"One year ago today I married Meredith Salenger, who stepped into this lost widower’s life, and swept him and his daughter up out of the cobwebs and into the sunlight," Patton Oswalt said

By Maura Hohman
November 05, 2018 11:00 AM
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Patton Oswalt/Twitter

Congratulations are in order for Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger.

The comedian, 49 — whose first wife, Michelle McNamara, died unexpectedly in her sleep at age 46 in April 2016 — shared a photo on Twitter to celebrate the first anniversary of his wedding to his second wife, actress Meredith Salenger, 48.

In the sweet image, the father of one is dressed in a gray suit and dances with his fingers intertwined with The Journey of Natty Gann star, who’s wearing a long-sleeved wedding gown and her hair in loose curls.

“One year ago today I married Meredith Salenger, who stepped into this lost widower’s life, and swept him and his daughter up out of the cobwebs and into the sunlight,” Oswalt wrote. “I will never be able to repay you, baby, but I’ll never stop trying.”

In response, Salenger shared three pictures of her new family, including her husband and his daughter, 9-year-old Alice Rigney, captioning them, “Oh baby. I love you so.”

The couple started dating about 14 months after McNamara passed away, making their first public appearance together at the premiere of Baby Driver in June 2017. They held hands while posing for the cameras.

At the time, a source close to the couple told PEOPLE the relationship was “new” and the two were “very happy.”

Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger
Steve Granitz/WireImage

“They met through mutual friend Martha Plimpton,” said the insider. “They started chatting as friends and it blossomed from there.”

A month later, PEOPLE exclusively confirmed that Oswalt and Salenger were engaged.

“It’s official. I’m the luckiest happiest girl in the universe!!!!” she gushed on Instagram. “I love you @pattonoswalt I love you Alice Oswalt! #YesYesYes.”

“I put the ring in a marzipan [Star Wars] Slave I replica and said, ‘Will you be my Padawan of Love?’ ” Oswalt quipped of the proposal on Twitter. “She maced me but said yes later.”

Patton Oswalt and daughter Alice
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Some critics accused them of moving on too quickly, but the groom and bride held strong in their decision. Oswalt called those dishing out insults “bitter grub worms,” and Salenger defended herself on Facebook.

“I have waited 47 years to find true love,” Salenger wrote. “Creating our family unit while honoring the brilliant gift Michelle has given me will be my life’s goal and happiness. I am deeply in love with both Patton and Alice and very much looking forward to a beautiful happy life having adventures together.”

Since McNamara’s death, Oswalt’s top priority is taking care of their daughter.

“If I hadn’t had a daughter and my wife died, we wouldn’t be talking right now. I’m not saying I would be dead, but I would be a shut-in alcoholic,” he told Playboy in August 2017. “Everything would have shut down. I wouldn’t have been about anything. But with Alice, it was and is ‘You got to get up.’ “

Patton Oswalt and Michelle McNamara
Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

And at the end of the day, Oswalt said he chose to move forward with his life for the sake of his daughter.

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“I’m moving forward — clumsily, stupidly, blindly — because of the kind of person Alice is,” he wrote in a December 2016 first-person essay for GQ. “She’s got so much of Michelle in her. And Michelle was living her life moving forward. And she took me forward with her. Just like I know Alice will. So I’m going to keep moving forward. So I can be there with you if you need me, Alice. Because I’ll need you.”