On the most important day of her life, there was only one thing missing for bride-to-be Amanda Free – her daughter.
Mrs Free’s daughter Azalee passed away in 2013 after a tough battle with cancer.
She was only six years old.
When organising her wedding in Port Allen, Louisiana, Mrs Free asked her friend Ashley Frantz to be her photographer on the special day.
And she had a special request – she asked Mrs Frantz to include Azalee in the photographs.
“The thought of taking my wedding pictures without her hurt my heart so bad,” Mrs Free told Yahoo7.
Mrs Frantz acknowledged the task was difficult, but was up for the challenge.
“She's a dear friend to me and so when she asked, I knew I had to figure how to make it happen,” the photographer told Yahoo7.
“I wanted to create the photo for her because I'm a mom myself and I can't imagine life without my daughter.”
Azalee was diagnosed with stage five neuroblastoma the day before her fifth birthday.
Neuroblastoma is the most aggressive form of childhood cancer.
“Azalee fought her battle against cancer with such grace and true faith in God,” Mrs Free said.
Little Azalee passed away before she had the chance to meet her mother’s new husband, Chip.
“I know she would have had him wrapped around her little finger,” Mrs Free said.
The touching photograph focuses on the bride, as beautiful as ever, in her flowing white gown.
Crouching down, she is affectionately holding the face of a child to stands next to her.
The transparent silhouette of the child is Azalee, who looks dressed for the occasion in a yellow dress.
The image has gained support from all corners of the globe, with many viewers shedding a tear.
“Such a beautiful photo, it brought tears to my eyes”, one person posted.
“I'm sitting here, uncontrollably crying, this has really hit my heart”, wrote another.
The bride said she couldn’t be happier with Mrs Frantz’s finished result.
“You can't put a price tag on the happiness she has brought to my broken heart.
“Azalee was my best friend, and the love we shared was so special and Ashley knows that and she put her heart into creating a beautiful memory for me.”
During the ceremony, the bride and groom released butterflies in memory of little Azalee.
One butterfly in particular reduced the audience to tears when it landed on Amanda’s dress.
“We all know it was Azalee, just a little whisper from her and God saying 'congratulations' and letting everyone know she was nearby to help her mommy cross over into her new path of life”, Mrs Frantz wrote on her Facebook page.
“She was a true gift from above,” Mrs Free said.
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