A dying California man staged a wedding for his 11-year-old daughter so he would have the chance to walk her down the aisle, the Press-Enterprise reported.
Jim Zetz, 62, has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and won’t live long enough to see his daughter Josie’s real wedding. So for Josie’s birthday, Zetz staged a wedding in their backyard with the help of friends and family, who came together to plan the event in just 72 hours.
Lindsey Villatoro, a photographer, helped coordinate the ceremony.
“I have an 11-year-old daughter and knew Josie’s birthday was coming up,” Villatoro told the Press Enterprise. “I also knew it would be the last birthday with her dad. If I was Josie, this would be the best gift anyone could give.”
Gary Galbraith, a pastor, officiated the ceremony, during which Zetz walked his daughter down the aisle and gave her a promise ring.
“Your dad may not get to see you get married, but he is here to walk you down the aisle today,” Galbraith said. “The daddy and daughter relationship is one of the most special relationships in life.”
Though the ceremony was emotional, Zetz said he was happy he was able to create a special memory for his daughter.
“Down the road this will mean a lot to her,” Zetz said. “She will always remember it.”