Katie felt all the eyes burning on her, and her wedding dress suddenly started to squeeze her chest. Heat prickled up her slender neck and into her cheeks. Steadying herself, she glanced at the words she had written.
Then she searched the crowd until she found the woman’s face. With her eyes never leaving her husband’s ex, she started to read.
One date was etched into Katie Hild’s mind. It was the day she had met Jeremy, and it was the day that her life had changed forever. The two had hit it off spectacularly, and even though they had just met, Katie felt her head spinning with the giddiness of new love.
She was blissfully unaware of the bombshell that Jeremy was about to drop on her.
Katie and Jeremy had a whirlwind romance, and he seemed perfect in every way. Katie felt like she was living a fairytale. Every time her phone pinged, her stomach would flutter in hopes that the message was from him, and if it wasn’t, her heart would plummet.
You see, Jeremy was quite a catch. Katie would soon find out that other women knew it, too.
All Katie could fixate upon was Jeremy. When they weren’t together, she replayed every minute of their time together, carefully storing away every last detail. The way his lower eyelashes rested on his cheek while he checked his phone, the scent he wore — like walnut wood and honey.
She was becoming obsessed. But, just six weeks later, her full heart would be shattered into pieces.
Katie licked her wounds and wondered how she had gotten to this point. She had been plucked from the dizzying height of her new love for Jeremy, and then had fallen to one of the worst lows of her life.
She lay on her bed, and the despair engulfed her like a blanket. She had her phone in her hand and on the screen, the devastating message stared at her contemptuously.
When Jeremy’s message made its way to Katie’s phone, she had heard the notification and rushed to read it. She re-read the words carefully, and then suddenly it had felt like her heart had been ripped from her chest.
The message was a late-night confession from Jeremy, and he had been hiding something from her for the entire time that they had been together.
Jeremy revealed to Katie that he had a child. When she had asked him how old the child was, he had replied that he had been born on April 28th. The date hit Katie like a sledgehammer as she tried to grasp what Jeremy was trying to tell her.
Surely there was some sort of mistake?
Katie and her husband-to-be had been together for over six weeks. She stated in an interview with that she genuinely thought he was “the one” when they met. Their families became friends, and their lives were entwined.
“I believed we would live happily ever after,” Katie shares. But on the day she’ll never forget, she got the message that instantly sunk her heart.
She had lived with what Jeremy had done during the early period of their relationship, but try as she might, she couldn’t forget it and let it go.
Now, on the day of the wedding, Katie decided to do the only thing she could think of. She had decided to go ahead with the nuptials as expected, but she had an ace up her sleeve. So she got dressed in her beautiful white gown, picked up her bouquet of flowers, and made her way down the aisle.
The date on which Jeremy’s secret son, Landon, had been born was just 11 days after they had met. Katie’s heart filled with anger and disappointment. Jeremy had lied to her for the entire duration of their relationship.
Why hadn’t he told her? And what else was he keeping from her? Could she trust anything he had ever said?
But it was only at their wedding that Katie decided to speak up.
Four years later and that was all behind her… or so Jeremy had thought. She was standing at the altar with Jeremy and was preparing to recite her vows. And she had planned this moment carefully for four years.
Now was finally the time to speak her mind. She started shaking as she picked the mother of Jeremy’s child out from the crowd, and asked her to stand up.
A Part Of Her Life
Katie started to recite her vows, and the onlookers were mesmerized by her words. “First, I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life…” she read.
Casey, Landon’s mom, was so moved by Katie’s heartfelt words that her eyes started to fill. Then Katie kneeled in front of Landon and continued her speech.
A Blossoming Friendship
When Katie had heard about Casey, just six weeks into her relationship with Jeremy, she had been filled with resentment. But, as the months went on, she softened.
In a gesture of maturity and compassion, she started to reach out to Casey, and the two formed an unusual bond. She even grew to love Landon as if he were her own.
Everyone Is Awed
Katie eventually felt so strongly about Landon and Casey that she decided to write a special piece in her vows to include them in her wedding ceremony. “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach and love him every single day.”
“I promise to respect, work, listen and communicate together as co-parents,” she continued. “I will love you guys no matter what comes our way. We are one family, always…” The guests were in complete awe.
Katie then turned to her stepson: “Landon, I love you more than you will ever know. I’ve had the privilege of knowing you since the beginning. I’ve loved watching you grow and I will for the rest of my life,” Katie paused and wiped a tear away.
“I’m so happy that I now officially get to be your bonus mommy.”
Katie had written and rewritten her vows until they were perfect. “I knew I was missing something,” Katie told Global News. “I was missing what made mine and [my husband’s] relationship work.”
Speaking of her husband’s ex and child, “I always wanted to include them but I never knew how,” she explained. “I wanted people to see how important they were to me.”
A Powerful Message
There wasn’t a dry eye at the ceremony, and Katie’s amazing message about co-parenting quickly went viral. The video of her heartfelt vows has since garnered over 2000,000 views — and strikes a chord with many.
“This was absolutely beautiful,” one woman wrote on Facebook, “Kudos to this wonderful and special family and as for the bride, she’s one of a kind!”
“It felt like nobody was in the room,” Katie says. “I practiced so much so I wouldn’t cry … I didn’t even hear anyone cry, it was just a bittersweet moment.”
“All four of you are so amazing. This is absolutely inspiring and I wish everyone involved in co-parenting situations matures enough to follow your example,” another Facebook user wrote.
“I wasn’t just going into a marriage with Jeremy and needed his trust and respect, but I needed Casey’s and Tyler’s, too. One thing I promised, was to be ONE family, always. I know without hesitation, we will never break that promise.”
But things hadn’t always gone smoothly between the two women: “The one thing we had in common though was Landon. Landon was and is the beat to our heart. The little guy who not only changed our routines and norms, but he changed us,” Katie explained.
One Big Family
“So many stories, rumors, and judgment, but what would you expect? That’s all we ever saw. That’s the norm. You don’t like the ‘other person,’” she said.
Katie has shown that she has come a long way in four years, and was able to embrace her stepson, and more surprisingly, her husband’s ex as an important part of her family.