There are some moments wedding photographers capture that will stay with you for life. The bride's walk down the aisle, the emotional first look, you get the picture. But for Kelsea Gisondi and her new husband, Jimmy, their photographer Abigail Gingerale captured something even deeper: Jimmy saying his vows to his 9-year-old stepdaughter, Olivia. As you can imagine, there wasn't a single dry eye at the ceremony, especially after Jimmy gifted Olivia a custom necklace to honor his commitment to her.
"We really wanted to make her feel a part of everything and not just make the day about us," Kelsea told POPSUGAR. "She was my maid of honor. We got her a customized necklace that had her name, birthstone, and our wedding date on it. Jimmy wanted to give it to her and say something sweet. I had no idea what he was going to do until that moment. It was an unbelievable experience. The entire day was emotional. Olivia did a first look with Jimmy where she hugged him so tight, told him she missed him all day, and cried."
Although Kelsea first met her now-husband Jimmy when she was in kindergarten, the pair didn't reconnect until December 2017 when she reached out to him on Facebook. They had their first date later that week and hit things off. After a month of dating, Kelsea made the decision to introduce Olivia to her new beau. As a single mom, Kelsea was nervous. However, call it a mother's intuition, but she had a good feeling about Jimmy.
"I had no idea what he was going to do until that moment. It was an unbelievable experience."
"We decided to do a family dinner and they hit it off like right away," she explained. "It was crazy! It was like they already knew each other. They made jokes and made fun of me! It was great and it just felt so natural. They bonded right away."
Kelsea and Jimmy were engaged four months later. Throughout their engagement, Olivia and Jimmy's connection blossomed. "Olivia really gets it, she really gets that Jimmy is there for her and always will be," she said. "She just needed to hear it." Although there were obviously a ton of tears on the wedding day, Jimmy and Olivia have been nothing but smiles ever since. Most recently, he took her to a daddy-daughter dance.
"We didn't expect it to be this emotional or for so many people to love our story," explained Kelsea. "But it's amazing, I have been a single mom for a really long time and have been in really crappy relationships. I feel like this gives hope to other single moms that there's someone out there that will love you and your child just as if they were their own. It may take a long time, and you may go through a lot of heartache, but it's there and it's worth waiting for."
Read on to get a look at the emotional wedding story, and try not to tear up in the process.