Planning a wedding is never an easy thing to do. It’s even harder when the people you expect to be around to help are not able to be there. Decorations, catering, seating, and the most important aspect- the wedding dress. It’s a journey filled with tears of love, joy, and hope. Even though Kristen Mundell’s wedding didn’t have everyone in attendance she would’ve liked, her friends made sure the event was extra-special.
The event was held in 2015 at Kelley Farm in Bonney Lake, Washington. Kristen had gone through every detail and planned her wedding to be as close to perfect as she could get it. Of course, there was something missing. Or rather, someone— her father. Six years prior, Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Kent Mundell responded to a domestic violence call.
Unfortunately, he was shot in the line of duty and died seven days later. Kent has been a police officer for ten years and was an exceptional cop, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. His death was grieved deeply by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the whole community. Most of all, his family endured a tremendous sadness that continues to this day.
Kristen and her husband left the ceremony and went to the reception. Kristen had meticulously planned this celebration, paying great attention to the role her father would have played. “Any wedding is a big affair, and not having my dad there made it a lot more difficult for all of us,” Kristen told KOMO. There was special seating for those in attendance at the wedding, with one chair allocated for Kent.
“It’s difficult to realize it’s been almost six years and he won’t be there and that chair,” she added. “It’s his chair, and he should be there.” It meant a lot to know that we were able to save a location for him and that I could feel him there, knowing he was there.” Kristen had no idea how she would deal with the grief of not having her father at her own wedding.
She swiftly devised the plan to have Detective Don Jones walk her down the aisle. He was also in charge of the father-daughter dance. The tears started to pour when Kristen and Don were dancing. Kristen wore a bridal gown with a small blue ribbon strung down the back to reflect the police force’s thin blue line. She revered her father and his job whenever she could.
Suddenly, the emotion of the event swept through the crowd, and other officers wanted to dance with Kristen. Kristen never expected the outcome of her wedding. Her wedding dress was just one way to remember her father. Others in the community are still holding his memory close, even to this day.
“People need to know that their family’s lives go on but they’re still affected by it every day,” Kristen said. “I know they’re always there for me if I need them. I never thought they’d just show up. It was the best wedding surprise ever.” The video of the wedding is beautiful. If you’d like to watch it for yourself, check out the video below: