Groom surprises bride with vows delivered by her late grandfather

Sarah Irvin Photography

We all want the most important people in our lives in attendance at our wedding, right?

Well, Brittany Yost had an amazing surprise guest at her wedding ceremony in Crab Orchard, West Virginia on July 22. It was her grandfather, Rev. Ronald Adkins, affectionately called PawPaw. Why was this surprising? Because PawPaw had passed away last spring.

Brittany had been close to Adkins—literally and figuratively—having grown up right next door to her grandparents. “He was always there when I needed him and never hesitated to tell me when I was wrong or what to do to make something better,” Brittany told The Huffington Post. “He was always my go-to and one of my biggest supporters, and I was always his helper.”

Brittany had wanted Pawpaw to officiate her wedding, and was heartbroken when he died. However, her groom, Jordon Yost, AKA The Best Husband Ever, along with her brother and sister, arranged for her grandpa to still preside over the ceremony. When the preacher asked everyone to bow their heads to pray, Brittany’s grandfather’s recorded voice was heard through the speakers.

“I immediately recognized his voice and started sobbing,” Brittany told HuffPost. “Different emotions were racing through my head while trying to soak in hearing my grandpa’s voice. I was weak to my knees, chilled, but despite all the tears, I was smiling inside.”

The emotional moment was captured by the couple’s wedding photographer, Sarah Irvin, who shared the touching image on Facebook.

What did PawPaw say? He prayed over the couple, then pronounced them man and wife. Is it just us, or do you need a Kleenex right about now, too? He then said the groom could kiss the bride.

“My sister, brother and husband worked together along with a few others to make this happen,” Brittany said. “Besides the bridal party and those involved, no one knew. Our guests, including myself, were weeping and the emotions and love that flowed through our ceremony was truly touching.” We can imagine!

Brittany’s story went viral after photographer Sarah Irvin posted the photo on Facebook. “I’ve photographed a lot of weddings and this was the most incredible moment I’ve ever had the honor to witness,” Irvin wrote.

We have no doubt, and wish the couple much continued happiness.

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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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