In the midst of planning your wedding, you may have moments where you stop and ask yourself, “Why a wedding? Why are we making such a big deal of this one day?” Bethany and Ryan’s story is one answer to that question, and I thought I’d let Bethany tell it in her own words:

After five years, a wonderful home and endless experiences together, Ryan proposed to me on a trip to visit our parents in Bend, Oregon. Unfortunately we weren’t able to start our wedding planning right away. Ryan had been battling cancer for the past seven months, and we stayed focused on his health first, expecting to plan when it was all over. After three different intensive chemotherapies, a major surgery, and lots of nights in the hospital, Ryan’s treatment was discontinued. We were told there was nothing else to do but treasure the six months he had left. The one thing that remained important to us was to get married, so we set a date for two months out and began dreaming up our wedding. Not long after, Ryan’s health took a turn for the worse and six months turned into only a couple weeks. With three days’ notice and the help of dear friends and family, we were able to do the thing that mattered the most to us: we got married. As emotional and difficult as parts of the day were, it was the most special day of our lives and of our relationship together. Ryan survived against all odds for an additional five weeks, and although it was way too short, we were able to be married and celebrate our one-month anniversary, and that’s a gift no one can ever take away.

For the ceremony we had everyone stand instead of sit, both because of space limitations and because we wanted it to feel intimate. I remember walking in the door with my dad, having to turn a little corner, seeing so many people and just searching for Ryan. He was all I wanted to see. He met me in the middle of the room and we just embraced each other for a minute before the ceremony started. I just remember thinking I’d never felt more sure of anything in my life and that was a wonderful feeling.

I really wanted a chalkboard incorporated in some how. We decided to put one above the fireplace, which was the backdrop of the ceremony. Ryan came up with the idea to use a quote from a card I gave him on our one-year anniversary. The card has always hung in our kitchen so we see it daily and it was a perfect summary of us: “You will not believe how glad I am to have met you.” It was definitely my favorite piece, and I even used the quote as the basis of my vows.

A tradition that was important to us was a Ukrainian blessing. Ryan’s grandmother is Ukrainian and he heard her sing this blessing throughout his whole life. Right after we exchanged rings, we had her sing the blessing over us.

Our wedding took place in the restaurant where Ryan took me after he proposed. It’s closed on Sundays so we had the place to ourselves. Ariana, the owner and chef, was a miracle worker. We set the date on a Thursday and we were married just three days later on Sunday. She helped with everything and let us do anything we wanted. I’ll never forget what she said to me the morning after the wedding when I came to retrieve our stuff. I kept thanking her and thanking her and she said to me “You’ve had to hear no so much this year, I just wanted to be able to say yes to anything you wanted.” 

One of Ryan’s passions was food and cooking, and Ariana said she could make anything we liked, so we decided on the menu ourselves, which was one of the few things Ryan was able to help with and he really enjoyed doing so. With some of Ariana’s suggestions, mixed in with some meaningful meals we’d shared through our relationship, this is the menu we decided on:

Hors d’oeuvres: Citrus and Coriander Cured Wild Salmon Gravlax with Accoutrements / Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese Crostini with Truffle Honey // Appetizers: Tri Color Salad of Radicchio, Romaine, Oregon Pear, Olive Oil Croutons, Parmesan Vinaigrette / French Onion Soup with Gruyere Toast // Entrees: Butter Poached Maine Lobster Over Dungeness Crab Risotto / Filet Mignon with Yukon Gold Potato Puree, Mushroom Demi Glace and Crispy Shallots / Cannelloni of Organic Spinach and Fresh Ricotta Cheese Wrapped in Fresh Pasta and Simmered in a Garlic-Parmesan Sauce with Dad’s Marinara // Dessert: Vanilla Bean Crème Bruleè with Fresh Berries / Flourless Chocolate Sachertorte with Caramel Ice Cream / Blood Orange Wedding Cheesecake

Bend is a mountain ski town and is very festive in the winter. I wanted to avoid a Christmas theme, but we were in Pottery Barn and I came across paper-monogrammed ornaments that were perfect for favors. We picked out a letter for each guest’s first name and I wrote a personalized thank you on the back of each one. We hung them on a beautiful birch tree and the guests had to find their ornament during the evening.

One of my favorite parts of our wedding was at the end of the night. Ryan had to leave after the ceremony and taking some photos to go lay down at his parents’ house up the road. I missed him terribly during dinner and wasn’t sure if he would be up to coming back. Although I know he struggled so hard to do so, he did end up returning as things were winding down. At that point there was only a small group left, and we just sat around, laughed, cried, taking turns sharing memories, stories and reflections. It’s such a beautiful gift to receive so much love and support and I was so thankful Ryan was able to experience that.

The best advice I received while planning our wedding actually came from Zach and Clay’s wedding featured on Snippet & Ink. They explained “Just approach the entire event as a blank slate, and don’t do things because you think it’s what you’re supposed to do…Make the day what you want it to be – there are no rules.” As soon as that clicked in my head, wedding planning was a lot easier. Traditions are beautiful, wonderful things, but it’s figuring out which ones are important to you that give meaning to a wedding. A wedding doesn’t need to be what’s expected. It’s deciding what expectations you have and what represents your love. We didn’t have a wedding party or a first dance. We didn’t toss the bouquet or cut the cake. We realized a few days later we didn’t even say “I do” during the ceremony! That might not be okay for everyone but it worked for us, and looking back on it, there was more love in that room than I have ever experienced in my life. That’s what we wanted our wedding to be about: our love for each other and for our friends and family. We may have only had a few days to put it together but we both agreed we would have done it exactly the same even if we’d had years to plan.

 

Thank you Bethany, for sharing your wedding story with us!

 

Vendors

Photography: Clare & Kevin Kubota (Our photographers deserve an immense amount of credit. Not only did they commit so last minute, they went above and beyond our expectations. They had to be so flexible, and they seized any opportunity to get the best of Ryan and the day even when we weren’t sure how it would go. They even turned our photos around in less than a week so that Ryan could have the opportunity to see them. They did a beautiful job representing our day and us, the photos are something I will truly treasure forever.) / Venue, catering, flowers: Ariana in Bend, Oregon / Bride’s attire: J.Crew / Hair, makeup: Salon Essenza (I didn’t have bridesmaids but my closest friends and I went to the place my mother-in-law gets her hair done to get ready. They are typically closed on Sunday and they let us have the entire salon to use styling tools and products. Jennifer styled my hair and helped with my make up. It turned out better than I ever expected, plus it was a lot of fun.) / Groom’s attire: J.Crew / Vintage furniture rentals: Feather & Flea / Stationery: DIY (We didn’t have time to do invitations, so we made phone calls to everyone. Both of our parents live in Bend but other than them, every single guest had to travel from somewhere else with just 3 to 4 days notice. That blew us away.) / Music: DIY iPod

150 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings
  1. Emily

    Kathryn and Bethany, thank you so much for sharing. What a heartbreakingly beautiful story.

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  2. Christina

    I have never been so touched or moved that I have been with this story. Thank you very much for sharing. It was wonderfully written and a beautiful reminder of what truly is important in life. Their happiness shines through every photo.

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    • tonya

      I totally agree with christina. While reading about your beautiful day it was like I was reading the most amazing fairy tale wedding of all time. My heart felt the love you both had for eachother, and I could feel my heart melt with every word I was reading. The pictures show how truely deep your souls were as one. You were both so very blessed to have found eachother, and have expierenced the “true” feelings of being in love and sharing with your soulmate….I wish you a wonderful life, dance in the rain, and know that your hearts and souls are forever as one, and that will never!!!!! End.

  3. Jess

    Oh my stars. I *never* get misty eyed, but this just made me lose it.

    I lost my father to cancer when I was thirteen, and this is my very worst fear in life: to lose my partner like my mom lost my dad.

    But Bethany, you showed me that I can be staring down the barrel of the unimaginable and still have a beautiful, meaningful, *happy* partnership and wedding.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story, and I hope you get all that you need in the months and years ahead.

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  4. Lisa

    There are no words for how beautiful and touching their story is. Congratulations, Bethany and Ryan, on your gorgeous wedding, and on an even more beautiful love!

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  5. Jenn

    I have a lump in my throat. What a beautiful, heartbreaking story of love.

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  6. Sara

    Sometimes when I look at all the blogs and pics I forget what a wedding is about…thank you Kathryn and Bethany for reminding me.

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  7. Kim

    What a beautiful story and a truly beautiful wedding. I have tears in my eyes.

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  8. Christine

    Bethany, you are unbelievably strong and beautiful. I wish you the very best, and thank you for this bold reminder of what is truly important.

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  9. QBride

    I’m not sure I can actually write anything, other than to say thank you. For holding a light up to what’s important and sharing with us your love. I’m so sorry that this came to pass. I lost my nana (and I know this pales in comparison) at a young age who was the love and light of my life raising me in difficult times. I am so lucky to have found someone in my fiance who I couldn’t bear to be parted from, and would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me see sense. It’s not about the cake, the flowers, the details (although Bethany and Ryan’s wedding was beautiful, and filled with loveliness) but the love that shines on through. XXXX

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  10. Megan Clouse

    I was just happily eating my cereal as I perused my Google Reader; quickly scrolling through pretty wedding photos after pretty wedding photos. I don’t usually read the text. This post made me slow down a little because I was impressed how the photographer captured so much emotion; I checked to see it was Kevin. Ah ha. Something else caught my eye and I scrolled back up to read from the beginning. I had no idea that these images had such a story; I burst into tears.

    Thank you for sharing. xo

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  11. Lauren

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and for reminding us what a wedding is really all about.

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  12. Catherine B

    Bethany,
    Thank you for sharing your love, joy, and tears with us this morning. You’ll be in my thoughts as you traverse this next part of your journey.

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  13. Chrissa

    I am sobbing.

    What a heartbreaking and beautiful story. I feel lucky for having been able to read it.

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  14. Chloe

    Oh my goodness, what a heart-wrenching story. So brave of you Bethany, to share such a personal thing with everyone. Thank you so much. x

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  15. joanna goddard

    oh my goodness, this is so beautiful and heartfelt and loving. huge congratulations to the beautiful bride and groom. xoxo all our love to you. xoxo

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  16. Michaele Thunen

    Now this is what a wedding and the expression of love is all about! It is so easy to get caught up in the minute details, which can be fun…but not if they overshadow the true meaning of your wedding day. Bethany and Ryan, you were able to make your day completely and totally your own, with the love and support of all of those that care so much about the two of you. I admire and commend you both for the depth of your expressions of love for each other…you are very special people, with the incredible capacity of knowing what love truly is, and being able to share it with the world. My heart goes out to you, Bethany for your immense loss. There is no other like it. Thank you for allowing us in, and thank you my dear sweet Kathryn for all that you do to share yourself on a daily basis,
    with all of your followers ….especially with me.

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  17. Ashley @ Make It Darling

    Wow. This should be required reading for every bride. The details of a wedding are lovely, but it is the love shared that makes the day so important.

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  18. Whitney

    Gorgeous, for so many reasons, the least of them being the details of the event. Bethany, you were a beautiful bride, and the love of your Ryan is so perfectly captured in these photos. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  19. anna {far from the wedding crowd}

    People are good.

    Bethany – Your friends, your family, Ryan and you.

    This is the love we need in the world.

    I’m so sorry for your loss but so happy you had this day.

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  20. April Cenora

    Such an amazing story.

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  21. Katie

    This is the sweetest thing I have ever read! Crying at my desk at work. I’m so glad you were able to marry your love, and I wish you nothing but love in your life.

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  22. Annie

    I’m overwhelmed by the love and beauty in this post. Thank you so much for sharing this story, Bethany.

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  23. Kaycee

    The classiest wedding to date on this blog.

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  24. Katharine

    De-lurking to say: Kathryn, this is the best post you’ve ever run.
    Bethany, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  25. Leah

    Heartbreaking. But that is the kind of love that everyone is searching for. What a blessing to have been able to celebrate 1 month of marriage together!

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  26. Megan

    Long-time reader, first-time poster coming out of the woodwork to say that this is possibly the most courageous, moving, and beautiful thing I have ever read. Bethany, *thank you* for sharing it with us. I’ve been with my man for over ten years and we just haven’t cared about getting married. I think this cured my ambivalence. I’m so sorry your time with Ryan was unbearably short, and I am beyond thrilled that you will have this amazing memory for the rest of your life. Your smile in these pictures tells me all I need to know about you: You are a really special person.

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  27. Jessica

    I can only think of three weddings that have been featured on a blog that actually made me tear up and now your blog has hosted two of them. THIS is what a wedding is all about. My heart goes out to Bethany and the families that she and Ryan united.

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  28. Alexis

    I am beyond moved by this story and deeply touched as to the depth of Ryan and Bethany’s love for each other. It’s a true testament as to how it is supposed to be and I’m blessed to have shared in this moment from afar.

    I admire your love and strength Bethany and I send heartfelt prayers to the family you both joined together through this blessed event.

    Thank you so very much for sharing this with us. You have some beautiful and happy memories to hold on to, may they always carry you through and keep you comforted. :)

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  29. Tamara

    Bethany, I’m so glad you and Ryan were able to have such a lovely wedding. It’s so amazing that the community pulled through to help you guys have such an amazing day. This is the most touching wedding post I’ve ever seen. xo

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  30. Stephanie

    Bethany, This is an amazing story and I am so touched by the positivity with which you were able to approach this wedding and super special day.

    My husband had just started chemo therapy when we got engaged in 2003. I know that tremendous feeling of fear for the unknown. I was lucky enough to have four wonderful years with him and many amazing adventures in that time before he passed in April of 2007.

    You had the right mentality about your wedding with Ryan. You do what is most important and special to the two of YOU! I wish that more couples could understand how important this is and how to not take it all for granted.

    Your wedding was beautiful, from what I can see here, and I am sure you are so happy to have the memories of that day. You are a really special person, many people do not understand where strength like that comes from, I still don’t. But it is very admirable.

    Take care and happy days ahead.

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  31. Kerry

    Hi Bethany,

    Thank you for sharing your love story and reminding so many people how special love really is. Many people take it for granted.

    I have only experienced a moment of all that you have endured when my partner had a liver transplant.

    I’m so glad you and Ryan were able to celebrate together and I really wish you the very best in everything you want and do.

    You both look gorgeous in the photos!

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  32. Karen Hill Photography

    thank you for sharing a true love story, though heartbreaking, it is seeped in the richness of life.

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  33. Rachel

    Suddenly bunting and the perfect style of hobnail milk glass doesn’t seem so important to me…

    Such an incredible, touching story of true love. Fighting back tears at my desk, I just decided to let them flow. If anyone questions why, I’m more than happy to point them to this beautiful story. Incredible.

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  34. Lauren

    This is so touching, I’m trying not to tear up at work. I’m so glad you two were able to celebrate together.

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  35. amy

    So incredibly touching and lovely. Every picture was so sweet and their love story was beyond beautiful. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story of true love.
    It’s such an important message to remember – weddings are fabulous – but never lose sight of the real reason they happen – unconditional love.

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  36. Naomi

    Amazing story…I definitely teared up and as I type this I let a few tears escape. The hardest thing in life is to fined the right one for you. When you do, you wish to the stars above that you never have to go back to the time that your life was without them. There is no comfort in losing a loved one but I do pray that the memories of their special day will help her know that she is one of the rare individuals who understands what love truly is about. Best post ever…

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  37. Jemma

    Beautiful couple, touching story, amazing pictures and what a perfect wedding. Congratulations to you both and to your families. What a wonderful day it must have been. Thank you for reminding us all of what’s important. I wish you all the future happiness possible.

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  38. Teressa

    brings life into perspective. There are no promises or guarantees. Enjoy what you have while you have it. Treasure life and love.

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  39. Lexy @ The Proper Pinwheel

    Bethany, I am amazed at your courage and love. How sweet of you to share your day with the world. I am truly moved. The photos capture the day beautifully. I can see how much you and Ryan love each other and how special that day was for both of you.

    Thank you for sharing such an intimate and inspiring story.

    Wishing you all the happiness in the world!

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  40. tea_austen

    Thank you for showing us the meaning of love. This is what really matters.

    I’ll be carrying your story in my heart. xox

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  41. Zach

    Bethany, thank you so much for sharing your incredibly sweet and touching story. Your wedding — and the special bond you will always have with Ryan — are really moving.

    (And thank you for saying that about our advice about the “blank slate.” I’m very happy to hear that helped you think about the kind of wedding you really wanted for yourself and for Ryan.)

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  42. chandra ~ oh lovely day

    what a beautiful wedding you were able to put together in just a few days! your story is so sweet and heartfelt and reminds us what is important in weddings and life – love! I’m so sorry for your loss. thank you for sharing this. xx

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  43. Pam{Romancing the Stone Styling}

    This post was what a marriage is all about. I was so moved by their story and beautiful expression of giving their whole hearts to each other. As a stylist I see so many couples stressing over the littlest of details. To read this story of two people giving themselves to each other without any expectations of anything in return is simply refreshing! Thank-you for posting this beautiful, heartfelt story! I will not soon forget it.

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  44. Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    I feel the love in your words & see the love in your photos & it breaks my heart to know Ryan is no longer with you on Earth. Thank you for reminding us that all you need for a wedding is a strong, true love between two people!

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  45. Alice

    I’ve never really thought getting married was a necessary step in my life, but reading this and putting myself in their shoes I have changed my mind. Having one day to celebrate your love is so important in the face of the things that could or will happen in the future. Their story is an inspiration and it’s not often I feel like I should comment on a blog post. Kia Kaha Bethany and thank you for sharing your magical day with use

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  46. Kelli Ahern

    Amazing. Just a beautiful story. And this couple has to be the cutest couple EVER.

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  47. Plum Pretty Sugar Loungerie

    Such a beautiful wedding and couple!!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

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  48. Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire

    What a beautiful story and wedding. Thank you for sharing with others despite how personal and emotional the circumstances are. This is what love looks like.

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  49. Lindsay A

    I’ve been reading Snippet and Ink since long before my own wedding two years ago. This is hands down the best post, ever. THIS is what weddings are and marriage is, and I feel honored personally that Bethany would share their story. This will stick with me for a very long time.

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  50. Allie@HoneyBeeInvites

    Bethany, what a truly beautiful love story. Maybe the best one I have ever heard. The wedding looked breathtaking. I especially loved the chalkboard as the backdrop. I think that you made a really good point for all brides-to-be…. the best and most important part about the wedding is the love you share with one another. Thank you for sharing your touching story!

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  51. CN

    This is so beautiful. I was feeling really overwhelmed and grumpy about wedding planning today. Then I saw this post and was reminded of why it matters. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  52. ZWP

    what a touching and inspiring story… thanks to Bettany and to you for sharing it!

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  53. Erin

    Thank you for sharing your incredible story and for reminding me what matters most in planning our wedding. You both look truly loved in your photos and I feel blessed to have come across your story. Thank you!

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  54. Kathryn I.

    What a beautiful story — so heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time!

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  55. Sarah

    Wow. Wow wow wow, Bethany. It takes a very strong woman to do what you did. None of us could say we would or would not have done the same thing because we don’t really know. An amazing experience, and even though you were only married 5 weeks, I am so glad you had 6 years together.

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  56. Colleen

    Bethany, there are no words. You are stronger than I will ever be. Your wedding was truly beautiful.

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  57. Ashley

    What a beautiful and touching story. I have goosebumps, and a tear in my eye, from reading it. This is a great example of the true meaning of love and marriage. In sickness and in health. I’m so happy you were able to share that moment with your husband and have such a happy memory to look back on!

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  58. Nadia

    I don’t even know what to say except that your greatness and bravery has left me humbled. What a wonderful couple you are, I feel honoured that you shared this. X

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  59. Liza

    What a truly touching and humbling story. Such an amazing reminder that in the midst of the crazy wedding planning, to be focused on what is really important. So glad you shared your special day.

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  60. Chiara

    What a beautiful story, a beautiful couple, a beautiful wedding. Thank you for sharing, from the bottom of my heart, you make me appreciate what I have in my life, so thank you.

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  61. Erica

    Thank you for your story Bethany. I have a tear in my eye and will squeeze my loved ones extra tight today. Such a beautiful reminder of how precious life is.

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  62. a&b

    such a heartbreakingly beautiful story. I am overwhelmed with wedding planning and indecisiveness, but you made me really forget that I just cherish my fiance and our commitment. Thank you and you are an inspiration!

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  63. Jessica

    Wow! This is heartbreaking and beautiful and inspiring all at the same time. I am in tears reading this and if I weren’t in a fairly public space, I’m certain I would be sobbing. Feeling thankful for all I have and remembering life is very short today… Thank you for sharing.

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  64. eli

    wow. while this wedding story is ultimately steeped in sadness, it is a beautiful reminder that romance is real & some people are truly MEANT to be together … even if only for a brief period of time.

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  65. Glitterista

    What a gorgeous reminder of the purpose of wedding planning. Everything about your day looked perfect and I’m so glad you have these wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing your lovely story with all of us. :)

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  66. Jacquelyn | lark&linen

    This may be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. Thank you so so much for sharing, and I hope that everyone gets to experience even half the amount of love between Ryan and Bethenny

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  67. Maria

    I am glad you wanted to share your story.

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  68. Adela

    What a touching love story, I am at work and practically in tears, couldn’t even look at an employee that came into my office. You are so right…sometimes we get caught up on what people expect to see at your wedding. I’m so glad you were able to experience the most important day of one’s life together.

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  69. Michelle A

    What an amazing wedding, a true celebration of love and commitment. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  70. Stephanie

    Thank-you for sharing such a beautiful, inspiring story. Love and best wishes to you. xxxx

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  71. marie

    bethany, you & ryan just glow in those photos. your words also shine with your love for each other. thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding & your story. i wish you all the best.

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  72. Lindsey

    What a touching and beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I wish you all the best!

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  73. Vennila

    Thank you so much for sharing. Today I found out we had to cancel our trip to Morocco because I didnt get my passport back from the embassy in time and was extremely upset over it. It’s the first time the man and I have had an entire week off together, but reading this made me realize the bigger picture, and that all that’s important is that we get to spend time quality time together. I have so much respect for you, and hope you find happiness in love again. You are amazing Bethany.

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  74. yocheved

    beautiful. thanks for sharing!

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  75. Sarah

    My eyes are filled with tears. Thank you so very much for sharing your beautiful story. A reminder of true, eternal love.

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  76. Mumchic

    This is a beautiful and heart wrenching story , Thankyou so much for sharing , I have tears in my eyes ..

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  77. claire@gibsonking

    What a beautiful and touching story. Its so not about having the best dress and shoes and all the pretty pictures…its about the love between two people and being able to celebrate that with friends and family. This story brings that to the forefront…which needs to happen more often. All the best to Bethany.

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  78. Kristi

    True love is eternal. I love the following poem by ee Cummings…

    “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)i am never without it (anywhere you go, me dear, and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling).

    i fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)i want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

    i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

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    • Michelle

      Thank you for sharing that poem!

      I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer almost 4 yrs ago. He too lost his life 6 weeks from diagnosis. He was 44. We were together since May 1986 and more in love than ever when it was discovered. Our only daughter had just graduated and we were planning on finally focusing on us as we had raised our daughter & she was headed to college. That was all cut short by the news and then it progressed faster than they had predicted. I still am having a hard time because I feel a huge whole and lost.
      I definately can feel Bethany’s pain and heartache. I miss him so much. He was my best friend and I know for sure he was my soulmate. You see we lost each other once, and I said if it was meant to be that we would find our way back to each other. That we did and from then on we knew we were soulmates. My world collapsed when he was gone… and as her husband stated, It is what it is…is EXACTLY what my husband said and he never complained. He just was worried about us not him.. Right after diagnosis we had family photos taken and he pushed through the pain because they were important to me as we had not done portraits since our daughter was 2. He was so amazing!! Our love had withstood so much and we got through it. He got to see his daughter graduate high school and with honors; you could see how happy he was he at least got to do that. Well I am sad Bethany had to experience this at a young age. I lost my 2 nephews as well who were both young and taken so fast. My heart truly does break for her and what she will have to deal with. Eventually the attention goes away and that is where it really gets hard. Meaning when everything calms down and people go back to their life. I wish her all the best in the time ahead.

  79. Shreya

    This is one of the most beautiful and touching stories I’ve read. Thank you for sharing.

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  80. Lizabeth

    Bethany~ To be able to share your story with such grace and honesty makes you one of the bravest women this blog has ever featured. You have touched the lives of many with your words. You have a spirit that shines beyond those pictures. Thank you.

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  81. SuzyMcQ

    Your story is truly a life-changing one for me. Its beauty and grace and courage will touch me for a very long time. I am incredibly touched and so grateful for your willingness to share such an intimate experience.

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  82. Ashley Porter

    Sometimes when we are in the midst of a personal trial and impeding heartache, the last thing we want to do is share our most precious and intimate moments with strangers. They are private treasures that we want to keep to ourselves. Thank you Bethany and Ryan for being so brave to share such a fiercely personal and beautiful experience.

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  83. kailee

    this is amazing. very touching. thanks for sharing!

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  84. carlene

    Beautiful, beautiful. Thanks to you both. Life is so beautiful and so hard. Just know that you are not alone.

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  85. Jen

    what an amazing display of true and lasting love. no matter how long you knew you would have with him you loved him and wanted to marry him. how sweet to read this post and to be reminded of what it’s all about. God bless you bethany. very special story that all of us who are blessed to know it will not forget.

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  86. Lucy

    This story struck me to the core. I am currently planning our wedding, without my mother or my baby brother. The strength that it takes to plan a wedding in this situation is incredible and absolutely admirable! I can not even imagine this, you are an incredible woman! By saying I was a mess reading this, I mean I was a mess! I will think of the both of you and as we say “I do,”even though you didn’t, I will be thinking of your love.

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  87. grace

    bethany, this is absolutely beautiful and so incredibly touching, thank you so much for sharing this. everybody’s happiness truly shines out in the photos and it gave me a much needed reminder of what the day is really all about – love, pure and simple. everything else is just secondary. you are truly amazing and inspiring and your courage in sharing such an intensely personal experience has touched many many lives, me & my fiance’s included. all the best to you & your family bethany. you & ryan will be in our thoughts xx

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  88. Jessica Cudzilo

    This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read about. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  89. Ronnie

    How utterly beautiful and heartbreaking all at once.
    Thank you Bethany for sharing your story.
    You are truly an amazing woman, and I’ll never forget the story of you and Ryan.
    Ronnie xo

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  90. Rosa R.

    Thank you so much for sharing this incredibly touching and inspiring story. All too often couples can forget what getting married is really all about. Your story and your love for each other are truly beautiful and it was so wonderful of you to share it with the world.

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  91. Jen

    So touching. I’m glad I read it.

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  92. katie

    i hardly ever comment on things… but this… this is so beautiful and heart wrenching. thank you so much Bethany for sharing your story. It’s hard to believe you put such a beautiful event together in just a few days!

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  93. Tracy

    That was simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

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  94. Tonya

    Bethany,

    I do not know you or Ryan…but I know I will never forget either one of you.

    Thank you for reminding me on this very day how very fragile and special life is. Thank you for reminding me that every day the love between a man and a woman should be treasured. This is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever heard and I thank you Bethany for sharing it.

    Many, many more happy days to you Bethany

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  95. Tina from Greece

    I cannot stop looking at the love depicted in the photos. Bethany, besides being a most gorgeous and stunning bride, the look you give your husband and he back at you is priceless. My heart aches for your loss, I am terribly sorry but thank you for sharing your special and sacred moment with us. What a beautiful family and I truly wish you all the best.

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  96. Amie

    Beautiful. He is smiling on you for showing him how much you loved him. Very touching story of your love.

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  97. LMF

    Thank you so much for such a beautiful post. This story should be at the top of every wedding blog. A reminder to couples of what’s truly important. What a gorgeous gorgeous day.

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  98. Franzi

    What a heart-breaking post. But still such a great and big love story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, Bethany!

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  99. Diana

    This was an incredibly moving story, days later I am still sharing it with anyone who will care to listen. Your story is one that is inspiring to someone who has lost someone they cared about. It is more about than just a wedding, it’s a about an experience. A day to celebrate your love. I am so happy that you had a chance to have such a beautiful day. Through your pictures I see a day that was not just about a wedding, but about love in it’s purest form.

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  100. Dara

    Thank you thank you for this beautiful story. this is the kind of love i wish everyone could be lucky enough to experience. So touching. WIshing you strength in moving forward and the blessing of such wonderful memories.

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  101. Lauren

    I’ve come back to read this again.
    It’s so deeply moving, thank you for sharing.
    Wishing you all the strength in the world.

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  102. Dorothy from Gorgeouslywed.com

    My eyes starting crying as well. What a beautiful story and wedding. Thank you for sharing this to all of us.

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  103. Chantal

    This is beautiful. I was balling my eyes out by the time I finished reading the first blurb of text. It just goes to show that if you truly love someone, and even if you only have a few weeks together, a wedding can be pulled together in a couple of days. They didn’t get hung up about the minute details. The recipe for a wedding: family, friends, two rings, and true love. It doesn’t freaking matter if you have the perfect perfect colour of napkins. What truly matters is that you become one soul living in two bodies under the blessing of your faith and loved ones. At the end of the day, if you end up married, the details don’t matter.

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  104. Alynn

    A beautiful wedding focused on love. Your story touches the heart, Bethany. I wish you the best as you begin the next chapter in your life.

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  105. April

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was beautiful and heart breaking. I wish the best for you.

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  106. Nicole

    The most special part to me was all the love that you felt in that room. That is such a special gift, to know that is exactly the right thing for you at that moment and everyone surrounding you loves you two and supports you two. I can only imagine the powerful and beautiful energy surround you during your ceremony, and really hope that my fiance and I have that moment and ambiance as well. Your time on this Earth may have been short with your husband, but there is so much more than this life — people like you are meant to reunite and it will be beautiful :)

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  107. Sharon

    Thank you for reminding us of what weddings are all about. The love you shared is captured so well in your words and photographs. Weddings have been so commercialized nowadays but you make us stop and reflect on why a couple gets married. I am so sorry for your loss and am moved by it. Thank you for sharing. ?

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  108. Lizzy

    This is a rare glimpse of pure love and beauty. I am so honored that you would share this touching story.

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  109. Laura

    Bethany. I would love to talk with you. My husband passed away 6 weeks after we were married of testicular cancer. We had a similar situation as you and we found out he only had about 2 months left we got married 10 days later. It’s been a year and 4 months since he passed away. I am so proud of the two of you and I am so happy you could share this message.

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    • Bethany

      Laura, I’d love to talk with you as well. Feel free to email me & we can get in touch- bethanysarahs@gmail.com

  110. pui

    I have tears in my eyes from reading this achingly beautiful love story. From just looking at the photos you can see and feel the love everyone in the room had for Ryan and Bethany. Bethany, thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry for your loss. This is the most beautiful wedding I’ve seen. Thank you for your strength. All the love and best to you.

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  111. Rachel

    Wow – that is a heartbreaking story. I am currently planning my wedding to my fiance who has limited time as well due to cancer. Thank you for the inspiration that going ahead with a wedding in this situation is a good thing to do.

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  112. Elana

    Thank you for sharing your story – this is one of the most touching things I have ever read; what absolute love, joy and heartbreak… I am so sorry for your loss, Bethany, my heart and thoughts go out to you and your families.

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  113. Muna

    Thank you Bethany for sharing this wonderful story of love and for being so brave and for loving so truly. I had lost faith in true love but this story, yours and Ryan’s love give me hope. I am happy that you’re love exists in this world and that I am lucky enough to have heard about it. God bless you.

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  114. Sharon

    This is a ture love story. I’m sorry about your loss but you know that he loved you and you loved him. Always keep his memory alive!

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  115. Valerie

    WOW! Bethany thank you for having the courage to share your story! It is better than any Hollywood story and so inspiring to see such love in this crazy world!

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  116. Kathy Dyer

    Thank you so much for sharing. Many search thier entire lives to find such love…You both were very blessed and at such a young age. Blessings your way Bethany. A very touching story.

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  117. Erika

    What an incredible love story. I’m really inspired by the honesty and courage both Bethany and Ryan showed. I think many people wouldn’t have had the strength to face a partner’s terminal illness and move forward with love in their hearts. The legacy of your marriage will last forever!

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  118. Tudor Coray

    I am truly touched by the incredible loved shared by two amazing young people. Bethany, you should be so proud to have been in Ryan’s life, all be it short. You are a very brave and lovely young lady. Ryan was an amazing man, who tackled life head on. I am so pleased you have wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  119. Lonna

    This is such an incredible story. I actually know of girl from Oregon, Meagan. She was telling me this one night. You are truely blessed that you had the chance to experience that special once in a lifetime love. I feel lucky just to read your online journal and see the beautiful photos.

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  120. Larissa Smith

    Crying my eyes out. Love never dies. <3

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  121. Brittney

    I have never heard a more touching story in my life. May the love that surrounded them on that special day carry her throughout the rest of her life. May God bless you, Bethany.

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  122. Eileen

    Your story is very touching and moving. I wish you and your love ones all the best. God bless all of u always…..

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  123. Stacy Heuer

    I have been using the quote, “It is what it is” for about the last month, it has helped me to deal with certain things that I wish I could change, then I read this story and read that quote and instantly was bawling my eyes out, because no matter how important it is to want people to see things a different way, “It is what it is”. God bless you Bethany and Ryan, may your memories last you a lifetime!!

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  124. marie

    To you I say I feel your love. My husband was fighting cancer when we married. He faught for seven months. We too married and it was the most magical love felt wedding Anyone i know has ever attended.We celebrates out firat month anniversary and George died four days later. He was my greatest gift. Xo

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  125. jim

    Bethany,
    This is so poignant yet what you’ve written says so much in so few words. The pictures truly captured the depth of emotion that special day and beyond. The occasion that you and Ryan planned together was filtered to its essence. Isn’t our uniqueness and imperfection as humans filtered by love into something greater together?

    I wish you strength and guidance down this part of your path. I’ve heard grief doesn’t go away, it just changes shape. You cute little Boots will help you more than you know.

    I normally wouldn’t have seen your story, but one day last week I was serving as nurse to my wife after a significant radiologic procedure requiring strict isolation from our pets and I for a few days. It was so strange being in the same house, but not being able to see her or be near her, so my reaction to your story on MSNBC and beyond was more intense than I’d imagine.
    So, from some guy in Los Angeles, thank you guys for all your’ve shared… it’s timing and essence has touched me more than you’ll know.

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  126. Doug Norcliffe

    As I sit here in tears, barely can see the keys to type ;I have two emotions burning .I feel the True Love that we rarely see nowadays and I feel guilt,which I believe is God Sent that 25 years of marriage has kinda been taken for granted and that each and every day I must see and Treat my Wife as the LOVING GAL I FELL IN LOVE WITH MANY YEARS AGO!!!
    I think Gods’ message here is very Real and is filling me with Hope and invigorating me to Revive my Love for Life in general !!! Thank You and God Bless You Bethany and Ryan!!!

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  127. Joan from PA

    Thank you for sharing your story, Bethany. You are beautiful, inside and out. I am reminded of the quote, “It is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all.”

    Best wishes to you.

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  128. Kathy

    Words cannot describe how your story made me feel. touched in an indescribable way, yet heartbroken…

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  129. Tracy

    Your story touched my heart in more ways than one. It gave me chills and put tears in my eyes. Such a beautiful couple with an enormous amount of love & strength. God Bless you Bethany and may the memories you have with Ryan help you through this most difficult time. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and both your families. You will always have a special guardian angel watching over you all. Rest in Peace Ryan.

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  130. Gina

    Your story is an inspirational meaning to what a partnership is all about. When we say in Sickness and Health your story brings TRUE meaning. May Ryan rest in peace and May God give you the blessing of having a Second Chance to Love.

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  131. Michelle

    What an beautiful and sad story. My heart, thoughts & prayers go out to you Bethany. Rest in Peace Ryan.
    I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer almost 4 yrs ago. He too lost his life only 6 weeks from diagnosis. He was 44. We were together since May 1986 and more in love than ever when it was discovered. Our only daughter had just graduated and we were planning on finally focusing on us as we had raised our daughter & she was headed to college. It was supposed to be our turn, we started making plans for fishing etc. and just planning to grown old together. We talked about growing old together and sitting out back in our rockers admiring the sky like we did so often. That was all cut short by the news and then it progressed faster than they had predicted. I still am having a hard time because I feel a huge whole and lost.
    I definately can feel Bethany’s pain and heartache. I miss him so much. He was my best friend and I know for sure he was my soulmate. You see we lost each other once, and I said if it was meant to be that we would find our way back to each other. That we did and from then on we knew we were soulmates. My world collapsed when he was gone… and as her husband stated, It is what it is…is EXACTLY what my husband said and he never complained. He just was worried about us not him.. Right after diagnosis we had family photos taken and he pushed through the pain because they were important to me as we had not done portraits since our daughter was 2. He was so amazing!! Our love had withstood so much and we got through it. He got to see his daughter graduate high school and with honors; you could see how happy he was he at least got to do that. Well I am sad Bethany had to experience this at a young age. I lost my 2 nephews as well who were both young and taken so fast. My heart truly does break for her and what she will have to deal with. Eventually the attention goes away and that is where it really gets hard. Meaning when everything calms down and people go back to their life. I wish her all the best in the time ahead. I can relate to how she feels. <3

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  132. Barb Paranto

    A very beautiful story – wouldn’t be wonderful if we could all experience a love as deep and moving as yours? May you find peace and comfort in that love.

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  133. Jeffrey Goh

    I have never been so touched or moved that I have been with this story. Thank you very much for sharing. It was wonderfully written and a beautiful reminder of what truly is important in life. Their happiness shines through every photo.

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  134. Jeanette

    i can’t help my tears… such beautiful story!! :)

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  135. Nicole Ooi

    Such a touching and beautiful story Bethany. Be Strong and May the good Lord Bless you and families.

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  136. Amanda Allen

    What an unbelievably touching story – thank you so much for sharing, Bethany. My heart really goes out to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss. I don’t think anyone can read this w/o tears streaming down… You’ve taught us that we all have to cherish the time we have with one another and be grateful and above all, not take anything for granted.

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  137. D. Lau

    Bethany, your love story is beautiful. Just because it is short doesn’t mean it is any less wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Your happiness, your love, your emotions radiate in every picture and every word.

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  138. Christine Villatura

    Thank you for the testimony…will you allow me to post your story in my blog?

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  139. Leidy L.

    wow! This story really makes me see the idea of celebrating a wedding in a new perspective. It was heartfelt and the vows were a true testament of embracing every moment together in the good times and the bad. I’m really glad I read this story and will cherish it as I begin the process of my journey in the wedding planning. I don’t ever want to forget that there are special couples out there that are still doing it for the right reasons. Thank you for sharing it.

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  140. Brittney

    A beautiful story. Congratulations on your one month Bethany. Many xoxo’s your way. Couldn’t help but share this story on Pintrest.

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  141. Era

    this is really amazing story , i cant stop cry :( . Im going marriage very soon too. But thanks to God cos He gave me such adorable person in my life x

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  142. Israel

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless imagine if you added
    some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could undeniably be one of the most
    beneficial in its field. Awesome blog!

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  143. Liesl

    I just teared up reading Bethany’s words and what a TRUE love story this is! Bittersweet, but so inspiring and shows that when you truly love, you will fight until the end and treasure the moments you do have! Just beautiful! <3

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  144. Lilly

    You just reminded me what it’s all about. The love two people share – the committment – the connection that souls make.

    I start getting caught up in pleasing everyone else in regards to my fiance’s and my wedding. We both had big weddings the first time around. Your amazing story has just put it all in perspective. My fiance is serving in Afghanistan and I just can’t wait to be his wife. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  145. Wedding Invitations Perthbane

    I was close to tears reading your heartbreaking love story. You are one of the precious couples out there who inspire people to share, give and be selfless in love. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  146. Unique Invitations by Giant

    It’s a beautiful wedding and a heartbreaking love story. I’m very inspired with Bethany’s bravery and pure love. I browsed photos over and again because I love just how their love radiate through the photos. I wish you all the best Bethany.

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