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    One month of marriage: ‘A gift no one can take away’

    Bethany and Ryan Smith planned their wedding in just three days’ time after Ryan’s doctors discontinued his cancer treatments. “There was more love in that room than I have ever experienced in my life,” Bethany said.

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    Getting ready -

    Bethany and Ryan Smith had to plan their Dec. 11, 2011 wedding in just three days’ time after Ryan's doctors discontinued his cancer treatments. Here are images from their wedding day.

    Bethany has her hair done by Jennifer Siefried from Salon Essenza in Bend, Ore. Bethany's mother, Sue Schmidt, watches in the background.

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    Wine and roses -

    Rose petals form the aisle at Bethany and Ryan Smith's wedding in Bend, Ore. The couple opted to have guests stand instead of sit to make the event feel more intimate.

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    'So glad I met you' -

    When they were dating, Bethany gave Ryan a one-year anniversary card bearing the message, “You will not believe how glad I am to have met you.” Bethany highlighted those words in this chalkboard display at their wedding and also incorporated them into her wedding vows.

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    Helping hands -

    Ariana Fernandez, co-owner and chef of Ariana Restaurant in Bend, Ore., helped Bethany and Ryan pull together their wedding at her restaurant in just three days. Here, Ariana's mother, Susan Asti, opens wine at the wedding reception.

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    Personalized messages -

    Bethany said she wanted to avoid a Christmas theme for the December wedding, but she found paper-monogrammed ornaments at Pottery Barn that made ideal wedding favors. "We picked out a letter for each guest’s first name and I wrote a personalized thank you on the back of each one," she wrote on the wedding website Snippet & Ink. "We hung them on a beautiful birch tree and the guests had to find their ornament during the evening."

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    'All I wanted to see' -

    "I remember walking in the door with my dad, having to turn a little corner, seeing so many people and just searching for Ryan. He was all I wanted to see," Bethany wrote.

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    Their moment -

    Bethany and Ryan planned their wedding as quickly as they did because they knew how little time they had left to get married. Ryan died of a rare form of cancer six weeks after the wedding.

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    There for them -

    Bethany's godfather, Wade Conrad, married Bethany and Ryan. He handled Ryan's memorial service just weeks later.

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    'More love in that room' -

    “Looking back on it, there was more love in that room than I have ever experienced in my life,” Bethany Smith said about her wedding day.

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    A family's love -

    Ryan Smith receives a hug from his grandmother, Helen Zaraska. Ryan's father, Peter Smith, is pictured on the far left.

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  • Image: Bethany and Ryan Smith on their wedding day

    One month of marriage: ‘A gift no one can take away’

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    A few quick photos -

    Ryan was too sick to stay for the dinner and most of the wedding reception. Bethany and Ryan posed for a few photographs after the wedding ceremony, and then Ryan had to go lie down.

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    Alone at her wedding reception -

    This photo of Bethany was taken shortly after the conclusion of the wedding ceremony. "The plan was to take photos right away but Ryan actually went to the car with his dad to lie down for a minute," Bethany said. "I was waiting for him to come back in to take photos and just got really sad he wasn't feeling well."

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    A special engagement -

    Bethany and Ryan displayed their engagement photos at their wedding. The couple got engaged in July 2011 and had these photos taken in November. After undergoing intensive chemotherapies, "Ry wanted to wait until he had a little hair," Bethany explained.

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    A precious gift -

    “Although it was way too short, we were able to be married and celebrate our one-month anniversary, and that’s a gift no one can ever take away,” Bethany said.

    To watch a moving video montage of Ryan Smith’s life that was made by Bethany's brother Isaac Schmidt and shown at Ryan's memorial service, click here. To see a video Isaac made celebrating Bethany and Ryan’s relationship, click here.

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