Longtime friend helps N.C. bride capture “favorite memory” with grandma

Hospice stay brings family together before wedding

Longtime friend helps N.C. bride capture “favorite memory” with grandma
Longtime friend helps bride capture “favorite memory” with grandma (Source: Taylor Dail Photography)

WILSON, N.C. (WITN) - Before their wedding day, most brides only show a select few people their dress.

It is a really important part of the process, especially for the women in their lives. A woman from Wilson knew the first look would be an important moment for her grandmother, but the clock was ticking.

Bethany Boykin turned to a photographer friend to capture a really important moment and it turns out, she’s glad she did.

“She loved her family and that’s what she stood for - was her family and love,” Boykin said.

Boykin’s grandmother, Dot Beaman, was married to her husband for 64 years.

“She would take me shopping at Belk’s and let me get whatever I wanted,” Boykin recalled. “She made it very well known those would be my school clothes and my good clothes.”

Boykin and her grandmother, known as Honey, created endless memories.

“Her jam was something everybody else could make, which was strawberry jam,” Bethany said. “You always had that on toast, that or her pear preserves.”

Sometimes the relationship between a granddaughter and her grandmother just clicks. Honey had a stroke in July and Bethany’s wedding wasn’t until November. She knew time wasn’t on her side.

“They were going to bring hospice in and it broke my heart and I knew that was it,” Boykin said. “That was my last grandparent. And that’s all I have left.”

They had the chance to make one more memory. Boykin got in touch with someone who has been like family.

“I immediately dropped everything I was doing and made it work,” said Taylor Dail, who owns Taylor Dail Photography. “I lost my grandfather in 2015 and I recently lost my other grandfather in September and it really hit me hard because grandparents are a big thing to me.”

Dail and Boykin were in school together.

“She (Dail) was like ‘I’ll be there!’”

She was there in a flash. It was a lot to arrange in a short time, but Honey got her first look.

“There was no dry eye in the room -- even me,” Dail said.

“When she opened her eyes, , the first picture that Taylor took, was her -- and she said ‘it is just so beautiful,’” said Boykin. “She kept telling me how beautiful it was and she was glad it covered me.”

“Having my grandfather pass away, it hits hard,” Dail said. “So I cried the entire time I was editing them and I was smiling because behind that I know she was making jokes. It was just a good session to edit.”

“Out of my 25 years, that’s my favorite memory I’ll ever have in general, especially with her,” Boykin said.

“Those memories are something I’ll have forever,” she added. “When my kids get older, they can look back and see the appreciation I had for my grandmother and hopefully my kids will have the same appreciation for their grandmother.”

Honey died eight days after the photos were taken.

“As the ceremony was starting, a duck came up to near the gazebo where we were, and as soon as either the ceremony either really started or as it ended that duck went away,” Boykin said. “So I feel like she was really there. There was just little signs of her being there.”

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