It isn’t unusual for a bride to feel stressed as their wedding day approaches. After all, weddings are exorbitant affairs that can be stressful to organize! With that being said, the bride we are talking about today had an entirely different sort of fear. When Brittany Bachman walked down the aisle with her father, she had no idea what was about to happen!
Keep on reading to learn a loving story of how a family can overcome all obstacles!
The Special Day
When Brittany Bachman and Jeremy Peck decided to get married, they knew that it would be a celebratory affair. After all, they had loved and grown together for years and now they were ready to celebrate their next step forward together. Even though they were excited to get married, they never knew just how their wedding would turn out!
We are getting ahead of ourselves. First, let’s turn back the clock.
Starting at the Beginning
While our story has a rosy ending, it didn’t start with flowers and butterflies. Fifteen years before Brittany’s wedding, she was one of two children stuck in a custody battle between her mother and father, Todd Bachman and Candace Cendrosky.
Brittany said of the divorce proceedings, “My little sister and I were right in the middle of it all.”
Dealing With Divorce
While nobody likes to talk about the realities of divorce, nearly half of all American marriages end in one. With that being said, divorce doesn’t have to be the death knell of a family unit. As you’ll soon see, Todd Bachman and Candace Cendrosky both had great futures ahead of them for their family.
Meet Todd Cendrosky
Following her family’s divorce, Brittany’s mother would begin to date Todd Cendrosky. The two would end up married and Todd would become Brittany’s step-father, offering her love and support for the 14 years leading up to her wedding. With that being said, life wasn’t always easy living with step-parents. Brittany said, “It hasn’t always been peaches and cream.”
Focused on the Future
Even though life had been rocky at times, Brittany and her long-time boyfriend Jeremy were excited to tie the knot during their outdoor wedding in Ohio. Brittany and Jeremy had been through a lot over the years and they were more than ready to start the next step of their life’s journey together. Brittany would say, “What we’ve been through over the years… If we could do it, anybody can do it.”
The Beautiful Moment
Even though life hadn’t always been ‘peaches and cream’, the couple had been looking forward to their wedding day. With that being said, Brittany had a lurch in her stomach over the relationship her father and step-father had shared. How would her step-father feel while watching her walk down the aisle? For many parents, putting aside their ego can be tough — especially on wedding days!
Coming Together to Celebrate
Growing up as a child of divorce meant that things weren’t always smooth and easy. Any child of divorce understands how complicated sharing custody can be. Leaping from one household to the next can be challenging for kids of any age, especially young children like Brittany. While Brittany loved her father, she also cared deeply for her step-father who had essentially raised her.
Why Did This Go Viral
Psychologists all over the internet have weighed in on why Brittany’s wedding became so viral. Many of these psychologists pointed to a longing amongst children of divorce as a reason for her extensive support. According to some, seeing Brittany’s family overcome obstacles inspired hope in others!
Divorce Is Sadly Common
As we’ve already touched on, divorce impacts roughly half of the American population. Nearly 5 in 10 American adults have a member of their family in the ‘step-relative’ category, according to the Pew Research Center. This means that step-parents are incredibly normal in the United States. Was this why Brittany’s story touched a positive nerve?
How Was This Wedding Different
What made the Bachman – Peck wedding so extraordinary is that it was preceded by years of custody battles. While Brittany’s parents had squabbles for years over custody of their daughter, Brittany simply grew to love both sides of the family in all of the good, bad, and ugly forms that took shape. Maybe it was her positivity that would lead her wedding photos to nearly 60 million views!
Planning the Surprise
When Mr. Bachman received a phone call from her daughter before the wedding, he could tell that something was off. Brittany was stressed about how her father and stepfather would handle the arrangements even though she wouldn’t admit it. This caused Mr. Bachman to begin planning his surprise.
The Precious Moment
On the day of the wedding, families were gathered on both sides of the aisle fo the celebration. As Todd Bachman walked his biological daughter down the aisle, the man paused next to his daughter’s stepfather, Todd Cendrosky. The whole audience seemed to catch their breath waiting to see what happened next.
A Lucky Bride
This story would go so viral that Hollywood stars like Ashton Kutcher would share it on their pages. Todd Cendrosky recalls the next moment as such, “All of a sudden.. he turned to me, reached out and grabbed my hand.” Brittany’s step-father would go on to describe how Mr. Bachman told him to walk their daughter down the aisle by saying, “You’ve had just as much a part in raising this child.”
Celebration of Love and Happiness
Instantly, the audience began to get misty-eyed. After years of custody battles and contentious court proceedings, both sides of the family were coming together to celebrate their love of one another. Brittany would later recount the moment as such, “It amazed me how he could be such a brave man and include my stepdad.”
Not Always Easy For Others
While it is easy to celebrate the love and affection that Brittany’s family managed to share, they are far from the norm. Dana Hickman is a daughter of divorce and she weighed in saying, “The story struck home for me.” Unfortunately for Hickman, her biological father wouldn’t accept sharing the moment with anyone else. Hickman would go on to say, “In the end, he didn’t even come to my wedding.”
Celebrating Their Unique Life
Brittany said of her father and Mr. Cendrosky, “They were both there for me, while I was young — they both raised me.” While Mr. Bachman had planned the event, Todd Cendrosky had no idea that he was going to walk down the aisle. Mr. Cendrosky was touched by the gesture, an emotion made deeper by his own health struggles.
Cendrosky would say of the viral wedding, “What father doesn’t want to walk his daughter down the aisle?” Mr. Cendrosky had played such a pivotal role in his step-daughter’s life that he had been asked alongside Mr. Bachman for their daughter’s hand in marriage.
Treasuring Their Life Together
The beautiful wedding would end up going off without a hitch. What’s more, Brittany’s stress seemingly dissipated the moment that her father and step-father came together. Brittany said of the festivities, “It felt like a weight was lifted off me at my wedding.” Brittany had no idea that her father had planned the moment, so she was equally shocked and ecstatic.
Eternally Grateful Stepfather
What made this moment even more powerful was Mr. Cendrosky’s struggles with health. Mr. Cendrosky had been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in addition to Crohn’s Disease and Lupus. As a result of his disorders, it would be very likely that Mr. Cendrosky would end up in a wheelchair by the time his biological daughter chose to walk down the aisle.
New Chapter of a Great Book
Brittany’s mother weighed in to close out the touching event. Candace Cendrosky would go on to say, “He made my husband’s world, he did. And that makes me feel great.” The moment was made even more special by the realization that the entire family had come together to celebrate the love they shared for their daughter.