When Kristine Reuterskiold said “I do” to her love Cody Reuterskiold, she knew she was marrying more than the man of her dreams—she was marrying his three young children as well.
So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Cody’s 7-year-old son Blake stepped up to help his dad during the vow portion of his Parkersburg, West Virginia, wedding on St. Patrick’s Day. When Cody broke down in tears and couldn’t form words any longer, his young son offered his assistance.
“He said, ‘Give them to me dad, I’ll read them,’” Kristine, 27, tells The Knot of the adorable moment. “It was a very touching moment that made me realize how thankful I am to have such an amazing little family. Cody was reciting his vows, telling me how I came back into his life and pulled him from a darkness that he never thought he would come back from. And how I not only came back into his life, but into the lives of the three amazing children standing there with us. From the beginning, I’ve shown them nothing but unconditional love and accepted them as though they were my own.”
Blake and his siblings have indeed been a part of Kristine and Cody’s love story from the very start. When Cody decided to propose to Kristine last year, she says, he sent her on a scavenger hunt that ultimately led to her finding all four of them “down on one knee and altogether said, ‘Will you marry us?’”
“I don’t know when I knew [Cody] was ‘the one’ exactly, but I know why,” Kristine adds. (The couple started dating in April 2016). “He is the most patient and loving man, no matter the situation.
The pair got married at Fort Boreman Park in Parkersburg, West Virginia, which they chose because it overlooks the Ohio river, in front of roughly 10 of their closest friends and family.
Courtney Jackson, the wedding photographer who captured the intimate wedding ceremony between Kristine and Cody, 29, tells The Knot that though she couldn’t catch Blake’s words from where she stood, the sentiment of love was unmistakable.
“It was a little hard to hear what was being said by the groom over the wind with no microphone, but to me, that just made that moment so much more powerful and touching,” Jackson says. “You didn’t have to hear what was being said because you could feel the love in what he was vowing to his bride through his expressions and emotions.”
“[Blake] just took over and read the rest of the vows to his new stepmom for his dad because he knew his dad was too choked up to finish them,” she adds. “It was honestly one of the most moving moments I have ever had the honor of capturing at a wedding. The officiant just smiled through it all and I don’t think there was a single guest left without teary eyes by the end of the vows, including myself.”
The wedding day only had one tiny snafu: Cody lost his wedding band while taking photos after the tear-jerker ceremony. And try as they might to find the precious ring, the newlyweds have yet to recover the lost symbol.
“The only tip I have [for other brides] is to just try not to stress the day of,” Kistine tells us. “Things will go wrong but it will still be an amazing day—even if your groom loses his wedding band an hour after the ceremony!”