An Ohio woman lucky enough to be raised by two dedicated dads has shared the moment her step-father burst into tears as he watched her dad walk her down the aisle.
Vanessa Bowers, 29, of Columbus, revealed in a post for Love What Matters how she was a young child when her parents first divorced, but that her mom eventually remarried a man that her dad ‘ended up loving just as much as the rest of us did.’
That man, Michael Padula, is also a pastor, so when it came to Vanessa marrying the love of her life, Brad, she knew that Michael had to be the one to do the officiating.
Big moment: Vanessa Bowers, 29, of Columbus, revealed how her step-father Michael Padula (pictured) was moved to tears when he saw her walking down the aisle with her father
Beautiful bride: In a post for Love What Matters, Vanessa described how both her step-dad and her father, Tony (pictured), were always there for her
Vanessa explained how she grew up with both men as glowing role models, not only on their individual merits, but with their own relationship.
‘They would always end up chatting together at drop-offs/pick-ups when I was a kid, sitting together at birthday parties, and always made my brother and I feel like it was a normal thing for divorced/blended families,’ she said.
She praised her father, Tony Vargas, for taking her and her friends out on fun outings while she also gushed over her step-dad’s cooking abilities, adding that both are ‘kind, gentle, and loving men who never missed an opportunity to be there for me.’
Important role: Vanessa’s step-father is a pastor, so when she became engaged, she asked him to be their officiant
Overcome: Michael couldn’t contain his tears when he saw Vanessa approach the altar
Making a bond: Vanessa explained how both of her fathers made sure that she and her brother felt that their blended family was normal
With all this in mind, Vanessa said, it meant the world to her to have both of her dads involved in her wedding.
On the special day in May last year, Vanessa’s father told her, ‘You’ll always be my baby girl,’ before walking her down the aisle, both struggling to hold back tears of happiness.
‘As we turned the corner of the building, I saw my handsome husband-to-be at the altar, with a huge smile on his face, standing next the other man that helped raise me, my stepfather, who was overcome with emotion, and my beautiful mom proudly watching all of us from the front row,’ she said.
Snuggled up: Vanessa gushed about how her father Tony told her, ‘You’ll always be my baby girl,’ before taking her up the aisle
Good times together: It meant the world to Vanesse to have both of her dads being a part of the ceremony
Dancing the night away: Arm and arm with her father and seeing her step-father’s reaction, Vanessa asked herself, ‘how can someone be this loved?’
Photos of the moment taken by Erika Brooke Photography show Michael dressed in a white robe, clutching his bearded face with one hand in emotion.
‘It was just the most incredible rush of emotions and I remember thinking to myself — how can someone be this loved?’ said Vanessa.
‘I couldn’t tell you how many times people at my wedding told us how special it was that they were both up at the altar with me that day, and I couldn’t agree more.
‘Lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it, it was pretty darn amazing.’