Tara Foley couldn’t imagine her wedding day without her grandmother, Stasia Foley. But considering Stasia was 102 years old and deemed unable to travel by her hospice nurses, Tara realized that having her grandmother present on her actual wedding day might not be possible.
So, the bride-to-be came up with a memorable way to get her “Nana” in on the action.
Without telling anyone — not even her friends and family — Tara went down to her grandmother’s care facility in Florida. She brought her wedding dress — which was still in need of some alterations — along with a hair and makeup team and a photographer.
What she had in mind was an intimate photoshoot with her grandmother, one that allowed Stasia the chance to see her granddaughter all dressed up, just as she would be on her wedding day.
The day resulted in beautiful photos that will leave you grabbing for the tissues. What a special moment for these two to share!
Tara posted about the photoshoot on Facebook, writing, “Words cannot explain how much these moments mean to me and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life. Her smile and her laugh are forever etched in my mind and the love between us will live in my heart.”
Just 27 days after the photos were taken, Tara’s Nana passed away.
“When I said goodbye to her that night, I think we both knew it would be the last time we would see each other. She grabbed my cheeks with her hands, looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I love you very much,'” Tara wrote in the Facebook post.
She told ABC News, “Although she was 102 and lived a very, very long, fulfilling life, it’s not easy to lose anybody,” she said. “I was just always very blessed to have had her for so many years of my life.”
Tara had another surprise in store for her wedding day, though. Considering she never told her family about her trip to Florida, she decided to wait until her big day to show them the photographs.
When she finally shared the photos with everyone, she told ABC News, “They were in a state of shock and disbelief … They just started crying immediately. They were very overwhelmed with emotion and extremely surprised.”
Tara had her wedding photographer capture the moment she finally revealed her secret to her family, and as you might imagine, that made for a very special picture, too.
Photographer Misty McLendon posted about the moment on Instagram:
View this post on Instagram
A real moment here. The brides grandmother was 102 years old and traveled by herself up until then! The bride found out that her grandmother wouldn’t be able to fly anymore so she flew to her grandmother, got dolled up in her wedding dress and did a photo shoot with her. Shortly after, her grandmother passed away. Tara kept the shoot a secret and surprised her mom, dad, brother and sister in law with the picture of them together on her wedding day.
How very touching!
Congratulations to this thoughtful bride who will be able to hold on to these memories forever.
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.