Candice Hammond's fairy-tale wedding took a dramatic turn after she received heartbreaking news.
Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography
Candice Hammond's fairy-tale wedding took a dramatic turn after she received heartbreaking news.

Story highlights

Candice Hammond's wedding took place in the middle of an ICU hospital room

She wanted her dying father to witness the next chapter of her life

CNN —  

Candice Hammonds and Thomas Burkett had planned to get married on October 1. But in late August, doctors in Thomaston, Georgia, delivered some heartbreaking news: Candace’s father, Steve, only had a few days to live.

Candice's mother, Teresa Hammonds, cares for her husband Steve in his hospital room.
Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography
Candice's mother, Teresa Hammonds, cares for her husband Steve in his hospital room.

Quickly, the couple worked to have the ceremony ready in time. In a matter of 24 hours, the wedding was moved to the Upson Regional Medical Center, inside Hammonds’ ICU room.

Steve Hammonds witnesses his daughter's wedding ceremony from his hospital bed.
Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography
Steve Hammonds witnesses his daughter's wedding ceremony from his hospital bed.

In many ways, it was a traditional wedding, with the couple exchanging vows and rings.

“I don’t think I have ever experienced so much love and emotion in one room. The way that this family came together in such short time for this bedside wedding amazed me!” photographer and family friend Julie Schandolph wrote in a Facebook post.

Candice Hammonds and Thomas Burkett exhange vows and rings.
Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography
Candice Hammonds and Thomas Burkett exhange vows and rings.

So that he could fully enjoy his daughter’s wedding, Hammonds was taken off of his sedatives for the duration of the ceremony.

Steve was able to witness his daughter's wedding in person before his death.
Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography
Steve was able to witness his daughter's wedding in person before his death.

Hammonds passed away September 4, days after the ceremony. Despite the tragic circumstances, the family is happy to have shared such an important moment in their lives.

Courtesy Julie Schandolph Photography

Schandolph believes that like Candice, Steve was happy with the result. “Every girl dreams of her daddy walking her down the aisle and giving her hand away,” Schandolph wrote. “Given the circumstances, Candice’s daddy was still able to do just that!”