Dream wedding in 24 hours with mum at Auckland hospice
Getting married without her mum was unimaginable for Emma Hawkins.
While most girls dream of their wedding day and spend countless months planning, the recently engaged Auckland woman planned her dream wedding in 24 hours.
The Mt Albert resident was sitting with her mum, Margaret Hawkins at Mercy Hospice in Ponsonby on November 17, 2015.
"I suddenly had this realisation that I couldn't imagine getting married and not having her there," Emma says.
Margaret had cancer in the appendix which had spread throughout her abdomen affecting all the nerves.
Emma was originally set to get married only a few days ago in April 2016 however the doctors gave her the news that Margaret only had seven months to live.
However Margaret's condition worsened and doctors re-evaluated that she had one month at most.
"When we knew things wouldn't get better...I thought I'd put the wedding off."
However, Mercy Hospice's volunteer team leader Julie Reid got to work organising the balloons, cake, food, flowers and garden.
"It just meant absolutely everything to have Margie to be there, she was just so happy. The smile on her face said it all," Emma's father, Roger Hawkins says.
While Emma already had her dress, the groom, Evan Smith, groomsmen and bridesmaids went out to buy their outfits for the day.
"We were always aiming for her to be around for as long as possible.
"I was kind of not trying to think about the fact that we may not have as much time as we would like," Emma says.
The wedding on November 18 was held in the gardens at the hospice with Emma and Evan surrounded by their family and friends.
"It was just great we had the time in the hospice and they were managing her pain and she was in a good enough space to enjoy the wedding," Emma says.
After the ceremony, cake and a few speeches the party crossed over to the Cavalier Tavern.
"She had such a great time at the party and being able to see her so happy at such a crap time and give her an awesome note to end on," Emma says.
Margaret died two weeks later on December 2 aged 68 after seeing her only daughter get married.
For Emma the memory of her wedding day is filled with both happy and sad times.
"It just made everything complete for mum and I think she was just peaceful and happy."