A wedding video is going viral. And not because of a choreographed groomsmen dance.
When Pennsylvania-based bride Katie Musser began her vows, she surprised the room by including not only her 4-year-old stepson, Landon, but also his mother, Casey Bender.
“First I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life,” Katie told Bender, and her husband, Tyler, in the emotional footage. “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach and love him every single day.”
The 24-year-old then kneeled in her Oleg Cassini gown and turned her attention to little Landon. “I promise to stand by you, listen to you and love you every day,” she said softly. “I promise to love Daddy with all my heart. I promise to be a best friend to your mommy and your daddy Tyler. We will be one big family that I promise you will have for the the rest of your life.”
**warning: super long post, but worth it**Coparenting means sharing the duties of a child. Why? That’s the one…
It took Musser two weeks to write her vows. The 24-year-old wanted them to be perfect. ”I struggled so much. It was honestly the worst part part about planning the wedding. I got through my first draft and realized something was missing,” she tells Us Weekly. That something was Bender and Landon. Says Katie: “They helped shape mine and Jeremy’s relationship.”
Though Musser calls Bender her “absolute best friend,” the two women got off to a rather rocky start. Shortly after Katie began dating her future husband, Jeremy, in 2013, he revealed he had a 6-week-old son with his ex-girlfriend Bender.
It was rough . . . Casey and I hated each other,” Musser wrote in a November 10 Facebook post. But right before Landon’s first birthday, Musser decided enough was enough and reached out to Bender to make peace. The two began going on “mommy dates,” where they discussed everything — including Landon. “The one thing we had in common . . . was Landon,” she revealed. “Landon was and is the beat to our heart.”
Bender admits she didn’t exactly welcome Katie into her life with open arms. “Jeremy and I were broken up when he met Katie, but we had a baby together and I was hoping he would come back to me and we would work through our problems,” Bender tells Us Weekly. “It was hard to accept that he had moved on from me. But now I am so glad he found Katie.”
Everyone got their happy ending: Bender is also now happily married.
“Landon calls both of us ‘Mommy’ and both of his daddies ‘Daddy,’ Musser tells Us. “We don’t like the word ‘stepparent.’ We are his parents parents no matter what.”
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