They wanted to just honor their late daughter on this special days. But she just proved that she's there with them always and forever.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 30, 2019. It has since been updated.
Weddings always hold special meaning for the bride, groom and their loved ones. After all, it celebrates family and love. Even with loved ones who aren't there anymore. The Daily Mail reports a fascinating and touching story about one such wedding.
For the groom, Max Van Gorder, losing his sister, Vanessa, in a car accident a few years before during the Christmas season was not easy to deal with. But ever since then, butterflies held a special meaning for him and his family as it was how they remember Vanessa who would have turned 29 this year.
Now that Max was ready to wed his bride Lydia, the Van Gorders wanted to share this special moment by paying a tribute to their loved one who they lost too early. And the best way they thought to do that was by deciding to release stunning, orange Monarch butterflies into the air. According to Garden With Wings, these butterflies symbolize resurrection and life, where some believe that our dead loved ones can sometimes visit us as the stunning creatures.
Wedding photographer Jessica Manns was in charge of capturing the moment. But what happened after the release of the butterflies is truly stunning. “This is probably the most emotional thing I’ve witnessed at a wedding,” Jessica said. Not wanting others to miss out on this magnificent wedding, she took to Facebook to post the pictures.
Max Van Gorder married his wife Lydia at Fox Hill Farm, Honesdale, Pennsylvania. During their wedding vows, he and his family released the butterflies as a way to honor Vanessa. However, the butterflies refused to fly off. Clinging to the dresses of those present, the sight was one to behold.
But perhaps the most touching photos were of the pure joy and elation on the groom's parents' faces when the butterflies landed on them, unwilling to leave.
The photographer posted on her Facebook profile, “They clung all over them and even stayed on their bodies the entire ceremony and well afterwards into cocktail hour."
She even mentioned how one butterfly landed on the groom's father's hand and remained there throughout the ceremony.
"This same butterfly on his finger stayed there the entire ceremony and then flew onto the bride’s bouquet after the recessional," stated Jessica.
What's more, was that the butterflies attached themselves even to Lydia. "Lydia, the bride, even walked down the aisle with two on her dress."
"Then a few hours later during the speeches, another butterfly somehow got inside the barn and landed on Lydia’s neck and remained there for all the speeches. Unreal," added the awed photographer.
The bride too wanted to share her thoughts on the now-viral Facebook post with more than 62,000 likes.
She commented, “Thank you again Jessica Manns for capturing such a special and loving moment during our wedding. Vanessa was with us there and throughout the night. I relive my wedding day every time I look at your photos. You captured every moment so beautifully! You are the best!”