Kirsten Mundell’s father died six years ago, so he couldn’t attend her wedding on Saturday. But there’s no doubt he was there in spirit.
Kent Mundell, Jr. was a sheriff’s deputy in Pierce County, Washington, when he was killed in the line of duty in 2009. He was shot while responding to a domestic violence call, and died at the hospital seven days later.
At Kirsten’s September 19 wedding in Bonney Lake, Washington, a group of her father’s law enforcement friends were there to make sure her big day was full of love and warm memories.
“Any wedding is a big deal, and not having my dad there was a lot harder for all of us,” the bride told local ABC affiliate KOMO-TV.
Seattle Police Det. Don Jones stepped in to walk the bride down the aisle. At the ceremony, Kirsten reserved a chair in the front row for her dad, decorating it with a special sign, a framed photo and his jacket. Her dress and flowers featured ribbons in blue.
One of day’s most emotional moments took place at the reception during the father-daughter dance.
Jones stood in for Kent Mundell during the wedding tradition, and to Kirsten’s surprise, three fellow officers and a number of her dad’s other friends cut in for a dance as well. They each took turns, sharing the sweet moment.
“If you look closely, you’ll see even the way they held her hand while dancing was in the most fatherly, loving way,” photographer Angela Lyons told The Huffington Post. “My heart, like everyone else’s, was exploding with both pain and joy at once. It was intensely bittersweet.”
“I’m shocked I got any [pictures],” Lyons wrote on Facebook. “Everything looked blurry through the tears!”
The Huffington Post reached out to the bride for comment, but she was not available by the time of publication. This story may be updated.
H/T Q13 Fox News