Being left standing alone at the altar on your wedding day is a frightening prospect for many. But for Rochelle, the reality didn’t turn out to be quite so alarming. Yes, as she and soon-to-be husband Josh prepared to give their vows to each other, the groom suddenly moved away. When the bride saw where he was heading, however, she may very well have been delighted.
You see, Josh interrupted the ceremony just as the officiant told the couple that it was time to say their vows. Putting up his hand to halt the proceedings, he said, “Hold on one second.” Then, however, he headed towards the little girl standing by his side.
And in a video taken of the ceremony, Rochelle looks confused as Josh steps away from her. The officiant doesn’t seem to be expecting what happens next, either. But it soon becomes clear that what the groom has planned will become perhaps one of the most special moments of the couple’s big day.
To begin with, Josh takes the girl by the hand and guides her to stand in front of the altar. Then, as she looks around shyly, he gets down on one knee. And when he starts to speak, his voice shakes with emotion.
So why did the groom decide to halt his wedding ceremony at such a crucial juncture and step away from his beautiful bride just as they were about to say their vows? Well, it was so that he could include a very special girl in the ceremony. You see, the child standing by his wife-to-be’s side is her young daughter, Marissa.
And in front of everyone who had gathered for the ceremony, Josh addresses Marissa. The groom’s voice cracks as he tells her, “Marissa, I am so happy to be marrying your mother… And I’m so blessed and honored to have you as a little girl in my life now.”
Then, after speaking to his stepdaughter, Josh takes out a special gift. And as the congregation look on, he places a diamond necklace around Marissa’s neck. The groom explains to her, “Just as I promised your mom with a diamond, I had to get you one too.”
And Josh tells Marissa that the diamond is in the shape of a heart; that way, the girl will “always have a piece of [his] heart with [her].” He also asks her if she likes the jewel, and the girl nods, to laughter from those nearby. Josh jokingly adds, “I think your mom might be jealous, too.”
Then after Josh places the necklace around the girl’s neck, he adds, “I promise to treat you [as] nothing less than my own daughter, and I’ll love you forever.” And the congregation break out into applause as he steps back towards the altar to join his bride. Meanwhile, Rochelle herself can be seen smiling and seemingly wiping away a tear just before the couple begin their vows.
What’s more, the footage of the tender moment has been a hit with YouTube users, as it’s been viewed more than three million times on the video-sharing site. Josh’s actions also prompted one commenter to write, “What an incredibly beautiful thing to do. The bride really has a prize with this wonderful man.”
Another viewer, who appeared to be touched by Josh’s affection for Marissa, added, “This man loves this little girl as his own… What a special and endearing gift he has given not only to his wife but to his little girl. God bless this new little family!”
And Josh isn’t the only man who has given his future stepdaughter a starring role during his wedding day. When NASCAR star Brian Scott married Whitney Kay in 2014, for example, he made sure that her three-year-old daughter, Brielle, was included in the ceremony. At the service in McCall, Idaho, Brian knelt down to speak with Brielle and gave the little girl his own set of vows just for her.
Brian later told The Huffington Post that making his promises to Brielle turned out to be the most emotional part of the day. He explained, “It was really when I was reading my vows to Brielle that I got the most choked up. It really all just hits home in that moment.”
Furthermore, Brian and Whitney went on to have a baby boy, Joseph, in 2014. And Brian told The Huffington Post that he has really enjoyed being a father to two kids. He added, “It’s not baggage – it’s a great addition [to my life].”
And when another couple, Janna and Clifton Lamb, got married in 2016, Clifton also included his wife’s daughter in their wedding. Indeed, the groom not only pledged his devotion to the young girl, Jayda, during the ceremony, but he even presented her with her very own 14-carat gold-and-diamond ring as a token of his love. Of the piece of jewelry, Clifton asked Jayda, “I want you to keep this on your finger until the day that you meet someone and you get married.”
Janna later said that she had been surprised by Clifton’s move, as her husband had kept it a secret from everyone except the best man and a few others involved in the ceremony. Nevertheless, she had been delighted when Clifton had expressed his love for Jayda. In an interview with LittleThings, the bride added, “Jayda was always my number one. Now, she is both of our number ones, and I couldn’t be happier to say that.”
And it’s not just grooms who seemingly feel the need to include their future stepkids in their wedding ceremonies. When Katie Musser got married in 2017, she felt that it was important to speak to her four-year-old stepson, Landon, while she was at the altar. She also wanted to thank his mom, Casey.
Katie went on to tell Inside Edition that when she and her husband Jeremy had first started dating, there had been some bad blood to begin with between herself and Casey. Katie explained, “[My relationship with Casey] was kind of typical. We both believed all the rumors that people said, and then one day we decided it was time to grow.”
So, during her wedding ceremony, Katie turned to Casey and said, “Thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life.” She added, “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son.” Casey’s husband, Tyler Bender, was also present at the ceremony.
And that kind gesture from Katie may very well have made Casey’s day. What’s more, the bride revealed that she hopes the reconciliation can spur more people into acting in a similar manner. As Katie told Inside Edition, “I wanted others to see that it is possible to co-parent regardless of the situation.”