Woman Weds Marine With 4-Year-Old Son, Has Message For Boy

A video of a woman marrying a marine with a 4-year-old son from a previous relationship quickly went viral after capturing the moment the bride turned to the boy with a message for him. Until that point, the wedding had gone smoothly, but that all changed as the groom stood at the altar with his son and bride.

After Senior Airman Emily Leehan met Sgt. Joshua Newville at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Trenton, New Jersey, the pair dated for about three years before Joshua finally popped the question, asking Emily to be his wife. The proposal involved Emily taking on another role too — that of stepmother to Joshua’s 4-year-old son, Gage. Thankfully, Emily had grown close to Gage over her years with Joshua, and the bride-to-be was more than ready to make the boy a permanent part of her life.

So, as soon as Emily and Joshua became engaged, the bride-to-be immediately began contemplating how she’d incorporate her soon-to-be stepson into the wedding ceremony. Eventually, Emily decided that reciting vows to Gage would be the perfect way to include him in the upcoming nuptials. Joshua agreed that it was a great idea, but he didn’t want to read Emily’s vows to Gage before the wedding. Instead, he thought Emily should keep them a secret — a surprise for both Gage and himself, PEOPLE reported.