This Bride Swapped Her Engagement Photo Shoot For a Final Father-Daughter Dance
Becky Carey, a bride-to-be, had been in near-constant contact with her wedding photographer, Bonnie Turner, since they met a year ago. She'd been going back-and-forth about when to schedule her engagement session with her fiancé Matt. But this past September, after being given the devastating news that her father was going into hospice after battling cancer, she sent Bonnie an email that neither of them had expected:
So I know you probably think I am the biggest photo session flake in the whole world, I'm so sorry for being all over the place with our requests changing. Yet, I have a huge ask, to see if it is possible. I had to write this in email because I couldn't keep it together to talk on the phone.
My dad has been fighting [prostate] cancer and his body is now at the point where it can't handle more treatment. We found out yesterday that he starts hospice this week. We'd really love to use the deposit Matt gave you to do a family photo session. Matt and I will worry about our photos later, because this is more pressing with time. We haven't had professional family photos taken since my brother and I were little, and this would mean so much to us. Of course this is a very difficult and dark time, but I know how you feel about love and capturing it so beautifully and meaningfully.
This weekend (on Sunday) a good friend of mine who does videography is doing a really special favor for me — My dad and I are getting dressed up to film our first dance so that I can have it at my wedding. Dad is getting weaker by the day and unfortunately we have to do this as soon as possible. I wanted to see if you were able and willing to come and take photos at my parent's house in Woodbridge on this really last minute request. We are throwing this plan together really fast because we don't know how long we have before he won't be able to.
I know this is a huge ask and no worries if you can't do it. It's not an ideal location, but I know you can make anything look gorgeous. (Except maybe not my ugly crying that I will try to get out beforehand.)
Please let me know your thoughts. You can email or text me. I just didn't want to send a 4 page text!
Thanks girl, talk to you soon. xo."
Bonnie shared that email message on Facebook last week, shortly after she'd been informed of Becky's dad's death. "My heart is heavy today," she wrote. "He fought so hard for a very long time."
But alongside those words, she shared a half-dozen heart-wrenching images of that final, intimate dance.
"She knew he possibly wouldn't make it to walk her down the aisle or share that dance on her wedding day," Bonnie said. "So she took it upon herself to scratch those engagement photos for awhile and share that father-daughter moment in the backyard where she grew up."
Bonnie's final thought is proof that Becky made the right decision: "Photographs and memories are everything when they're all you have left."