When the groom proposed to the bride, he suggested the tribute idea as well.
When Jony and Alistair Lee tied the knot, the guests didn't cry because the couple finally fulfilled their dream of spending their life together but for a completely different reason. A tiny gesture made by the couple as a tribute to someone really close to them left everyone teary-eyed.
Jony and Alistair's wedding was perfect, filled with happiness, love, affection, and family. Right after the lovers performed their first dance as husband and wife, they went ahead with a surprise that they'd planned for Jony's mother, Luna Macapagal, who had been battling stage 4 ovarian cancer since 2018. Luna, who's from Auckland, New Zealand, had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for her cancer. She also had surgery a few months before her daughter's marriage.
Unfortunately, Luna passed away in January 2021, but not before she saw her only daughter walk down the aisle with her prince charming. She also carried with her the love and care her family had, through the couple's heartrending gesture after the wedding.
Right after Jony and Alistair took the center stage in November 2020 after the wedding ceremony, they followed it by shaving each other's hair in front of all their guests. All they wanted was to show Luna how much they loved and respected her difficult fight with cancer.
The guests had different reactions. While some laughed looking at how much the couple was enjoying the gesture, others cried, remembering the reason behind it. “We love you so much and we want to show our - what’s the word? - solidarity to you,” she said right before she shaved Alistair's head. He helped Jony shave as well.
According to NZ Herald, the sweet tribute was the groom's idea, the new bride revealed. "When Alistair proposed to me he was like why don't we do it at the wedding," She added that "there was no anxiety or no bad thoughts." She told Inside Edition that their gesture was to "show her mom that she was not alone in her cancer fight—and for her to know she would always have their support."
After the first dance, Jony's parents thought they would be performing the traditional Filipino dance where guests offer the couple money but they were a bit stunned when the wedding MC said that the two had an announcement. Jony made it clear to the guests that she wasn't pregnant but they were going to do "something different." She also informed the guests that the couple would be giving the money "to the cancer society."
Not even the wedding photographers could stop themselves from shedding a few tears. "You had the shaving of the head, you had mum crying in the background, you had all the relatives cheering, crying ruffling through their wallets to find money," said Photographer Anaru Church of Songbirds Photography. "There was emotion happening at every angle." He added that he and his wife were "balling our eyes out" even in the initial meet. "I think we cried like three times during the initial meeting because we were so blown away by these two."
The bride set up a fundraising page on Givealittle after received an overwhelming response at the wedding. They've decided to donate the entire amount to the Cancer Society. According to The Mirror, after watching her daughter's wedding and their wonderful tribute, Luna passed away on January 12, 2021. The couple decided to share their story after her demise to raise awareness.
"We were so happy to see how happy and proud it made her," said Jony. "We didn't really know what to expect but we were so happy in the moment. The responses were very unexpected, everyone at the wedding was crying and telling us how proud they were. We have received donations from all around the world which was also very unexpected, and we are so grateful to those who have donated or offered words of support."
Cover image source: Givealittle