What many brides describe as a day they’ve dreamed about since they were little girls was exactly that for Mikayla Wroten. She married the man of her dreams at a beautiful venue with friends and family by her side. The one thing she never anticipated as a little girl was celebrating that dream day without her dad. Unfortunately, that had to be the case since she lost her father, who was a police officer, back in 2007.
Wroten’s father, David Poling, was a Marine veteran and former probation officer. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Poling drowned after swimming to catch a suspect who had jumped into the Ohio River. Wroten was only nine-years-old at the time. “I remember Mom telling us that he wasn’t with us anymore. I think it was a couple weeks later that it actually set in that he was gone and he wasn’t coming back,” she said to WSAZ.
On the day of her wedding, Wroten had her stepdad walk her down the aisle. To honor her late father, she carried a bouquet with an attached photo of her and her dad along with the words: “Walk with me today Daddy.” During the ceremony, his portrait from the Marine Corps as well as his boots were placed on the seat “where he would have been,” Worten told ABC News.
She had planned to dance with her stepdad during the father-daughter dance but surprisingly, a few special wedding guests intervened. Before the music began playing, former police colleagues of her father’s walked into the room one by one, in uniform to share a dance with her in honor of her father. “The first cop walked out, he was a state trooper, and I just lost it,” Wroten said. “Everyone was in uniform and I was just like, ‘Oh, my gosh.’ I fell into his chest and lost it.”
Seven former colleagues/friends of Poling each took turns dancing with his daughter to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland. “They said they wanted me to see my dad on my wedding day. That was their goal – to be there for me and to show me how much they love me and appreciate me,” Wroten said.“The sheriff was my dad’s best friend and he danced with me last, so I was super emotional.” Sheriff Matt Champlin told ABC News how meaningful the surprise was to the group of officers, “Each and every one of us carry around a little piece of Dave with us every day. It was important to give that back to her on her wedding day.”
Champlin said only the groom and DJ knew about the plan. “We’re good at keeping things tight lipped, I guess you could say. They both knew the magnitude of what we wanted to do. They knew how important it was to keep it a secret for Mikayla,” he said.
There’s no doubt that the touching tribute is enough to bring anyone to tears.“I’m so appreciative of it and I’m thankful for them,” Wroten said. “I told every single one of them I loved them and how much it meant to me for them to be there for me.”
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