When Sickness Speeds Up Wedding Plans


On the day itself, the couple said the atmosphere was more like a backyard picnic. The groom’s mother was also able to lay down in a back bedroom where family could visit her.

“You think it’s this great huge party and all of a sudden, when it really comes down to it, everything gets stripped away,” said Jonney Ahmanson of his wedding. “All the fluff of the wedding gets pulled away. This is the way it’s supposed to be really.”

While Abby Ahmanson was not on her feet for much of the day, she was able to walk her son down the aisle. After the ceremony, one of the first things Jonney Ahmanson did was lean down and give his mother a kiss on the cheek.

Only a two weeks after the wedding, the couple was planning Abby Ahmanson's funeral. They got their wedding photos the day after her death.

“As we sat there and flipped through the gallery for the first time, overwhelmed with equal parts sadness and the happiness of reliving our day through these photos, I felt truly connected, not only with my husband, but also with Abby,” wrote Ventura Ahmanson.

The couple said they shared the story so that other couples in similar situations could see that it was possible to plan a wedding when a family member has a terminal illness.

“We kept holding off,” said Jonney Ahmanson of delaying the decision to plan their wedding. “Families can fall into denial and say, ‘We have a lot of time.' But I think I would just tell people, if they want to do it and want their loved one to be there, to do it and not hesitate.”

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