For a bride, the wedding day is probably one of the most important days of her life. Planning the wedding can be an emotional time, as most brides want things executed perfectly, having dreamed of this day their entire lives. They don’t hold back on making sure that everything is just right and they spend months working with florists, DJ’s, cake decorators, event venues, and of course selecting the perfect dress.
Brittany Adkins was like any other bride. She wanted her wedding to be the way she had always envisioned it. One of the most important things on her list of “must haves” at her wedding was having her grandfather, Rev. Ronald Adkins, officiate the wedding, just as he did at her sister’s wedding years before.
But, Adkins, unfortunately, passed away on July 22nd, months before Brittany was set to get married. His passing devastated her but she knew that he was “home” and in a better place. She had come to accept that he wouldn’t be at her wedding, but little did she know, her sister and fiance had planned something that would lift her spirits and feel close to “Paw Paw,” if only for the day. The two worked together to make him a special part of the ceremony.
Toward the end of the ceremony, the preacher officiating Brittany’s wedding requested that everyone bow their heads in prayer. And then it happened…Pawpaw’s voice was heard over the loudspeaker, as he pronounced the two husband and wife.
As if a wedding day isn’t emotional enough for a bride, hearing her grandfather’s voice sent Brittany’s emotions into high gear and she was crying tears of joy at the sound of his voice.
“When I first heard a voice over the speaker, I knew immediately who it was,” said Brittany. My heart shattered, but I felt so much joy and happiness through all the tears. The emotion and chills that filled my body are indescribable. I was weak in my knees, but I felt his presence. A calming came over me and I felt a weight lift off because my dream came true, all thanks to my sister and Jordon. Family is very important to me and I could not have imagined anyone else pronouncing us husband and wife beside my papaw,” she said. “All the dreams I had as a little girl came true.”
Photographer Sarah Irvin luckily captured the moment on camera and it was soon shared all across social media, melting hearts everywhere. Alongside the image that she captured, Irvin shared the following comment…
“It was the bride’s dream to have her grandfather officiate her wedding like he did for her sister in 2015. Unfortunately, he passed away before this dream could become a reality. As the preacher asked everyone to bow their heads in prayer, a voice came over the loud speaker. It was the bride’s grandfather who had been called Home last year. He prayed over them, announced them as husband and wife then told the groom he may now kiss his new bride. I’ve photographed a lot of weddings and this was the most incredible moment I’ve ever had the honor to witness. ‘You may not be here on my wedding day, but in my heart you’ll always stay.’ “