The grandfather of a California teen who didn’t have a date to prom stepped in to help make sure the big night was picture perfect for his granddaughter.
Kaylah Bell, 17, wasn’t able to secure a date to the Lancaster High School prom in the weeks leading up to the event. “I was talking to some people but they all flaked out,” Bell tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “It was really hard to find someone to commit to being my prom date.”
But she wasn’t worried— she already had a person in mind that she knew would couldn’t let her down: her “papa.”
“My grandpa was the only one that I knew would dress to impress,” says Bell. “So, I had asked him to take pictures with me.”
As a pastor of his own church, 67-year-old Alvin Hackett has a closet full of smart-looking suits for any occasion— including his granddaughter’s senior prom.
“My grandpa is very stylish. Every Sunday when we go to church, him and my grandma dress alike and dress together for church and banquets,” says Bell, who adds that Hackett gets his fashion inspiration from Steve Harvey.
Not to mention, her grandpa had already helped make sure she had the perfect outfit for the memorable evening. Although Bell already had a gown leftover from her homecoming queen bid, she felt like something was missing from her prom night look.
“I liked the dress because of how different it looked— it looked like it was for a queen. But, there was something about it that was missing,” says Bell. The inspiration for her evening look was Mary, Queen of Scots. When her aunt and mother suggested a diamond belt and a matching diamond studded cape to spice up the dress, her grandparents took her to get the diamonds and cloth for a custom-made cape to make sure she could complete the regal look. The ensemble came together in the eleventh hour: just one day before prom.
So, when Hackett showed up outside her house looking dapper in a navy-blue striped suit and pink satin tie and a corsage to compliment her prom night attire, the teen couldn’t be happier with her date.
“I’m sure he already had a suit in his closet and put it together because he knew what my dress looked like. The matching suit and corsage was all his idea,” Bell tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I felt blessed. A lot of people don’t get to have opportunities like this. For my grandpa to be happy and eager to do it was amazing to me. I felt extremely loved.”
Unsurprisingly, when the debonair duo showed up to the venue, they stole the show. “Everyone was in awe,” the 17-year-old recalls of her arrival at Lancaster High. “People were like, ‘You guys are so cute.’ Everyone knows my grandpa is important to me.”
However, Bell and her date did more than catch the eyes of her classmates at Lancaster High School. The dashing pair caught the attention of thousands of people online when she posted pictures on her Twitter account. “My papa knew I didn’t have a date to prom so he matched me !!!!!!” Bell wrote on Sunday. The tweet has since gone viral, garnering nearly 105,000 likes and more than 12,000 retweets, with people singing praises for both Bell and her stylish grandfather.
“Your dad is dapper af,” wrote one user, mistaking her grandfather for her father. “I hope I age this well.”
Another user wrote, “No Man is worthy Enough to be her date.. A Queen I stan.”
One user even tweeted her own picture at prom featuring her dad as her prom date. “Honestly the only men that deserve us,” the person replied back.
While the granddaughter-grandfather duo stunned people online with their style, others praised Hackett for showing his granddaughter “real love.”
“What a way to show real love. A milestone that will never be forgotten,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another person wrote, “This will always fill her heart with joy when he’s not around. I love my Dad so much I know she will always appreciate this moment so these other dudes don’t matter.”
Bell echoed the sentiment, saying that she wouldn’t chose to commemorate her night in any other way, especially when she goes off to college at Azusa Pacific University in the fall. “It means a great big deal to me because my grandpa can’t stay forever,” says Bell. “It’s a happy memory I can always look back on.”
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