Photo: Courtesy of Frantz Photography
Wedding planning is such a joyous occasion filled with laughter, love, and family. The bride and groom's families play integral emotional and physical roles throughout the wedding so it can be heartbreaking when a family member has passed away before the big day. Brides and grooms have always been able to include passed family members in their ceremony and, thanks to photographers, now they can be in their wedding pictures.
A wedding picture of a bride, Amanda, holding her arms out to embrace a young transparent girl has recently gone viral after the photographer posted the picture to her Facebook page. The photo's caption revealed that the shadow of a girl was in fact the bride's daughter, Azalee, who had passed away in 2013.
"Azalee's battle with childhood cancer ended 2 years ago...she went to heaven before her mommy met the most wonderful man named Chip," Ashley Frantz, the photographer, posted to her Facebook to accompany the picture. "Heartbroken that her girl wouldn't be here to experience this new journey with her, Amanda asked me to please incorporate Azalee into the pics somehow. This is what I came up with and I couldn't be more pleased."
According to the New York Post, the bride and groom incorporated Azalee into their wedding ceremony as well. The couple released butterflies during the ceremony in memory of Azalee. "As the butterflies flew up and away, one little beauty decided she wanted to stay a while. She landed right on Amanda (closest to her heart) and stayed while a heart-wrenching cry was shared between the bride and groom (and the entire congregation)," Frantz wrote.
An Atlanta bride, Anna Bozman Thompson, asked her photographer to do something similar to her wedding photos when her son passed away six months prior to the wedding from Leukemia. The results were breathtaking. Thompson shared the picture along with her appreciation for the photographer's edits. "I needed this picture more than she or anyone could ever know. THIS is my family. And we will be together again." Thompson wrote with the picture.
Thanks to creativity and a dash of technology brides are finding more and more ways to incorporate their deceased loved ones into their wedding day. Brides and grooms have been known to put a note into the program, wear something of the relative's during the wedding, and even doing a small speech in memory of their loved one. A photographer's ability to incorporate loved ones into the wedding photos can be a special reminder to the couple that everyone who loved them was present on the wedding day.