29-year-old Candice Hammonds had planned every detail of her wedding day. She would be marrying Thomas Burkett, age 38, on October 1st. She had picked out the dress, the flowers, and– of course– her father, Steve, would be there to walk her down the aisle.
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But when Steve, who was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease two years prior to the planned wedding, became extremely sick, Candice quickly let go of whatever plans she had so that her father could be a part of her big day. She knew he did not have a lot of time and wanted to share the moment with her Dad more than she wanted some lavish affair. So she decided to bring the wedding to him.
In less than 24 hours, Candice and Thomas scrapped their October 1st wedding plans and quickly planned a wedding for August 31st. Their wedding didn’t have a fancy chapel or an expensive band; instead, Candice and Thomas were married inside Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Georgia. The ceremony took place in Steve’s hospital room… At his side.
“It mean the world to me to have my dad be a part of that day,” said the bride. “It’s something every girl dreams of.”
Photographer Julie York Schandolph captured the incredible wedding and the many, beautiful emotions of the day.
“It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. I’m marrying the man of my dreams, but I’m also sad about losing my father.” said Candice. “But I’m so thankful God allowed my father to be there with us and interact with us the way he did.” Steve even raised a hand when the minister asked who was giving the bride away.
Just two days after having the honor of giving his daughter to the man she loves, Steve passed away. But she will remember the precious last moments they shared for the rest of her life.
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