Dying Father Walks His 11-Year-Old Daughter Down the Aisle

wedding ceremony for daughter

When Jim Zetz, 62, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, he was heartbroken for his 11-year-old daughter, Josie. Not only would he likely pass away before her next birthday, but his dream of walking her down the aisle at her wedding some day was all but shattered — that is, until wedding photographer Lindsey Villatoro of Love Song Events & Photography helped the family celebrate that special moment now, while they still can.

The photographer was originally hired to capture one last family photo session. During the session, Josie expressed how upset she was about all of the "memories down the line" her father would miss. Villatoro was so touched by their story that she secretly reached out to her local vendors and organized a special ceremony, where Jim would get to walk his little girl down the aisle. In just 72 hours, she'd secured a wedding dress, tuxedo, cake, catering, flowers, and even hair and makeup for Josie.

'"One day [you] wake up and realize you’re given the opportunity to change someone’s life for the better. 'You get an idea, don’t think twice and run with it," Villatoro wrote.

Josie was initially overwhelmed by the idea, but later, she told the photographer, "'This is the best day of my life. She was very glad and excited to have these moments," Villatoro told the Huffington Post.

wedding ceremony for daughter

wedding ceremony for daughter

wedding ceremony for daughter wedding ceremony for daughter

wedding ceremony for daughter

wedding ceremony for daughter

Watch the sweet photo montage for more from this very special day:


Walk me down the Aisle Daddy from Lindsey Natzic Villatoro on Vimeo.

—Kristen Klein


  Featured: Mindy Weiss on How to Save Money on 
Your Wedding Without Sacrificing Style. 

Get more planning advice here.