A wedding day is one of the most special and sacred days in a woman’s life – one that should be shared with their closest friends, family, and loved ones. While that was certainly the case for bride Becky Turney, who was getting ready to marry the love of her life in 2017, there was one person who wasn’t there to witness it.
Two years prior to her wedding day, Becky was forced to say goodbye to her 19-year-old son, Triston – who died unexpectedly in 2015. There was no one she wanted at her wedding more than her son, so she naturally thought of a special and beautiful way to ensure his presence was known on her special day.
While planning the wedding, Becky and her fiance – Kelly Turney – decided to reserve a seat for her late son. “I’m in heaven for your wedding, so what shall I do? I’ll come down to earth to spend it with you. So save me a seat, just one empty chair. You may not see me, but I will be there,” a sign read on the seat.
RELATED: Ellen DeGeneres and Wife, Portia de Rossi, Renew Their Wedding Vows With Surprise Ceremony – and You’ll Never Guess Who Officiated It!
It was a beautiful way to remember her son, but Kelly Turney took it a step further with a special surprise for his bride. Knowing that Triston’s organs were donated to patients in need following his death, Kelly set out to ensure Triston’s heart was physically present at the wedding ceremony – and that’s what he did.
At one point during the wedding ceremony, Kelly took a moment to halt the wedding because there was someone he wanted Becky to meet – Jacob Kilby, the recipient of Triston’s heart. While she knew of Kilby, she had never met him face-to-face and never had the opportunity to hear his heartbeat after his death.
That special moment came on her wedding day. “I began planning her surprise with Jacob about four to five months earlier. He is an amazing young man,” Kelly told BBC at the time – adding that he and his wife encourage everyone to become an organ donor because it ‘saves lives and changed ours forever.’
Kelly also made sure a stethoscope was present; that way, Becky could hear the heartbeat loud and clear. As for Jacob, he described the moment as ‘unrealistic, so heart-warming, and incredibly emotional’ – adding that he will remain in touch with Becky and spend some extra time with her after the wedding.
Bride Becky Calls Her Wedding Day Surprise the Best Gift of Her Life
In the days after her wedding, Becky Turney took to Facebook to send out a massive ‘thank you’ to the outpouring of love and support she received after her wedding day story went viral on social media. She was left speechless and called the overall response ‘amazing’ before thanking guests and vendors.
“Since our story of heartbreak, love, and the greatest gift has hit the Internet, our phones have been put to task, and I feel proper thank you’s are very much in order!” she said in a Facebook post. “To my kids…. all of you… in physical presence and spirit …. we felt your love and loved every second of it!” she added.
In an interview with TODAY, she explained how she lost her mind and even ‘squealed like a little girl’ when she met Jacob for the first time – right in the middle of her wedding. She ‘jumped up and down’ at his presence and was so happy that there was a photographer there to capture the moment in pictures.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Bride Stuns in Wedding Dress While Aiding Crash Victims on Her Way to Her Reception
“I’ve never ever been surprised like that, like ever. I’m the girl who secretly unwraps all the Christmas presents under the tree and puts them back. So for him to pull this off was just incredible,” she added. It was a moment that ruined a lot of people’s makeup at the wedding, but for all the right reasons!
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.