Brianna Mancini always dreamed of being given away by her father on her wedding day, but he unexpectedly died while visiting his family in Italy. She planned to have her uncle fill his role, but someone else showed up right before the ceremony.
Brianna was set to walk down the aisle at her outdoor wedding in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, toward her fiancé, Franco. But as she saw herself in the mirror on her wedding dress, she grew sad because her father, Angelo, was not there to walk with her. Brianna still remembered the day he left and never returned.
Angelo decided to visit his parents back in Italy when Brianna was 16 years old. He moved to American for college, where he met Brianna’s mother, Georgia, and decided to stay forever. The older man had not returned to his hometown in Sicily since then.
“You should take me with you. I want to see the Sicilian countryside. It must be so romantic,” 16-year-old Brianna had begged him.
“Next time, Bri. I’m just going to check on your grandparents,” Angelo explained. “But, I’m planning to take the whole family with me when you graduate high school.” Brianna smiled and watched her dad get into the passenger seat of her mom’s car. She had no idea then that it would be the last time she would see him.
A week after he arrived in Italy, Angelo got into a car accident. When the family called and told them he was gone, it was the worst moment of Brianna’s life.
She begged her mother to take her to Italy for the funeral. But Georgia was so busy as a widow and single mother to four children that it became impossible logistically and financially. Meanwhile, her uncle Francesco assured her that they could handle everything themselves.
Years later, her father’s loss was still such a painful memory that Brianna couldn’t even bring herself to travel to Italy alone. She had the money but not the strength to go. The rest of the family didn’t want to go either, so she forgot about visiting Italy.
“I never imagined we would never see each other again. You should be here. I’ve dreamed of you walking me down the aisle every day since you left,” Brianna whispered emotionally as if her father could hear her.
She was alone in the bridal room, which was just a converted barn on the property. Her bridesmaids were checking on things outside, and her mother had also exited for a second, so she took a few minutes to mourn her father’s absence.
Luckily, she sent an invitation to her relatives in Italy, and her father’s brother, Francesco, agreed to walk her down the aisle.
Suddenly, her mother came into the room. “Honey, it’s time. Let me help you with that dress,” Georgia said and grabbed her train as best she could.
“Is my uncle outside?” Brianna asked.
“Yes, he’s right there waiting for you,” her mother replied, focusing on the dress.
Brianna exited the room and started walking, but she was too focused on her steps to look up and see the big surprise waiting for her.
“Hey, Bri,” she heard a deep voice say.
Brianna froze and closed her eyes tightly. I’m imagining things, right? she told herself. However, her mother gasped and started sobbing right next to her. The voice rang in her ears once again.
“Bri, open your eyes. It’s me,” Angelo whispered to his baby girl. He was the only one who called her by that nickname.
“This can’t be happening. It’s impossible,” Brianna denied with her eyes still shut.
“It’s me, honey,” he assured in a choked-up voice.
Finally, she opened her eyes and looked up at the face she had missed so much for the past ten years.
“Dad… I…,” Brianna started and began crying. “How is this possible? You can’t be here. Am I dreaming?”
“Principessa. My Bellissima Bri. It’s me. It’s your Papa,” Angelo repeated tearfully.
Brianna cried uncontrollably and hugged her father tightly. They both cried in each other’s arms for what seemed like forever. Brianna could hear her mother doing the same right beside them, but she was giving them a moment.
After a while, they let go of each other, and Georgia grabbed her husband in a passionate kiss. She had not even looked at another man in ten years. Bri laughed through the tears while watching her parents. She looked around and saw Uncle Francesco with tears too and asked him what was going on.
“Oh, Brianna. You are going to hate me for this,” Francesco began in his thick Italian accent. “But your dad got into a car accident and went into a coma. Our mother — your Nonni — decided it was best to tell you he was gone. The doctors told us he was not going to make it anyway. But your dad was a fighter. He didn’t die, although he didn’t wake up for years. But three months ago, he was back!”
“Oh my God!” Brianna mumbled, covering her mouth with one hand in shock.
“Yes, it was crazy! We didn’t know what to tell the rest of the family, and then your wedding invitation came. Surprising you seemed like a good idea,” Uncle Francesco finished.
Brianna smiled because that was the stupidest plan she had ever heard. But it was a gift because her father was back. Now she could get married without any regrets.
When Georgia and Angelo finally let go of each other, they looked back at Bri. “Oh, dear. Let’s fix your makeup real quick. Francesco, go tell the guests to wait a little longer,” her mother said, pulling Briana back toward the bridal room.
Ten minutes later, they emerged once again. They fixed her makeup as best they could, but Brianna didn’t care because she would probably cry again. Angelo was waiting just outside the room, and he extended his arm. “Let’s get you married, Bri,” he added smiling.
All the attendees gasped when they appeared at the end of the aisle. No one could believe that Angelo was back. As father and daughter started walking when the wedding march began, every guest took out their phones to record them. Brianna couldn’t help her smile at that moment as she held onto her father’s arm firmly.
Her groom, Franco, looked shocked, but he smiled at Brianna, knowing precisely what this moment meant to her. As Angelo gave Franco his daughter’s hand, he said, “I hope you love my daughter so much you fight your way back from the dead for her.” The ceremony had yet to start, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
What can we learn from this story?
- Don’t lie to your family. While this reunion was magical and emotional, Angelo’s mother shouldn’t have lied about her son’s fate. His American family deserved to know the truth.
- Sometimes, miracles happen, and dreams come true. Not many people are as lucky as Brianna, but miracles happen every once in a while.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.
If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a grandmother who left her grandson out of her will to teach him a lesson.
This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.