Nozomi Tokunaga and Atsushi Okamoto were married at the Arc Club Geihinkan in Hiroshima, Japan.


Nozomi’s father stood at the end of the aisle next to the bride holding a framed portrait of his wife, Izumi. Izumi couldn’t make it that day because cancer had taken her life two months earlier.



“We want to have a wedding for our mother.”

Nozomi and Atsushi had long dreamed of this. The couple got engaged in April 2013, just after Atsushi quit his job and followed Nozomi back to her hometown Hiroshima.



The couple had been living together in Hyogo, but when Nozomi found out about her mother’s illness, she didn’t think twice about moving back to spend more time with her family. That was in 2012.



By the time Atsushi proposed to Nozomi a year later, Izumi’s illness had progressed. They wanted to have the wedding in the same year, so that Izumi could also be there to see her daughter in a wedding dress.



However, as they started searching for a wedding venue, Izumi’s condition deteriorated and she had to be hospitalized. When the doctors told the family that she may not make it to summer of that year, Nozomi and Atsushi considered giving up hope of their wedding plans with Izumi.



But one day they heard about a wedding held in a hospital room. They decided to contact the same wedding organizer and see if they could arrange something similar for Izumi. Soon after, they began planning a very special surprise for the bride's mother.



When the day came, the hospital staff arranged to take Izumi out for a walk.



They told her, “the weather is nice today. Let’s dress up nicely, and go for a walk.” Meanwhile, her room got a quick makeover and Nozomi and Atsushi waited for her return.



When Izumi entered, the curtains were drawn, and she found her daughter in a wedding dress next to her soon-to-be husband. For a moment, she didn't even recognize her own daughter. Her expression turned from shear surprise, to a wide smile …



... and there was no shortage of tears.



At the ceremony, Atsushi and his bride's mother shook hands in an oath, Nozomi gave her mother a present, the mother placed the veil over her daughter’s face, and Izumi had the chance to sign the couple’s marriage vows.

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