Dad on viral wedding moment with daughter’s stepdad: ‘It meant a lot to him’

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CLEVELAND -- The Ohio father whose touching moment at his daughter's wedding went viral came to "Fox 8 News in the Morning" on Thursday to talk about all the attention his gesture has received.

His daughter, who is on her honeymoon, also called in to talk about her dad's wedding-day surprise.

Todd Bachman walked his daughter Brittany to the beginning of the aisle at her wedding to Jeremy Peck last weekend. What happened next caught everyone by surprise.

He stopped the procession, walked up to his daughter's stepfather, Todd Cendrosky, grabbed his hand, and pulled him to Brittany so they could walk their daughter down the aisle together.

The moment goes viral

Delia Blackburn is the wedding photographer who captured the moment. She said since she posted the pictures, they've been seen by more than 70 million people. Her post has 1.3 million likes and, as of Thursday, has been shared nearly 600,000 times.

"Todd said right before the ceremony come up to me and said 'Just be ready,'" Blackburn said. "As it happened, I started to cry. I had to quickly gain my composure and grab that picture before I missed it."

A rocky start

Bachman and Cendrosky agree their relationship wasn't great in the beginning. But both men say over the past five or six years they've built a cordial and friendly relationship.

Cendrosky said he and Bachman are Facebook friends who want the best for their daughter.

"He's been to the choir concerts, the softball games. ... There is no greater way to thank him rather than just grab his arm and say 'Hey, let's do this together,'" Bachman said. "I didn't want her carrying any of the burden she experienced over the years. I just thought it was important to make her day that much more special."

The stepfather's reaction

"He thanked me and gave me a hug. He was pretty emotional about it. It meant a lot to him," Bachman said of Cendrosky's reaction to his gesture.

Cendrosky said over the phone that he was completely surprised by Bachman's gesture. The pictures show Cendrosky getting emotional while walking Brittany down the aisle.

The bride calls in from her honeymoon

"I just can't believe that I was lucky enough to have that happen at my wedding and have my fathers walk me down the aisle," Brittany said from her honeymoon in Tennessee. "I could never have imagined my wedding being this popular. We're not back home so I can't watch the news, so it's not totally real yet."

"Thank you for being such an amazing person," Brittany told her dad over the phone.

"I've always dreamed of this ever since I grew this relationship with my stepdad and I couldn't be more blessed," she said.

Lessons learned

"It's very humbling to know that so many people around the world have taken interest in this," Todd said of his gesture.

He hopes others can learn by what he did.

"Now it's about the message," he said. "We can do this. There are millions of kids in broken homes. If it can touch one family and let a child sleep a little easier at night because they don't have to worry about their parents arguing and they can put their differences aside and their feelings and concentrate on their children, that's what it's about."

Brittany, who is also a mother, says her father's actions taught her that the needs of the child should always come first.