An Ohio father recently surprised his daughter’s stepfather with a heart-warming gesture that has caught the attention of millions. Just before walking his daughter down the aisle, the bride’s father he had a message for the wedding photographer: “I’m going to do something special. Be ready.” The photographer was ready and the resulting picture has now been viewed over 53 million times on Facebook and has been broadcast on news outlets throughout the world.
As the bride’s biological father, Todd Bachman, walked down the aisle, he approached the bride’s stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, and told him “You worked as hard as I have. You’ll help us walk our daughter down the aisle.” Mr. Cendrosky, stepfather of the bride for the last 14 years, immediately began crying tears of joy and the moment was captured by the parties’ wedding photographer. The image instantly went viral, generating 12 million views in the first 30 hours alone.
Mr. Bachman, the bride’s biological father, explained that he asked her stepfather, Mr. Cendrosky, to help walk their daughter down the aisle “to thank him for all the years of helping raise our daughter.” He further explained, “there is no better way to thank somebody than to assist me walking her down the aisle.” Both fathers admitted that “it hasn’t always been peaches and cream” between the families, but that they each strived to work together for the children.
The moment has likely caught the attention of so many because as Mr. Bachman put it, “a lot of families can relate to our situation.” Although weddings are meant to be times of joy for all involved, they can often create awkward situations in which ex-spouses are brought close together for the first time in years. These situations can be further complicated by new significant others and brides and grooms often are torn between each family. As Mr. Bachman and Cendrosky evidenced, reasonable adults can work together for the benefit of their children.
The gesture by Mr. Bachman and Mr. Cendrosky’s obvious gratitude is a perfect example of co-parenting benefiting a child. Rather than being torn between a biological father and stepfather who both love and care for the bride, she was able to share her special moment with them both. In almost all North Carolina child custody cases, a mother and father will be forced to co-parent with other to raise a child between two different households. Co-parenting is ultimately working with the other parent to ensure that the best interests of the child are placed above everything, including animosity and hurt feelings between parents. A question often asked parents going through a divorce is whether they want to be able to sit at a table together years later for their child’s wedding. This Ohio father and stepfather answered that question with a resounding “yes.”