This bride’s photographer bailed on her wedding, but a stranger saved the day

So much time, money, effort and emotion go into planning a wedding. It’s a special day, full of special memories. Of course the bride and groom want as many amazing photos as possible. But as anyone who’s thrown a wedding knows, things don’t always go to plan.

When Heather Koehler married her husband Matt last month, their wedding photographer didn’t show up. They later found out she’d mistakenly entered the date wrong on her calendar and thought the wedding was the following weekend. It was all just a horrible mistake, but one that still left Heather and Matt without wedding pics.

The day after the wedding, one of Heather’s guests mentioned the snafu to her cousin, Dana Gruszynski, a professional photographer. Dana’s heart broke for the happy couple. She reached out to Heather immediately, and the two met for coffee.

Dana learned about the Michigan-based couple’s backstory—they met in high school and reconnected randomly years later at a hotel. Their wedding was set in a barn, and was beautiful—however all their memories were captured via last minute snapshots due to the photography snafu.

As Dana wrote on her blog, “She filled me in about what had happened and I knew that I just had to do something special for her. I got to know her a bit more, and though I had all these ideas in my head, I kept it simple and told her I wanted her to slip back into her dress and I would, free of charge, do a intimate bridal session. After all, she AT LEAST deserved that.”

Awww. We just love it when a stranger does something so wonderful and kind for someone, simply from the goodness of their heart. Dana’s plans were even more special than she let on to Heather. She didn’t just give the bride and groom a pretty, intimate bridal session. She went all out, you guys.

Dana checked out the candid, DIY pics from the wedding on Heather’s Facebook page and then went to work recreating some of the details from their special day. We’re talking the cake, the flowers, the setting, the decorations…even a few of the guests! She basically recreated their wedding in three weeks—including finding a venue (a friend’s backyard) that looked like their original wedding site.

Best of all, she kept her shenanigans a secret from Heather and Matt, so when they arrived at the venue and she led them to the backyard, they were seriously blown away. Heather burst into tears, which in turn made Dana cry. Even Heather’s dad cried. (We might be crying right now.) But you certainly can’t tell in the photos. No puffy eyes here. The pictures are seriously gorgeous and legit look like they were taken at the actual wedding.

Heather and Matt were thrilled with the photos (obviously!) and touched that a total stranger would do something so meaningful for them. But Dana says she would do it all over again. On her blog, she wrote, “Sunday, October 25th, was one of the best days of my life. . .I know I did not have to do this for them, but they truly deserve it after everything they went through.”

Aw, we’re getting misty-eyed all over again. Somebody pass the tissues.

Check out more photos at Dana G Photography.

[Images via Dana G Photography with permission.]

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