Becky Carey and her fiancé Matt had been going back and forth with photographer Bonnie Turner for months trying to arrange an engagement shoot. The weather, Bonnie wrote in a story submitted to Love What Matters, seemed determined to not cooperate.
Then, last September, she got an email from Becky.
“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,” the email began. “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.”
Becky revealed that her father Tim had been fighting Prostate cancer and was declining rapidly. He would be entering hospice care the following week. The bride-to-be had an idea:
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
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Becky explained that a good friend of hers who does videography was doing her a “really special favor” at her parent’s house in Woodbridge, Virginia, that weekend. “My dad and I are getting dressed up to film our dance so I can have it at my wedding.,” she wrote. “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.”
It was a request Bonnie couldn’t refuse, and in November she joined the family for an emotional photo shoot at home. Becky put on her wedding dress and shared her dance with her dying father in the backyard of the home where she grew up. The photos that came out of that incredibly moving moment are truly stunning.
“These photos are near and dear to this family and most of all, special to her,” Bonnie wrote on Facebook. “She knew he possibly wouldn't make it to walk her down the aisle or share that father-daughter dance on her wedding day.”
Sadly, after a long and courageous fight with cancer, Tim passed away on March 28, 2019—before the wedding. But, thankfully, Becky and her family have these photos to cherish.
“Photographs and memories are EVERYTHING when they are all you have left,” Bonnie wrote.