A devastated Shelby Sander took the gown from the family’s home basement in secret and arranged a touching photoshoot as a tribute to her mom.

The 23-year-old’s mother, Angie, died of cancer aged just 49 in March last year.

Her tragic death came just days before mom and daughter had planned to go bridal shopping.

“I wanted to go wedding dress shopping with my mom but she died days before our appointment,” Shelby says. “She never made it.”

So when Shelby and fiancé Scott Rogers (24) planned an engagement photoshoot with Taylor Brooke she decided to take some special pictures for her dad.

She took the dress and the photographer managed to secretly capture the emotional images before her dad, Curt (53), and Scott arrived.

“I wanted my mom there and to have that special moment. So I had the idea that I would take photos in my mom's wedding dress.

“I didn’t have to alter it – it fit perfectly,” she says.

The brunette beauty had planned to surprise her dad on her wedding day but loved the pictures so much she decided to show him straightaway.

“Dad said I looked just as beautiful as my mom did in the dress, and that I would make her proud,” Shelby recalls.

“My mom and dad had the perfect marriage so there’s definitely good luck in the dress.

“It was the most perfect day for the pictures too. My dad kept saying that the weather held up because mom was looking over me.

“It was a real mix of emotions when I put on the dress.

“The location we had chosen for her engagement shoot was called Heaven.

“I wanted to honour my mom and my parents.”

Shelby and Scott, who live in California, now plan to get married in September.

Sources: Magazine Features