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Long after his death, a father's goofy prank brings joy to daughter on wedding day

"'When it was time to hand [the rings] over, this is what he was holding out, grinning at me.'"
Credit: Skye Harmon

WALNUT SHADE, Mo. — Something old, something new, something borrowed and… a frog ring.

A silly surprise from her late father made one Missouri bride’s special day even more memorable.

Just moments before walking down the aisle, Skye Harmon heard a knock on her bridal suite’s door. With her bridesmaids in line and notes of “Canon in D” beginning, she was surprised to find her uncle Mark Woodruff.

As he stepped into the suite, he pulled out the last thing Skye was expecting: a googly eyed, red-lipped frog ring.

But the seemingly random pre-wedding gift came with a heartwarming message.

On his wedding day, Mark had stood with her father, Michael, by his side as best man. In keeping tradition, Michael was in charge of the rings.

"'When it was time to hand [the rings] over, this is what he was holding out, grinning at me,'" Uncle Mark told Skye. "Apparently, my uncle was really mad until my dad pulled out the real rings, but [my dad] thought it was so funny."

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The 23-year-old’s uncle had kept the memento until her wedding, knowing that it would be a special way of honoring her fun-loving father, who couldn’t be at the wedding himself.

When Skye was 2 years old, her father, Michael Woodruff, went to the hospital for a hernia. Doctors discovered rather than a hernia, he had stage four Burkitt lymphoma, a cancer recognized as a fast-growing tumor that is rapidly fatal if left untreated.

He had only a few months to live.

With her father passing at such a young age, Skye didn’t have the opportunity to know him well. Family stories of his silly persona, long hair and love of rock 'n' roll kept him alive in her memory.

The frog ring was another reminder of her father. She slipped it onto her right-hand ring finger, knowing her father was there with her as she wed her love, Aaron Harmon.

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“It felt amazing as well as a bit goofy because it wasn’t typical [wedding] attire or what I had planned to wear,” Skye said. “My husband even stopped in the middle of the ceremony and whispered to me, ‘What is that?’”

Skye wore the ring through her entire ceremony and reception.

Since their wedding, she and her husband Aaron are planning on putting the fragile ring in a shadow box along with other significant details from the special day. It will continue to be a reminder of her father.

“I know my dad was really awesome. From what I can tell the frog ring is a reflection of his personality,” said Skye.

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