Photos see bride-to-be sharing first dance with terminally ill dad

‘Memories are everything when they’re all you have’: Bride-to-be cancels her engagement shoot to take photos with her terminally-ill father, who passed away months later

  • The images, which were captured in September by wedding photographer, Bonnie Turner, see Virginia native Becky Carey dancing with her late father Tim Carey
  • Bonnie took to Facebook on Thursday, March 28, to tell the story behind the photos, as she said she first met Becky last spring 
  • Becky had contacted the photographer to book an engagement shoot for herself and her fiance, Matt, after they got engaged
  • However, Bonnie received an email from the bride-to-be in September
  • The email detailed that Becky’s father was terminally ill with prostate cancer, and she asked the photographer if she would take photos of them together
  • The images show Becky and her father Tim sharing a first dance together in the garden of the family house in Woodbridge, Virginia 
  • Becky’s father Tim passed away on March 29, 2019

A bride-to-be posed alongside her terminally ill father in a series of touching images that show the pair as they shared a first dance together shortly before he passed away.  

Wedding photographer Bonnie Turner took to Facebook on Thursday, March 28, when she shared a post detailing how she came to work with client Becky Carey and her father Tim on the particularly special photo shoot that took place in September, 2018. 

The Culpeper-based photographer said she met Becky, who she ‘connected’ immediately with, last spring after she got engaged and booked an engagement shoot with her husband, Matt. However, the pair ended up working together on a different kind of shoot. 

Special: Photographer Bonnie Turned first met Becky Carey (pictured) when the bride-to-be booked an engagement photo shoot for she and her fiance Matt last spring 

Incredible: However, in September, Bonnie received an email from the bride-to-be, in which she asked the photographer for a special favor

Love: In the emotional email, Becky explained that her father, Tim (pictured), was battling prostate cancer, and that he was getting to the point of no longer being able for treatments

Touching: Becky told Bonnie that she had decided to arrange a friend to video she and her father sharing a first dance together, and asked if Bonnie would take photos of them together 

Family: Pictured together before Tim became ill, Becky asked the photographer if she could use the money her fiance paid for their engagement shoot to carry out the father-daughter photo shoot instead 

Bonnie, who hadn’t chosen a specific date to stage Becky’s shoot on due to weather conditions at the time, received an email from the client in September. 

The email, which was sent by Becky, read: ‘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.’

In the message, Becky revealed her father Tim – who was once in the U.S. Air Force – had been battling prostate cancer. She said that his body was at the point where it could no longer handle treatment.  

‘We found out yesterday that he starts hospice this week,’ she added. 

‘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.’

Becky said she had arranged for her friend, a videographer, to film herself and her father sharing their first dance that week. 

She said she and her father were ‘getting dressed up’ to film the special moment, so that she can have the special video to play on her wedding day.   

She added: ‘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 before hand)’ she added.  

Please let me know your thoughts. You can email or text me. I just didn’t want to send a 4 page text!’ 

The photographer gladly obliged to take the special photographs for Becky, and later shared them in the Facebook post.  

Describing the images, Bonnie said: ‘These photos are near and dear to this family and most of all, special to her. She knew he possibly wouldn’t make it to walk her down the aisle or share that father-daughter dance on her wedding day.  

Special: The images see Becky wearing a white lace wedding dress, while her father is suited up in his U.S. Air Force dress blues

Important: In her now viral Facebook post, Bonnie shared the photos that were taken in September, as she revealed Tim had sadly passed away on March 29, 2019 

Heartbreaking: The photographer, who has set up a Go Fund Me page for the family, said: ‘Photographs and memories are EVERYTHING when they are all you have left’ 

‘So she took it upon herself to scratch those engagement photos for a while and share that father-daughter moment in the back yard where she grew up,’ she said.

Bonnie added that Becky’s father has since passed away.  

She said: ‘My heart is heavy today as I have been informed of his passing. He fought so hard for a very long time.

‘Photographs and memories are EVERYTHING when they are all you have left,’ she added. 

Becky’s father Tim passed away on March 29, 2019.

Since the photographer shared the touching post, it has been shared more than 30,000 times.  

Bonnie has since set up a Go Fund Me page for the family, as she said they could do with the extra funds to cover wedding, funeral and medical costs.  

The page reads: ‘Thankfully we were able to get those photos done and Tim and Becky shared those photos together for 5 months together until his passing on March 29, 2019. 

‘I shared their heartfelt story on Facebook and so many of you have given a tremendous outpour of love. 

‘You all have asked to donate to her engagement photos and wedding expenses. 

‘Not only could they use the help with the wedding, her darling mom who stood right by his side and cared for her husband for years, could use some relief with any kind of medical, funeral, and/or home expenses.’ 

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