ELYRIA — A photo taken by wedding photographer Delia D. Blackburn of LaGrange has gone viral within the past two days after she managed to capture a magical moment that is now tugging at the hearts of people across the world.
Before Brittany Peck’s wedding to Jeremy Peck, Todd Bachman, the father of the bride, stopped the processional on Saturday and requested the presence of the other man who had a hand in raising Brittany — her stepfather, Todd Cendrosky.
In the photograph, Bachman is seen grabbing the hand of Todd Cendrosky. Bachman’s face is one of determination while Cendrosky is near tears.
After Blackburn, who calls herself a “nontraditional photographer in love with a traditional job,” uploaded the photo onto social media, it has approached 700,000 “likes” on Facebook and had 305,374 “shares.”
“Comments are coming from all over the world,” Blackburn said.
Blackburn said she was situated in just the right spot to capture the memorable moment.
“Everybody was shocked, silent and crying,” Blackburn said. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Even I was crying.”
Two weeks prior to her wedding, Brittany Peck, 21, called her dad in a state of panic and stress — she didn’t know who should walk her down the aisle. Both men have been a part of her life since she was 11.
Peck said the relationship between her biological father and stepfather has been strained from the very beginning.
“She called me and said, ‘Dad, something’s bothering me …’” Bachman said, knowing what she was going to tell him. “I told her I already had something planned. She was so torn, and the last thing I wanted was for her to be torn.”
Bachman kept his secret until moments before the ceremony.
On Saturday, Todd and Candy Cendrosky were seated near the outdoor altar on the groom’s mother’s wooded property in Elyria, waiting for Peck to arrive via a decked-out golf cart.
As the cart halted, Peck, who was sitting behind Bachman, wasn’t sure what was going on.
“He just stopped driving,” Peck said of her dad.
Bachman then left Peck sitting in the golf cart and walked down the aisle, straight to where Cendrosky was sitting.
“He has been as much a part of her life as me,” Bachman said, adding he never intended for this moment to be about him, because, after all, it was his daughter’s wedding day.
Peck said her husband, Jeremy Peck, asked permission for her hand in marriage from both Bachman and Cendrosky.
“My dad said, ‘It was only right that we both give you away,’” Brittany Peck said of how Bachman made the final decision.
On Monday evening, Cendrosky was still a bit overwhelmed by the publicity the story has gained.
“I always wanted to (walk a daughter) down the aisle, and when I married my beautiful wife, Candy, she gave me three daughters,” Cendrosky said. “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.”