This is the heart-warming moment a bride makes vows to her new stepson at her wedding to his dad. Vanessa Lynch, 30, wanted to make sure that nine-year-old Henry Lynch knew how much she appreciated him as part of the family. So after she had made her vows to his father Craig Lynch, 30, she started speaking to him. Vanessa, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, said: "I wanted Henry to know that I wasn’t just going to be a woman his dad was married to. "I was nervous at first, just because I didn’t know how Henry would react. "I didn’t want to put him on the spot in front of everyone because he is shy and gets nervous in front of people. "But something felt right, so when I was done with Craig’s vows, I motioned for Craig to scoot over so I could see Henry. "That’s when the tears started flowing, when I looked at Henry in that moment. "I’m glad I decided to do it because Henry told me that they meant a lot to him and that he feels even closer to me than before." The special moment where Vanessa makes her promises to Henry was caught on camera. In her vows she said: "Henry, I know I wasn't there the day you came into the world. "I wasn't there for your first steps or your first words, but I promise I will be there for many more of your firsts. "I promise to love you as if you were my own, and lastly I promise I will be the best wife for your dad, and I promise to be the best step mum I can be for you." Nurse Vanessa first met underwriter Craig when they were both in their second year at Augsburg College and she was dating his roommate. She was introduced to his son Henry a few months after they started dating. She said: "I wanted to wait as long as it took for Henry to feel comfortable. "I planned our first time together by us three going to see Monster Trucks together, we all had a blast." The couple got engaged in August 2019 but, after COVID hit, they finally planned their wedding for December 11 this year at a venue in Cambridge. When she was preparing her vows to Craig, Vanessa came up with the idea of saying some words to Henry too during the ceremony. "Henry plays a big part in Craig’s life," she said. "At first I wasn’t going to do it, because I didn’t want Henry to feel uncomfortable in front of everyone. "But after some time thinking it over, I felt like something would have felt left out if I did not say a little something to Henry. "I wanted him to know how much my relationship with Henry meant to me. "It was easy for me to write them, but hard for me to say them out loud -example being in the video I started crying, which I never do." Only the bridesmaids and Craig's mother knew about her plan as they helped her practice them, but they wanted it to be a surprise for both Henry and Craig. Vanessa said: "The guests’ reactions in the moment I couldn’t see, because I was so focused on Henry and getting my words out. "But I could hear so many people sniffling around me while I was saying them!" After she'd finished, Henry went up to her to give her a huge hug, before she exchanged rings with his father. The step mum said: "We ended up showing the video to Henry and he cried watching it, which was adorable. "I come from a blended family, so me deciding to say vows to Henry really stemmed from my experience as a child - how stepparents should treat stepchildren as though they were their own children." Vanessa even chose to walk down the aisle arm-in-arm with both her biological father and her stepdad. "Just because you don’t share blood with someone, does not mean you cannot be a family," she added. "It all comes from love you hold for a person and what you commit to one another." The video was taken on December 11 2021.
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