The big wedding day is one of the most important milestones in a couple's lives. This momentous occasion not only celebrates the love and union between two individuals, but it also applauds all the loving family and friends who have supported and cherished the newlyweds throughout their lives.
Many months of hard work go into the planning and execution of a perfect wedding. So many details are involved in every step along the way, from the catering menu to the seating arrangement. Not unlike the movies we see, many brides obsess over the perfect wedding dress and the floral arrangements. One young woman, however, had something else to worry about.
For most people, their wedding days are one of the most joyous occasions in their lives. For Kirsten, it was a bittersweet milestone.
Most brides-to-be dream about their perfect wedding long beforehand, and one of the most touching parts of the ceremony is the father-daughter dance. Sadly, Kirsten wouldn't get to share this unforgettable moment with her father.
In 2009, her father, Deputy Sheriff Walter "Kent" Mundell Jr., tragically lost his life in the line of duty. This meant that he would not be able to give her away at the wedding or dance with her during the father-daughter dance. "Any wedding is a big deal, and not having my dad there was a lot harder for all of us," she told KOMO 4 TV.
A silent tribute was paid to Kirsten's father at the beginning of the beautiful outdoor ceremony in Bonney Lake, Washington. A seat was dedicated to the hero in the very front row. "It's hard realizing it's been almost six years and he's not going to be there," she said. "And that chair - it's his chair, and he's there, but he's not. It meant a lot knowing that we were able to save a spot for him and knowing that I felt him there. I knew he was there."
The blushing bride also laced the back of her gown with blue ribbons to commemorate her father and honor the law enforcement community.
Upon Kirsten's request, Seattle Police Detective Don Jones had the honor of walking her down the aisle in her father's place. It was a touching moment, but nothing would prepare her for what would come during the father-daughter dance later.
The momentous father-daughter dance started out like planned. Then, something unexpected happened. "We were [standing] there dancing, and all of a sudden, someone taps on the shoulder and says, 'Can I cut in?'" Kirsten recalled.
"I was shocked. I didn't know how to react, how to respond," she continued. But it wasn't just this one officer who wanted to share the incredible moment with her.
"[The officer] said, 'There's a whole line of us.' And right as he said that is when the next officer cut in and I just broke down."
The touching photos were perfectly captured by photographer Angela Lyons. The unforgettable moment would be remembered and cherished forever.
Even Lyons was deeply moved by the incredible gesture by these officers. "I felt as if my heart was both full of joy and soaring, and breaking into a million pieces on the floor all at once," she told ABC.
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