Smiling widely for the camera, Hazel Jack proudly shows off the wedding dress she intended to wear for the wedding to her childhood sweetheart Jonathan Gauld.
Knowing that she was losing her six-year battle with breast cancer, the 42-year-old mum and her partner had pushed forward the date of their big day after medics at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital told them she had just weeks to live.
With no time to waste, Hazel’s sister Wendy, 49, along with best friends Emma Davis, 38, and Gillian Anderson, 42, put out a request on Facebook asking for donations to help make their friend’s “dream wedding” come true.
The pair were inundated with offers of help from people donating items as varied as dresses and kilts to music and food after the appeal for donations was shared thousands of times across social media.
The big day was planned within a week and friends said Hazel was “looking forward” to making happy memories.
But, in the ultimate cruelty, the couple were never able to tie the knot as Hazel passed away just hours before the wedding celebrations were due to begin, at Cornhill Castle near Biggar on January 30.
Undeterred, Hazel’s fiancé and their son Darrach, three, decided to go ahead with the day’s plan and use the wedding as an opportunity to celebrate her life.
They invited everyone who helped make Hazel’s special day possible to join them in this at Cornhill Castle.
Now Hazel’s friends and family have shared the final photo of Hazel taken shortly before she died as a tribute to her courage and spirit throughout her life and illness,
Best pal Gillian Anderson said: “Although Hazel passed on the morning of her wedding day, we took the difficult decision to carry on with the day as Hazel wanted us to do, and to make it a celebration of Hazel’s life, creating lasting memories for everyone involved.
“The day wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of family, friends and strangers who came together and gave selflessly to support Hazel’s last wishes.
“Any monies not used for the celebration will be used for Hazel’s funeral or put in trust for her son, Darrach. All items not kept for posterity will be donated to Marie Curie to continue to support those battling this wicked disease.”
She added: “Hazel, we love you and you will be in our hearts forever.”
Writing on Facebook, a friend who attended the memorial, Alison Baker said: “I take comfort that she is free of pain now and that she witnessed so much love for her Jonathan and Darach and got to see herself and all her bridesmaids and groomsmen in their dresses and kilts.”
Hazel’s funeral was held on February 12 and collected donations to Macmillan Cancer Support in lieu of flowers.