Brittany Yost’s family planned the surprise of a lifetime.

Weddings are a special day filled with happy memories and love. However, when a loved one passes away before your celebratory day, you can’t help but feel a small void where that person should be.

That’s why this story, and the surprise one bride’s family planned, has left so many people in tears.

The Wedding of Her Dreams

bride and groom at the altar

Growing up, Brittany Yost always knew what she wanted her wedding to look like: her grandfather, Reverend Ronald “PawPaw” Adkins, would officiate the ceremony. Unfortunately, PawPaw passed away at the age of 89 — just a week before Yost and her boyfriend Jordan got engaged.

Yost was excited to get married, of course, but she couldn’t help but feel down that the man she’d grown up with wouldn’t be able to help her say her vows the way he had for her sister.

Still, she went about the wedding planning and picked out the dress, the décor, the surprises, and all of the other things that occupy an engaged couple’s time. Unbeknownst to Yost, her family was planning a wedding surprise of their own.

The Ultimate Surprise

framed picture of an elderly man

On the day of the wedding, everything proceeded as per usual. Yost and Jordan were at the altar when the pastor asked them to bow their heads in prayer. Then, a surprise voice came from the speakers: PawPaw.

“It took me by complete surprise,” Brittany told Today. “It was amazing. It was a moment I’ll cherish forever.”

As it turned out, Yost’s family had managed to take the audio from her sister’s wedding and put snippets of it together so that Brittany could also have her grandfather be there on her big day.

“Right before we walked down the aisle, my dad looked at me and said, ‘Your grandpa would be so proud of you.’ It filled my heart with joy,” Yost told the publication. Little did she know she’d be hearing his voice just minutes later.

“Even though this wasn’t how I originally wanted it… it was a blessing,” she added. “It was so special for my whole family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

The Power of Memory

When we go through big moments (and small moments), we tend to wish those we’ve lost could be there with us. Many of us do believe that our loved ones are with us in spirit, although it’s true that it’s not the same.

That’s why we should always try and cherish the memories we do have with our loved ones. Make the phone call, plan the date, and figure out when to get together while you still can.

And on that note, be sure to take all the pictures and videos you can while you’re at it, because one day, you may cherish those more than you’ll know.

Honoring those who have gone too soon allows us to celebrate that life and what it meant to us, while also giving us some comfort. After all, we all want to remember the good times, and how those loved ones helped to shape us into the people we are today.