Meghan McCain's wedding was filled with special tributes to her father, Sen. John McCain

By Dave Quinn and Charlotte Triggs
August 28, 2018 04:00 PM
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Meghan McCain’s wedding was filled with special tributes to her father, Sen. John McCain.

Months before the Arizona Republican lost his battle with cancer, he was by his daughter’s side at her Nov. 21 wedding to Ben Domenech.

The festivities — which Meghan had pushed forward due to her father’s health crisis — took place at the McCain family ranch in Cornville, Arizona, outside Sedona, in front of 117 close friends, family members and former campaign workers. And while Meghan’s Thanksgiving-week soirée had a western hunting-lodge theme, the menu was designed for her dad.

“Meghan really geared it a great deal to her dad so he would enjoy the menu,” Cindy McCain told PEOPLE at the time, adding that the spread included foods the family often enjoyed at their Arizona ranch.

Items the made the cut? Wild game and a dessert bar packed with pies, including the senator’s favorite flavor: apple.

“Meghan and her dad did sit down and throw out ideas and what they came up with was spectacular,” Cindy McCain added ahead of the big day. “It’s going to be an interesting and really yummy menu. I think everyone will like it.”

John McCain and Meghan McCain
Sierra Blanco Photography

The McCain family announced on Friday that the six-term Arizona senator had decided, “with his usual strength of will,” to discontinue medical treatment for stage-four brain cancer. Just one day later, McCain died at the age of 81.

Meghan McCain and John McCain
Sierra Blanco Photography

Following his death, Meghan, 33, shared a touching tribute on social media.

“In the thirty-three years we shared together, he raised me, taught me, corrected me, comforted me, encouraged me, and supported me in all things,” she wrote. “He taught me how to live. His love and his care, ever present, always unfailing, took me from a girl to a woman — and he showed me what it is to be a man.”

“All that I am is thanks to him,” she continued in her tribute. “Now that he is gone, the task of my lifetime is to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love. My father’s passing comes with sorrow and grief for me, for my mother, for my brothers, and for my sisters. He was a great fire who burned bright, and we lived in his light and warmth for so very long. We know that his flame lives on, in each of us. The days and years to come will not be the same without my dad — but they will be good days, filled with life and love, because of the example he lived for us.”

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Cindy McCain, the Senator’s wife of 38 years, also mourned the loss on social media.

“My heart is broken,” tweeted Cindy, 64, minutes after her family announced his death.

“I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years,” she continued. “He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”