Bride-to-be cancels engagement shoot, opts for ‘first dance’ photos with dying father

CULPEPER, Virginia — When Becky Carey learned her father was losing his battle with prostate cancer, the bride-to-be reached out to her photographer before the engagement photo shoot and requested a change of plans.

Instead of posing with her fiance, Matt, Carey requested a photo shoot with her father.

She knew there was a chance he wouldn’t make it to the wedding and wanted to document their first dance.

When photographer Bonnie Turner learned that Carey’s father died late last month, she posted the images on Facebook and shared Carey’s emotional request to her.

Here is a portion of Carey’s email:

“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.”

Turner’s post was shared more than 33,000 times and has more than 4,000 comments. Many were from people who wanted to help pay for the engagement photos and the wedding. That’s when Turner decided to set up a GoFundMe page.

“Not only could they use the help with the wedding,” Turner wrote on the GoFundMe page. “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.

“Any help will be appreciated to this amazing family. Thank you for your sweet words, love and sincere hearts.”

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