A future bride's world came crumbling down when her fiancé died in a tragic car accident one month before they were supposed to get married. As a tribute to her late fiancé and the life they would have spent together, Lauren Reynolds put on her wedding dress and held a wedding one year after the two were meant to get married.
Tristin Woods, 17, was killed last year while he and Lauren were in the midst of planning their wedding. A year later, Lauren decided to act out their wedding day in the company of her family and friends to remember Tristin. She even wore the dream wedding dress she had purchased a year ago. Lauren said:
"That day was the closest I'll ever get to a real wedding day. It was like Tristan was there watching over us. I didn't just lose Tristin last year - I lost the life we'll never live together, I lost all the children we'll never have and all the grandchildren we'll never get to spoil. I know Tristin is forever grateful for all of the people who have taken care of me while he hasn't been able to. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, it really meant a lot to me."
On the day that Lauren held the wedding tribute for Tristin, she took her friends and family to Dash Point Beach in Washington state. This was a special location for the couple. At the beach, everyone wrote notes to Tristin on balloons and released them into the air. Lauren said:
"I let mine go first and then everyone else let theirs go. It was a really good day but I still went home without a husband and woke up without one. He was my hand to hold through every path we travelled, my cheerleader and my comforter. My soul feels quiet now. I feel agony and yet quite peaceful at the same time. It's as if Tristin is here, holding my hand telling me everything will be okay. He's still my cheerleader, my comforter, and my hand to hold through the long nights, and the exciting adventures."
Photographer Stephanie Jarstad captured the bittersweet moment for Lauren. She said:
"There was one moment when we were all reminiscing about Tristin and the sun broke through the clouds and we all were pretty overcome with emotion. I caught a few photos of it and it felt as if he was there in the photo standing above her. His presence was very near and it was such a touching project to be a part of. The message I hoped to relay with this series is about how fragile life is. As a wedding photographer familiar with the industry it can be so easy for everyone to get wrapped up in planning the party but this photoshoot stopped me in my tracks and rekindled what it means to love wholeheartedly."
Lauren and Tristin knew exactly what it means to love wholeheartedly. We hope the wedding helped Lauren find the comfort, support and love she deserves.
Watch this video to see how one couple honored their late son with a wedding photo:
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