Bride Brittney Harmon’s father is a die-hard Chicago Bears fan.
On her July 22 wedding day in Galena, Illinois, she surprised him with a Bears-themed dress for their father-daughter dance.
“I was literally speechless, and I couldn’t hug her enough,” her dad, Steve Benda, told ABC News of the moment he laid on eyes on her in the new gown.
Harmon had a regular wedding dress on for the entire ceremony but quickly changed into the Bears gown before her father-daughter dance, unbeknownst to everyone except her mother and one of her maids of honor.
“My husband didn’t even know and I was holding it in my closet for 6 months,” she said of her groom, Mike Harmon.
Apparently the bride’s father had big plans for Harmon to sport the team-themed dress for years after finding it online in 2012.
“At that time there was no son-in-law in the future that I knew of,” Benda, 59, recalled. “I showed her and said, ‘You know what honey? This is your wedding gown and you’re getting married at Soldier Field. She said, ‘That’s not happening.’”
It continued to be a running joke between the two until Harmon actually came across the dress on the clearance rack in the bridal salon where she purchased her real gown.
“It was my exact size. I didn’t have to do any alterations to it,” she said. “I tried it on and came out and we started dying laughing.”
When it came time for the father-daughter dance, Benda started to panic when he couldn’t find Harmon anywhere because she had snuck away to change. He had specifically requested the song “Daddy’s Angel” by T Carter Music and was going to be heartbroken if they didn’t get that special moment together.
When the DJ told everyone to clap their hands for the bride to reappear for their dance, Benda was confused because it’s a very sentimental song. But then, he got the surprise of a lifetime.
“He started with the Bears music but I didn’t catch it because I was still in a fog,” Benda said of the Bears anthem beginning to play. “Then the door opened up and she came out in this dress and I went, ‘No way did you do this.’ It was just terrific.”
Dad wanted a #Bears wedding dress.
Daughter pulls off epic surprise for their father/daughter dance.
(??:Brittney Benda) pic.twitter.com/yaJmHABL7T— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 16, 2017
The proud father of the bride says his daughter’s wedding day was the best day of his life.
As for Harmon?
“My dad’s reaction was absolutely worth it all,” she said.
The bride and groom are now planning to keep the dress in their “man cave” basement along with their other Chicago Bears sports memorabilia. But if Benda gets his way, it won’t be the last time the dress is worn.
“For my 60th birthday on November 12 I’m taking her to the Bears/Packers game,” he said. “I’m hoping to get her in the dress again.”