Seven brides for one dying father.
An Ohio man was granted his final wish shortly before he died from brain cancer, as he got to give away his seven daughters in a bridal ceremony.
William L. “Willie” Shelton died on Oct. 16 at the age of 44. Only one of his daughters is married, but all seven of them decided to create a ceremony so the former U.S. Army sergeant could experience the thrill of seeing all of them in wedding dresses, WJW reported.
“The one constant was always, ‘I want to see my girls grow up, and I want to walk them down the aisle,’” Shelton’s wife, Cheryl Shelton, told WJW.
Willie Shelton’s hospice center, along with a photographer and hair stylist, helped put the daughters’ plan into action within a few days.
"We had this idea we put together in three days,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW. “We got all the wedding gowns for the girls and hospice helped us out a great deal with some of the planning.”
The father was told that he would be giving away his daughter, Emily Flinn, who was renewing her vows with her husband, Tyler Flinn.
“We got married at a courthouse, so there wasn't the formality to it where he could actually give me away,” Emily Flinn said.
“He had no clue that this was going on and everybody got dressed, so I said, ‘She is going to have all the girls be the bridesmaids and everything for her.’ Little did he know that they were all going to be brides,” Cheryl Shelton told WJW.
Three days later, with Willie Shelton wearing his dress uniform in a backyard ceremony, each of his daughters came out of the house, one at a time, all in wedding gowns.
“He looked a little confused, and then it was just great to see everybody,” Flinn told WJW.
“This was very touching for him, and it was a dream that we could fulfill to the best or the closest we could possibly do,” Cheryl Shelton said.
Willie Shelton was helped out of his wheelchair and stood with his daughters during the ceremony, WJW reported.
“I always assumed that my dad would be there to walk me down the aisle, and when the possibility was there that he wasn't going to be able to -- this was everything,” Lindsey Shelton told WJW
Less than two weeks after the ceremony, Willie Shelton passed away -- but his daughters will carry his memory with them.
All seven daughters will receive a locket in which they will have a photo of their father with them in a wedding dress.
The words, "A father's love never ends," will be engraved on the back.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.