Tanya Cherryholme-Bouchard and Michael Bouchard chose to decorate their wedding in pink to honour Tanya’s late daughter, Tamarra, who passed away from cancer in 2010. The couple married before a small group of family and friends at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Tanya and Michael had an emotional and rocky start to their relationship. Only a few months after moving in together, Tanya’s daughter Tamarra was diagnosed with cancer and admitted to SickKids hospital in Toronto.
“Not only the separation, but the immense stress shook the waters for Michael and I,” says the bride. “My world ate, slept and was consumed with [Tamarra’s] treatments and recovery.”
Tanya says Michael kept her strong as she spent countless hours at her daughter’s bedside while she went through chemotherapy and stayed by her side. Suddenly, Tanya’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away soon after in August 2010.
The couple received another blow that September when they found out Tamarra’s cancer had spread throughout her body and she would only have a few months to live. She passed away on November 23, 2010.
Out of respect for Tanya’s loss, Michael waited six months to propose. He brought her to the memorial bench dedicated to her father and Tamarra, said a few words for their loved ones and pulled out a ring.
“It was extremely touching and most sentimental that he chose that spot,” says the bride. “After the shock subsided I cried and said yes to our true love story filled with pain, sadness, hope, laughter and love.”
After three years together, they were married at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica on November 13, 2012.
The bride walked down the aisle with a locket containing her daughter’s ashes and a photo of mother and daughter from the family’s trip to Jamaica tied to her bouquet, decorated with Tamarra’s favourite colour—pink.
Though the memory of Tamarra played a large part in the ceremony, the bride says the moment she’ll remember most from the couple’s special day was the moving speech read by her husband and steadfast companion.
Photographer: Kevin Whiting