It was important for Mikayla Wroten to incorporate her father into her wedding ceremony, because he couldn’t be there in person. Her dad, David Poling, a Marine and probation officer, died in the line of duty 10 years ago. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t right there with his little girl on her big day—and his former colleagues made sure of it.
During the father-daughter dance, Poling’s fellow officers stepped out in uniform and danced with the bride one-by-one.
“Each and every one of us carry around a little piece of Dave with us every day,” Sheriff Matt Champlin told ABC News. “It was important to give that back to her on her wedding day. She knew before we came out he was there with her, but when we walked out in uniform, she definitely knew her dad was there with her.”
The officers came dressed as wedding guests and changed into their uniforms to surprise the bride. Only the DJ and the groom, Dakota, were in on the surprise.
“They both knew the magnitude of what we wanted to do. They knew how important it was to keep it a secret for Mikayla,” Champlin told the news source.
And surprise her they most certainly did!
“The first cop walked out, he was a state trooper, and I just lost it,” Wroten told ABC News. The bride and the officers danced to the song “I Loved Her First” by Heartland.
“Even though I do have a great stepdad now in my life, he wasn’t there, you know, my dad wasn’t there to dance with me and it was something that was heart touching for me and I remember just looking around and taking it all in,” Wroten told WSAZ3 of seeing the officers appear in uniform.
Wroten incorporated her dad into her wedding ceremony in little ways, too. His boots and Marine Corps portrait had a special seat in the audience.
The 19-year-old also had his photo and a note that read “Walk with me today Daddy” in her bouquet.
Seeing how much her father has touched his family, his co-workers and so many others inspired the groom to go into law enforcement, too.
“I saw that man impact more people in life and death than most ever will in an entire lifetime and that’s kind of my goal, to affect someone the way he did me,” he told WSAZ3.
This is such a touching way to remember a father who couldn’t be there on his daughter’s wedding day. We’re wishing all the best to the happy couple!