Bride Emily Leehan made two sets of wedding vows on her big day: one to her new husband Joshua Newville and another to his 4-year-old son Gage.
At the ceremony at Quincy Cellars in Ripley, New York on Saturday, Emily shared some heartfelt words with her stepson ― whom she has known since he was just two years old ― that immediately brought him to tears.
“I want you to be safe and to try your hardest and to be a good person,” Emily, a senior airman in the Air Force, told Gage. “I know that you and I will butt heads, but I hope that with all my heart, that as you become a grown man, you will understand my methods and realize that I have only done what is best for you and that I love you.”
Gage began weeping and alternated between hugging Emily and his dad, who is a sergeant in the Marines.
“The last thing that I hope you learn that you are a very special boy,” the bride continued. “You are so extremely smart, handsome and kind to others. You have helped make me into the woman that I am today. I may not have given you the gift of life but life surely gave me the gift of you.”
Afterwards, the couple consoled a teary-eyed Gage with more hugs and kisses.
The bride told HuffPost that Gage’s sweet reaction to the vows “meant everything to [her.]”
“There were so many nerves leading up to this moment, which is why my immediate reaction was giggling. If I didn’t giggle I probably would have sobbed and not been able to finish,” she said. “I wanted to make sure he heard everything I had to say and that he knows how much I love him.”
The groom told ABC News that they made a point to let Gage know how special he made the ceremony. The couple also plans to give him a written copy of the vows for him to keep.
“We were telling him, ‘You did awesome,’ and our family and friends were saying that and told him he made it even better,” Joshua said.
Read what Gage’s mom had to say about this sweet moment on HuffPost.