Dying father walks his 11-year-old daughter down the aisle

photo by Lindsey Villatoro

This is a very heartwarming, and bittersweet, story. Jim Zetz is a 62-year-old father who has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and, sadly, believes he won’t be alive long enough to see his 11-year-old daughter Josie get married someday.

He thought he wouldn’t get a chance to walk his little girl down the aisle, that is, until California-based photographer Lindsey Villatoro had an idea. She was already working with the family to take their final portraits together when she thought to host a daddy and daughter “mini-wedding” on Josie’s birthday. In just 72 hours, with the help of her friends, she pulled the entire thing together.

Get some tissues, ’cause here’s a glimpse of the special event in images and videos:

Here’s more about how it all came together, in Lindsey’s words:

…You see about 4 days before this event I contacted Grace and asked her what she thought about having a mini wedding for Josie. She mentioned she was so emotional about her dad not being there for memories down the line so I figured we would make some now. I told her mother I was coming over with a dress from Macy’s, dinner for some close friends and I’d do her makeup. We’ll low and behold I actually had a FULL blown wedding up my sleeve. Not to mention the press was even there. I planned every detail with my rockstar team that had NO IDEA they were even helping. From the hair and makeup, to her designer dress that was drove to me that morning from LA fashion week, flowers, a vintage set, an evening totally catered, his suit, a ring for goodness sakes, a pastor, gifts and the best dessert table ever!!! We had it all. Jim, Josie and Grace it was an honor surprising you. Josie you will forever have a video of you and your dad walking you down the aisle to play at your wedding in years to come as if he was physically there. Enjoy this video friends..I wish you all could have been there!!! Grace told me Josie said the following morning, “It was the BEST day of her life.”

via 22 Words, Neatorama
photos and video by Lindsey Villatoro