A photo shows the moment that a large-hearted Ohio father surprised his daughter -- who had been conflicted about who should give her away on her wedding day -- by inviting her stepfather to help him walk their daughter down the aisle.
The photo showing the bride's father, Todd Bachman, interrupting the ceremony to grab his daughter's stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, 45, by the hand and inviting him to join him to walk their daughter down the aisle has gone viral online.
The photo, snapped by a professional photographer, Delia D. Blackburn of LaGrange, and shared on Facebook, shows the bride's father, Todd Bachman, putting his daughter's happiness first at her wedding which took place in Ohio, despite having a longstanding strained relationship with her stepfather, Todd Cendrosky.
Brittany Peck, 21, was conflicted about who would walk her down the aisle because she dearly loved the two men who had shared the responsibility of raising her.
Brittany had called her father, Todd Bachman, before the wedding and explained her dilemma in tears.
Bachman told the Chronicle-Telegram that his daughter, Brittany, called him and said, "'Dad, something's bothering me.' I told her I already had something planned. She was so torn, and the last thing I wanted was for her to be torn."
Todd Bachman, Bride's Father, Grabs Todd Cendrosky, Bride's Stepfather By The Hand (Facebook/Delia D. Blackburn)
But Brittany had no knowledge what surprise Bachman had in store for her until after she arrived with him at her wedding which took place on Saturday, September 26, in Ohio.
As he led his daughter to the altar, Todd Bachman interrupted the procession suddenly and walked to his daughter's stepfather, Todd Cendrosky. He grabbed him by the hand and asked him to help him walk their daughter down the aisle.
In a post to Facebook, the wedding photographer, Delia Blackburn, said that the last-minute action by Bachman stunned everyone at the wedding who knew that the two men hadn't been getting along.
Delia commented that "People were confused. He walked up to his daughter's stepfather, reached out his hand and grabbed [Cendrosky] and pulled him down the aisle to walk their daughter down the aisle together. Everybody was shocked, silent and crying. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. Even I was crying."
But after wedding guests got over the initial shock, they were touched deeply by Bachman's high-mindedness and commitment to putting his daughter's happiness first.
And since Blackburn posted photos highlighting the touching moments during the wedding to Facebook on Sunday, tens of thousands of social media users have applauded Bachman's magnanimity for making the decision as the bride's father to share the spotlight with the bride's stepfather on her wedding day.
The photo has been shared more than one million times on Facebook.
"Seriously, this needs to be shared! Amazing work Delia D. Blackburn I'm so lucky to have this," Brittany wrote on Facebook.
"What a great guy! It shows how much he appreciates this other man for loving his daughter as if she was his own."Bachman explained that Cendrosky had the right to participate because he had also been as much a part of Brittany's life and had helped to raise her since she was 11.
"That is awesome! Both my father and stepfather walked me down the aisle, too. One of the most special moments of my life."
"Brought tears to my eyes reading this… what a class act!"
"Class act! This man made a selfless decision that will be remembered by his daughter and by her stepfather forever. In the end, it's all about the love we all have for our children. Congratulations to all of you."
According to Brittany, her husband, Jeremy Peck, had asked both men permission for her hand in marriage.
The photo shows the emotional expression on Cendrosky's face as Bachman took him by the hand and led him to join the procession to the altar with a look of determination on his face.
Cendrosky told Today, "All of a sudden, at the last second, he turned his head to me and grabbed my hand. He said, 'Hey, come with me. You've had just as big of a part in raising this child. It's time you and me walk our daughter down the aisle together.'"
Cendrosky described the wedding as one of the best days of his life. He said he did not consider Brittany a stepdaughter, but his daughter.
"I always wanted to [walk a daughter] down the aisle," he said, "and when I married my beautiful wife, Candy, she gave me three daughters. I don't have 'stepdaughters'... I have daughters, and when Todd grabbed my hand... that was the best day of my life, and I wouldn't change that day for the world. We have become family, and the children's needs need to come first."
[Images: Facebook/Delia D. Blackburn Photography]