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"He came and grabbed my hand and said, 'You worked as hard as I have. You'll help us walk our daughter down the aisle,' " Todd Cendrosky said

By Tiare Dunlap
Updated September 30, 2015 10:35 AM
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Credit: Delia D Blackburn

As the wedding march began to play at 21-year-old Brittany Peck’s wedding in Elyria, Ohio, her father Todd Bachman told the photographer to prepare for something special.

Bachman brought his daughter to the beginning of the aisle and suddenly stopped the procession, wedding photographer Delia Blackburn explained on Facebook. He then rushed over to where his daughter’s stepfather Todd Cendrosky was seated, took his hand and pulled him up.

“He came and grabbed my hand and said, ‘You worked as hard as I have. You’ll help us walk our daughter down the aisle,’ ” Cendrosky, 45, told WKYC. “I got weak in the knees and lost it. I couldn’t have anything better in my life, the most impactful moment in my life.”

Bachman, 43, said his act of kindness, which was captured in a series of heartwarming photos, was the least he could do for the man who has played such a vital role in their family.

“For me to thank him for all the years of helping raise OUR daughter wouldn’t be enough,” he told WKYC. “There is no better way to thank somebody than to assist me walking her down the aisle.”

Peck told the Chronicle-Telegram that although both men had been a part of her life since she was 11 – the relationship between her father and stepfather had been strained.

Weeks before the wedding, the question of who would walk Peck down the aisle gave her a heartsick feeling, so she reached out to Bachman for guidance.

“She called me and said, ‘Dad, something’s bothering me,’ ” Bachman told the newspaper, adding that he knew 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.”

The wedding photographer captured the two fathers’ emotional walk down the aisle and uploaded the series of photos to Facebook, first gaining traction on the image-sharing site imgur and then spreading around the world.

“All families can relate to our situation,” Bachman said.

“I always wanted to [walk a daughter] down the aisle, and when I married my beautiful wife, Candy, she gave me three daughters,” Cendrosky told the Chronicle-Telegram. “I don’t have ‘stepdaughters,’ I have daughters. We have become family, and the children’s needs need to come first.”