One lucky little girl got to meet a “princess” IRL this past February, and there’s proof! Photos of an adorable little tot enthralled with a Seattle bride have gone viral—and for good reason. Wedding photographer Stephanie Cristalli, who captured the sweet moment, tells The Knot that the encounter was unlike anything she had ever seen before.
“We were taking bridal party portraits on the Ballard Avenue, which is a quaint little street in Seattle,” Cristalli says. “The wedding was at Hotel Ballard right down the street. We noticed this adorable little girl staring at the bride, completely mesmerized by her! We stopped to acknowledge the little girl and then the most beautiful interaction happened and I just kept shooting.”
According to Cristalli, the little girl’s mother, Kelsey Edwards, explained to the wedding party that her daughter thought the blushing bride, Shandace Lerma, was the princess from her favorite book.
“Her dad [Alastair Edwards] told me that she was obsessed with the Wilkie Collins series of books,” Cristalli tells The Knot. “The book she was holding was Woman in White. They are not children’s books so I am pretty impressed by her reading choices!”
Lerma greeted the little girl and gave her a flower from her bouquet. In images Cristalli shared with The Knot, the excited little girl can be seen beaming back at the bride.
“It was just a beautiful moment in time,” Cristalli says. “I never even thought about how endearing the series of photos would be… The best part of the story going viral is that we found the parents and connected with them. I sent them all the images as well.”
Adds Kelsey, “It was just very sweet to watch our daughter see the princess that Shandace had become in her eyes. Imagine meeting one of your idols on the street—that was what our daughter was experiencing. Shandace and Scott were so nice to take the time from their wedding photos and connect with my daughter. We were just passing by, so it wasn’t expected but I certainly appreciated the lovely moment and it is something that I will always remember.”
“I think its a lovely point in time between strangers that, instead of being full of anger or hate or violence, is full of pure love, awe and admiration,” she tells The Knot. “We aren’t seeing many of those moments right now. Perhaps these pictures are a reminder that we could all be and do better. Especially when it comes to our children. We owe them a better world.”
Scott Robertson, Lerma’s groom, wrote in a post to Reddit that accompanied the photos that the incident was “the icing on the cake of an already perfect day.”
“It just warmed my heart to see the beautiful reactions from both this little girl and my bride,” he wrote. “My wife loves kids, so this was a very special moment for her.”