Let These Cute Wedding Moments Help You Forget All The Bad Parts Of 2016

PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN YAMAGATA.
We know, we know: By now, it's downright banal to call for the rotting heap of garbage that has been 2016 to hurry up and end already. We have no idea what 2017 holds in store (although our wedding pantsuits are ready for anything. Bring it.). Still, we wait for the sparkly ball to drop as a symbolic refresher, and perhaps an excuse to hope for better things to come.

And as we count down to the final minutes of the shittiest year in recent history, we can still reflect on a few of the brighter spots. After all, people found love, got engaged, walked down the aisle, and wrote countless thank-you notes for countless stand mixers. And we think many of these stories are worth celebrating.

Ahead, read about an 86-year-old bride, a special-ed. teacher who included her students in her wedding, and other stories that made us laugh, cry, and believe in love again. These are the best wedding moments of 2016.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN YAMAGATA.
People Still Got Married After The Election
For many of us, the days after the election were particularly dark. And we felt a strong need to remember that there is still love — all around us. To prove that, we sent a photographer to the Marriage Bureau in downtown Manhattan to meet some real couples who had just tied the knot. It was a powerful reminder that love wins.
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Photo: via Facebook.
Engagement-Ring Size Stopped Mattering
This was the year when obsessing over the size (or type) of engagement-ring stones officially became old-fashioned. After being ridiculed by a saleswoman for the modest size of her rock, Ariel McRae, 22, wrote in a viral Facebook post: "Y'all, I would have gotten married to this man if it had been a 25-cent gum-ball machine ring." And the internet agreed.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF KHADIJA ELKHARBIBI.
...And So Did Age
For proof, just read the story of 86-year-old bride Millie Taylor-Morrison. Her granddaughter wrote on Facebook: "She found love again almost 25 years later, and our family couldn't be happier for her. This is a true testament that age is just a number, and everyone can find love again."
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Photographed by Winnie Au.
Long Engagements Are Fine, Too
There's no such thing as "normal" when it comes to engagements, and R29 writer Jesse Sposato helped defy old norms by recounting her experience of being engaged for five years and counting. "I wanted the promise to build a life together, to move forward with this other person, to be eternal partners in crime," she wrote. "Once I had that, once we had agreed to these things, I realized it was all I really needed. Having an actual wedding or a document that declared us legally married? Entirely secondary."
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Mainstream Ads Embraced LGBTQ Couples
This Zales TV ad grabbed our attention for its inclusive portrayal of marriage equality — it was an important statement to make in a fraught, uncertain time.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF KSG PHOTOGRAPHY.
This 9-Year-Old Wedding Photographer, Though
This talented little girl joined the family business and photographed her first wedding at 9 years old. And the photos are pro-quality.
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This Surprise Father-Daughter Wedding Dance
Just watch, and try not to crack a smile.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF LANG THOMAS PHOTOGRAPHY.
These Little Wedding Attendants
An incredibly thoughtful special-ed. teacher in Kentucky decided to include six of her students in her wedding as flower girls and ring bearers. What a bright spot amid an all-too-cruel year.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF SIMPLY SARAH PHOTOGRAPHY.
These Furry Little Wedding Attendants
This year, cuddling with puppies pre-wedding took off as a trend — and for good reason, since it's a wonderful way to bring attention to rescue dogs that need homes. In this Georgia wedding, pups helped the bride and her 'maids de-stress before the ceremony. (In another case, a rescue dog was even enlisted in a proposal!)
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This Flower Grandpa Having The Time Of His Life
Who says grandpas can't be flower girls?!
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF ASHLEY ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY.
These Lovely Grandma Flower Girls
Grandmas can get in on the flower-throwing action, too. This year truly showed that anything goes.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF SARAH GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY.
This Groom Carrying The Bride Down The Aisle
When she ended up in a wheelchair because of an accident, he decided to carry her down the aisle. Yep, there is definitely still good in the world. Now, excuse us as we disappear with a box of chocolates and a sappy movie.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF CALLIE LINDSEY PHOTOGRAPHY.
The Only Thing This Couple Loves More Than Each Other Is Target
When it came time to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, this couple re-created their wedding shoot at their favorite place in the world: Target. And their joy was contagious.
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Photo: via Reddit.
If You Can Do It At Target, You Can Do It At Costco
Karinne Tarshish and Dan Klamet found love in the meat aisle — kind of. The couple staged an engagement shoot at Costco, and then posted the photos to Reddit, where they spread like wildfire. In her post, Tarshish wrote that the couple "just both really like Costco."
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY WHITNEY LEIGH MORRIS.
This Tiny-House Wedding Was Impossibly Gorgeous
In May, Adam Winkleman and Whitney Leigh Morris tied the knot at their home in Venice Beach, CA — which is just 362 square feet. The stunning photos of their tiny-house wedding proved that it's not about how much space you have, it's how you use it.
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PHOTO: COURTESY OF @CHARDPHOTO.
This Groom's Touching Vows To His Stepdaughter
Get the tissues ready. This sweet story about a California groom named Mark Seldon reading vows to his 5-year-old stepdaughter before marrying her mother made for one of the best wedding moments of 2016.

"I vow to always be fair and honest with you," he said. "I promise to support you in every way I can. I promise to always hold your hand and brush your hair when you ask me to. I promise to tuck you into bed every night. I vow to show you how a man should treat a woman through my relationship with your mom. And above all else, I vow to protect you, care for you, and love you 'so big' forever."
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