The bride-to-be flew 1,500 miles to be able to shoot the secret photoshoot, which she later unveiled on her wedding day.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on September 6, 2019. It has since been updated.
A loving granddaughter wanted to make sure that her 102-year-old grandmother, who was receiving hospice care, was present for her wedding in any way possible. So, she flew 1,500 miles to Florida months before her wedding to make her a part of it. It was her grandmother's wish to be part of the summer wedding in Texas.
Tara Foley, a 37-year-old realtor, was getting married in the summer of 2019 in Texas while her 102-year-old nana, Stasia Foley, lived in Naples, Florida. Even though both of them wanted her at the wedding, her precarious health condition did not permit her to travel. So, Tara flew with her wedding dress to have a secret photoshoot with the centenarian.
“I knew she wouldn’t be able to make it back to Texas for my wedding,” Tara told PEOPLE. “When I heard that, I said, ‘I have to go to her. I want her to see me in my dress. And I want to get as close as I can to giving her last wish.’”
"When my Nana was put on hospice, the nurse asked her what her goals were. She replied that she wanted to be at my wedding. They reluctantly told her they didn't want her flying anymore (she was nearly 103 years old) and her heart was failing," she said in a Facebook post.
On January 28, the realtor told her parents that she was going to Miami with fiance Matt Bars, 41. Instead, she went to Fort Myers to see her grandmother. Matt was not a part of the trip as she didn't want him to see her in the wedding dress. The ingenious woman told her aunt and uncle that she wanted to talk to her grandmother regarding the legacy video she had begun in September.
She waited for her grandmother outside her aunt and uncle’s condo with her hair and make-up done. Stasia was then informed that she had a visitor. “She looked at me and said, ‘I thought it was going to be you,’” Tara told People. Then they headed to the clubhouse, where she wore her Stella York wedding dress, which hadn't even been fitted, for the shoot.
“I wanted so badly for her to see me in my dress,” Tara said. “She just touched the fabric and touched the tulle of my dress. She kept looking at my dress and looking at me.” Her nana told her she was a beautiful bride. “I got very teary-eyed,” Tara said. “She was never one to cry. She got teary-eyed as well.”
Later, Tara went back to her regular clothes and swore her nana to secrecy. "I wanted to keep all the photos a surprise,” she said. “She put her finger to her chin, she looked out the window and said, ‘I’ll tell them we went dancing.’”
Unfortunately, her grandmother passed away on February 23 while holding on to the secret. She revealed the photos to her family on the day of her wedding. She had the photos framed for them to see.
“My dad thought I had Photoshopped two pictures together. He was just very, very moved by the photo. He didn’t think it was real,” she said. “That’s when the tears just started falling. Everybody was just very overwhelmed with emotion and very surprised.”
The photos of the unveiling were also captured and Tara shared them and the previous photos on social media, which have been liked almost two million times already.
"I am so blessed to have this be my last memory with her. She was beyond an amazing woman! I love you Nana, always and forever!" she said on Facebook.