Nikki Salgot fixed her hair, put on makeup and slipped into her strapless white bridal gown.
Then she posed for wedding photos, alone, a year after the shooting death of her fiance stopped her from walking down the aisle with her best friend and the love of her life.
Collin Rose, a 29-year-old officer with the Wayne State University Police Department, was shot in the head after he stopped and questioned a bicyclist near campus. He died from his wound one day later, on Nov. 23, 2016.
Salgot recently decided to go ahead with a photo shoot, in her wedding dress, as a tribute to her family and would-be in-laws.
"This loss has not, and will not, destroy me," the Michigan woman wrote on her Facebook page. The photos, taken in the woods, "show I am still just as fierce as ever and refuse to let this define me. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
Salgot thanked Rachel Heller, of Rachel Smaller Photography, for coaxing her through the process of posing.
"She dropped everything, the week before her own wedding, to make my picture request a reality," Salgot said. "She was beyond accommodating and amazing to work with."
Salgot's late fiance is captured in a series of haunting images holding an American flag, which was presented to her at Rose's funeral, as well as his police hat.
But she is lighthearted in other frames, smiling and laughing and picking up the hem of her elegant, floor-length gown to show off a pair of red Toms canvas shoes on her feet.
Heller "captured images that still vividly show the pain left behind [and] images that show I am still able to laugh, smile and be me," Salgot said.
"I am beyond grateful for these images, for everything they are and represent," she wrote to Heller. "To simply say thank you just isn't enough, but it's all I have."