Emily is another former high school friend and field hockey team mate of mine, and when she contacted me to be a part of her holiday wedding celebration I was so honored. She and Conor are to be married later this year in the fall, but her Grandfather, the patriarch of her close family was diagnosed with cancer this past fall and she wanted to have him witness her wedding before he passed. She also expressed a wish to have all of her family together for a holiday celebration, since now that everyone is older, less time is spent together at that time of year. There were also two new babies in the family and she wanted to focus on photos of them in their first year. So within a month Emily had put together a wonderful space and group of people and was anxious to make sure her Grandfather would be able to make it. The night before the big day, Emily messaged me to tell me her Grandfather's condition had declined and he would not be able to make it to the celebration and could I meet her at the hospice, so she could have some photos of her in her wedding dress with him.
It was a beautiful, very touching scene to witness. Emily dressed so regally and her Grandfather having just enough energy to give her a few kisses and have a giggle about the leopard print pillow on his bed. It was all very quick, for we wanted to give him enough energy to watch the ceremony via video. The incredible power of technology!
We headed through the ice storm to the Log Cabin in Holyoke, the trees covered in glossy ice, and the fog just resting on the hill tops. Emily got back into her dress with the help of her mom, while I was taken aback by all the gorgeous details Emily and the team at the Log Cabin and put together. Emily really wanted to go all out to make it a happy time and place while everyone was dealing with their grief. Conor and her first look was sweet and simple and a quick portrait session moved us back inside for the ceremony. Emily's brother, Andrew, officiated and everyone was all smiles and laughter. Family portraits moved into dinner and opening of gifts. Emily had a second dress her "Mrs. Claus look" that she finished the evening in. I think it was such a beautiful and generous thought for Emily to put together such a wonderful celebration for her family and especially her Grandfather on his last day earth side. She let me know the following morning that he had passed in the early hours. I wish her and Conor a year that reminds them of all the positive things in life and a start to their union that will show their support of one another during the tough times and the best times.