Moving wedding photos capture the start of a marriage that would last just ten days
Caroline organised her wedding to her terminally-ill partner Pete in five days, with the help of their family and friends
Behind any couple’s wedding day there are countless emotions telling their story. But Caroline Benson’s beautiful wedding photos tell a story that’s arguably more emotional than most.
Caroline and her partner Pete Luscombe, from South Wales, took just five days to plan their wedding.
Ten days later, Pete passed away.
The couple had met in October 2009 through scouting in Merthyr Tydfil.
Their daughter Abigail, now four, joined Caroline’s two children from a previous relationship and the couple decided not to marry – their family was complete.
But on New Year’s Eve in 2013, Pete was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of Germ cell cancer.
Pete bravely battled the cancer for nine months – having high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell treatment.
But on 12 September the couple were given tragic news: the cancer has spread to Pete’s chest and brain, which was causing him to fit. It was terminal.
However, out of the heartbreaking prognosis came something positive. Encouraged by their children, Pete and Caroline decided to marry.
And with the extraordinary help of family and their generous community, the wedding came together in less than a week.
Caroline recalls: “The day itself wasn’t like a wedding day, and neither of us were nervous.
“It wasn’t easy getting through the vows, we both knew he didn’t have long, and most of our family and friends had tears throughout.
“I had become his carer so washing and dressing was down to me – not a very conventional wedding!”
She credits her sister Anita for being the ‘backbone’ of the operation, organising the church, the special licence and delegating tasks such as decorations, the rings, outfits and food to their families.
Their local scouting community also came together to help with Caroline and Pete’s big day.
One scout mum made them a cake, and other scout leaders and parents provided flowers, a singer for the reception and a video.
Sadly, the couple had only 10 days as man and wife before Pete passed away on October 1.
Describing her late husband, Caroline said he was “a fun-loving man, who’d help people out if he could, a good friend and loving father. He always had a smile on his face and that is what everyone remembers him by.
“He even sorted his funeral out: having flowers only from kids, charity donations, songs, what he wanted to wear and bright colours for people there.”