4-Year-Old Stepson Bursts Into Tears After Bride Speaks To Him During Her Wedding

It’s often said that you can’t choose your family, but that’s not always true. When Emily Leehan, an Airman with the United States Air Force, got engaged to her fiance, Marine Corps Sergeant Joshua Newville, she wanted her soon-to-be stepson to know that she considers him family, even though they aren’t related by blood. So, the bride-to-be included the 4-year-old in her wedding vows. Newville’s son, Gage, was from a previous relationship. Leehan and Newville had their nuptials at the Quincy Cellars in Ripley, New York, on July 22, 2017. During their beautiful military ceremony, Leehan read her vows aloud for the first time.

Leehan told People that she started thinking of a way to include Gage in their wedding when she got engaged to the Marine Sgt., so she settled on writing vows that she would recite to him. She also told Newville about it; he loved the idea but didn’t want to read the vows before D-day.

Leehan started her vows by promising to always protect Gage. She also asked him to try to be a good person in every situation. She then told the adorable 4-year-old, “Don’t cry baby,” as he buried his face in her wedding dress. The audience went, “Aww,” as some wiped their tears.

Newville hugged his teary son and told him to be strong, even though he was close to tears himself.

“The last thing I hope you learn is that you are a special boy,” Leehan continued. “You are so extremely smart, handsome, and kind to others. You have helped shape me into the woman that I am today,” she said as she wrapped up by telling Gage that she did not give him the gift of life, but life gave her the gift of him.

The couple, who had been dating for three years before their wedding, didn’t expect Gage’s emotional reaction to Leehan’s gesture. Four-year-olds are unpredictable, and Leehan knew Gage would already be bored with the day’s pomp and circumstance.

“I definitely didn’t expect him to react the way he did,” Leehan told People. “My reaction was just to giggle it off because if I hadn’t, I would have cried like a baby and I wouldn’t have been able to get it all out. It couldn’t have been any better than how it went.”

Newville also shared how he held back his tears.

“I was trying not to lose it more than I already had—I think I was tearing up before the vows even started, just because of the emotion of the day—then when I saw Gage tear up, I was trying not to tear up with him,” he told People.

What’s more, friends and family appreciated the honesty in that moment and told the couple and the little boy as much.

“We were telling him, ‘You did awesome,’ and our family and friends were saying that and told him he made it even better,” Newville told ABC.

Fortunately, Gage was in a much lighter mood at the reception, where he donned a Darth Vader mask and entertained the crowd. Leehan and Newville have expanded their family with two beautiful daughters, and Leehan sometimes shares pictures and clips of them on Facebook.

They celebrated their first pregnancy in 2018 with some fun maternity shoots. The couple also celebrated their sixth anniversary on July 22, 2023. In a Facebook post made a day before, Leehan wrote that she would choose Newville again in another life.

How sweet were Emily Leehan’s wedding vows? Are you part of a blended family? Let us know, and be sure to pass this along to your family and friends so they don’t miss this heartwarming story.

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