Shannon O'Hara wasn't going to let cancer be the focus of her big day.
The 28-year-old from Redding, Connecticut, dreamed of wearing her mother's veil on the day she walked down the aisle to her fiance, Jeff, according to The Mighty. Four months before her wedding, though, O'Hara was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that targets the immune system. She underwent chemotherapy and eventually lost her hair.
But instead of letting her illness take over, O'Hara improvised.
She had seamstresses from The Plumed Serpent Bridal in Westport sew a lace cap for her head upon which she could attach the veil. And on her wedding day at The W Hotel in Washington, D.C., last July, she positively glowed.
“In the middle of the reception, being surrounded by family and friends, I decided to take off my lace cap and just be a beautiful, bald bride and celebrate with everyone,” O’Hara told The Mighty. “I didn’t feel any different, in fact, I felt just as beautiful, possibly even more!”
O'Hara's spirit was not lost on those around her, including photographer Andrea Jacobson, whose pictures of the big day were recently featured on Style Me Pretty.
"Shannon had both the best attitude and the biggest challenges I've ever seen a bride have on her wedding day," Jacobson, of The Observatory, told The Huffington Post in an email Wednesday.
The photographer worked with O'Hara to plan out exactly how to capture the special day, making sure to note times O'Hara would need to take her medication or to rest. In the end, though, Jacobson said O'Hara didn't stop to take any breaks. She said O'Hara's zeal could serve as inspiration for other brides.
"Focus on what matters! Don't get distracted by the small stuff," Jacobson told HuffPost. "Shannon focused on her relationship with Jeff and put all her energy into planning and then enjoying the celebration of their marriage."
According to The Mighty, O'Hara has been in remission since November 2013.
Check out more photos from O'Hara's wedding at The Observatory.
(h/t Style Me Pretty)