She’ll always be daddy’s little girl. Just before Morgan Gompf was set to walk down the aisle at her June 25, 2016, wedding in Ohio, she had one last important thing she needed to do: to spend a few quiet moments with her father, Rick.
In images that have recently gone viral, Gompf surprised her dad on the back porch of the venue moments before the ceremony, by showing him just what a big influence he’d had on her life thus far.
Gompf, 26, shared a first look with her dad during which she revealed a heart-shaped patch of Rick’s favorite blue and black flannel shirt stitched to the inside of her wedding dress as her “something blue.” Rick, of course, lost it. The photos show the proud father, 60, with his head tilted back, trying to keep tears from streaming down his face.
“Growing up on the farm, he always just threw on a flannel before we would go outside to do chores,” she told ABC News of the significance of the shirt. “And he had a flannel [shirt] that he always wore, which was blue and black checkered.”
“When I showed it to him, it was pretty emotional for him and for me,” she continued. “We realized—without it being spoken—how important our relationship was as a father-daughter relationship.”
Wedding photographer Erika Brooke, who captured the touching moment, tells The Knot that she was instantly brought to tears herself when she witnessed their exchange.
“A bride’s first look with her dad will always be one of my favorite moments of the day,” she says. “It’s a moment that oftentimes takes a back seat to the inevitable chaos of the day and doesn’t get the time it deserves. Most little girls grow up dreaming of their wedding day, but I think I speak for most fathers when I say they dream of that day too. Maybe not in the same way, but they dream of one day walking their little girls down the aisle.”
“As a photographer, my priority is always, first and foremost, to take photos that really matter,” she adds. “Not just the hallmark shots, but the raw, real emotional moments in-between. Because those moments … that’s what it’s really all about.”
Rick still loves farming, and even keeps a barn full of livestock, horses, cattle and “every farm animal under the sun” on his current property in Central Ohio, Gompf said. She added that despite her new married status, she and her dad are “probably best buddies in every sense.”