she wasn t even conscious of the cameras. Though the setting was extravagant, with the women donning colorful masks and gowns, Yvonne says she felt like she belonged. There was even a woman whose dress was made of champagne! she says. Guests could simply pick up cups of the bubbly from the holder around the woman s dress as she walked around. During the reception, the host of the show, David Tutera, tapped Yvonne on the shoulder, told her how beautiful she was, and asked her to dance with him. It really was like being in a dream, she says.

Returning home

Despite the beautiful wedding, Yvonne most appreciated seeing the California sights with her niece and nephew-to-be before the wedding. She shopped on Rodeo Drive, visited all her favorite celebrities at the Walk of Stars, and drove down Wilshire Boulevard. Visiting California was a dream come true for her, something she had always wanted to do but never had the chance. When Yvonne returned to her home at Riderwood, she was glad she could easily step back into her everyday life and get back to all the activities she s involved in that she missed while she was away. While she s not playing the games she loves so much, you can find Yvonne making quilts or volunteering at Renaissance Gardens, Riderwood s extended care neighborhood. She also takes regular computer classes to stay in better touch with scattered loved ones like her niece. Sometimes I m too busy, but I love it! she says. My Fair Weddingairs on the WE channel on Sunday nights at 9 p.m., and the episode featuring the Porterfield-Gilmore wedding airs this month.