When a heartfelt video of bride Emily Leehan reading vows to her groom’s 4-year-old son, Gage, moved viewers around the world, it showcased a remarkable moment of family bonding and emotion. Senior Airman Leehan and Sgt. Joshua Newville’s story is touching hearts everywhere.
Leehan and Newville met at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Trenton, New Jersey, and after three years of dating, Newville proposed on July 18, 2016. In the time leading up to their engagement, Leehan had grown close to young Gage, and her thoughts immediately turned to how to incorporate him into their wedding ceremony.
Leehan wanted the wedding to be an emotional and meaningful experience for their new family. She decided to recite vows to Gage, and when she shared her idea with Newville, he thought it was a beautiful surprise they could create together. The plan was set in motion, with both hoping for a special reaction from the 4-year-old.
The unforgettable moment arrived on July 22, when the couple stood at the altar in Ripley, New York, with Gage between them. In the viral video, Leehan’s loving words to Gage made him shed tears. She expressed her desire for him to be safe and a good person, words that resonated with the young boy, moving him to tears. The raw, emotional response was entirely unanticipated.
Describing the moment, Newville said, “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 sentiment that day—then when I saw Gage tear up, I was trying not to tear up with him.”
Despite Gage’s unexpected emotional reaction, the couple says that he typically doesn’t show such intense emotions. However, he does exhibit concern when he hears about “sad things.” Gage’s interests include superheroes and Star Wars, with Spider-Man, Batman, and Paw Patrol among his favorites.
Crucial to the success of this heartwarming wedding was the support of Gage’s biological mother, Kali Nuckols. The couple has since returned to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and is now considering a honeymoon when they save up enough money. As this special day demonstrated, life’s most priceless and spontaneous moments often come free of charge.
The Leehan-Newville wedding showcased the power of love and family bonds in a moment that brought joy to countless viewers. Their story reminds us that love and togetherness can create beautiful and unexpected moments that will be cherished forever.