Your wedding day is said to be one of the most memorable days of your life. After all, it’s a joyous celebration with food, laughter and dancing. But that’s not all that newlyweds Clayton and Brittany Cook had to remember on their wedding day. For them, something especially unbelievable happened that they will never forget.
The Canadian couple got married on September 22, 2017, at the Victoria Park Pavilion in Kitchener, Canada. They both looked radiant on their special day; the bride wore a white dress, while the groom chose a dark suit and red tie. But his wedding suit was soon half-drenched after he shocked everyone by jumping into the water.
Brittany said that one of the many reasons she fell in love with her husband was because of his selflessness and quick thinking. And these traits were precisely what caused the groom to take the leap. Indeed, it has since been described as an act of heroism, and the outcome for the couple has been amazing and full of rewards.
But let’s back up a bit. You see, the couple are huge Harry Potter fans, and their wedding was based on that theme. So they had Honeydukes candy bars, and the drinks were named after Harry Potter things. The bride’s bouquet was even made out of pages from the books. It was truly their dream wedding.
Later, the newlyweds had not long finished saying their vows when they went to Victoria Park lake for their wedding photoshoot. Three children were traipsing after them, laughing and cheering the couple on. “I was sort of keeping a close eye on them, just because they were close to the water,” Clayton told the BBC.
The wedding photographer, Darren Hatt, was taking solo photos of the bride when Clayton realized that there were now only two kids standing over the water on a ridge of rock. His “dad instincts” kicked in, and he went to check on them – and it’s lucky that he did. Clayton was horrified to see that a boy was in trouble in the water, thrashing his arms and struggling to keep his head above the surface.
“When I got there, they were kind of looking down in the water and pointing. That’s when I saw the boy,” he told the BBC. “He was in the water, struggling, trying to keep his head up above the water and just flailing his arms quite a bit and just trying to keep air in himself. That’s when I was able to kind of jump down the rock ledge.”
Clayton could tell how much the boy was struggling to stay afloat. He told CTV that the boy’s “face was underwater and he was fighting, like he was really fighting. Luckily, he was only a little guy… and I honestly just sort of hopped him up.”
Yes, without thinking twice, Clayton had run towards the boy and told him, “Grab my hand, grab my hand.” He went into the water himself and “plucked [the boy] out and put him on top of the ledge there.” When Brittany saw her husband jump into the water, she initially thought it was a joke. She shouted, “What are you doing?” prompting their photographer to turn – which is when he captured the valiant moment.
The only quality that Brittany had hoped their photographer would have was the ability to take candid photos. As it turned out, she was more than pleased with the man they chose. That’s because Darren Hatt proved his photography skills in capturing her groom being a hero. And the photos are now out there for the whole world to see.
Clayton said that the boy was okay but shocked after he pulled him out. He said, “He was probably pretty tired. I think he was fighting for longer than I even thought.” However, the boy soon walked away with an older sibling without saying a word. The soaking wet groom then returned to his wedding party.
Darren Hatt later posted the pictures on his Facebook page. He described in some detail what happened, and it’s plain to see that he was in awe of Clayton’s quick thinking. According to the photographer, the groom’s actions “saved the little guy.”
The post has since gone viral on social media, with over 3,000 shares and 12,000 likes. Users have hailed Clayton a hero, with many thanking him for saving the boy’s life. Clayton has said the responses have been “crazy.”
One Facebook user commented, “Wow! What a hero! Such a selfless thing to do… so lucky that he just happened to be there!” Another said, “God bless you and your new wife. You did a great thing for that little boy. You impacted his life in ways you will never know, but who knows, maybe you will know someday.”
Brittany told CBC that she is now calling her selfless groom a “hero husband.” She said, “Clay’s so humble to begin with that he didn’t see it as a big deal. Clay said he didn’t even think about it; he just jumped into action. The kid’s in the water – what are you going to do? You’re going to pull him out.”
Indeed, Clayton doesn’t feel like a hero and believes that he was just in the right place at the right time. Brittany also told BBC World News that his choice to jump into the water was a no-brainer. She said, “We’d like to think most people would probably make the same choice.”
Brittany thinks it was fate that brought them there and that it was not surprising that someone like her husband would act like he did. “That’s Clay, like that’s Clay to me,” she told CTV. “It’s something he would just instinctively do. It was like fate almost, we were meant to be there.”
The couple’s story has spread so far that it opened great doors for them; they were even invited onto The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There, Brittany and Clay told the host about their Harry Potter themed wedding and the ordeal with the drowning boy. Ellen joked about how the boy simply walked away without saying anything. “Kids these days!” she laughed.
Of course, anyone who has watched the show would know that the heroic couple would not walk away without a reward. As Ellen was aware of their love for Harry Potter, she treated them to a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios with front line passes. But she did not stop there.
No, Ellen said that Cheerios had been inspired by their story. So inspired, in fact, that it wanted to treat them to a honeymoon in London to experience the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Shocked and delighted by the news, the happy couple embraced in celebration. Like the Harry Potter books themselves, Clayton and Brittany’s journey in life seems sure to contain many exciting chapters.