Your wedding day is one of the most important events in your lifetime, and the presence of the people you dearly love is what completes it.
Cíntia Bonfante Pereira, a speech therapist from Caxias do Sul, Brazil, works with children who have speech delays because of Down syndrome.
Her patients hold a special place in her heart, so her groom, Jose Vitor Flach, found a beautiful way to include them on their wedding day in March 2020.
The couple was standing at the altar, and when it came time to deliver the rings, the church doors suddenly opened, and several of her students began walking down the aisle!
The adorable procession was led by an older boy, one of the ring bearers, walking hand in hand with a toddler girl. They were followed by flower girls wearing cute dresses. Two of the younger boys even came in style in their tiny electric car.
All dressed in their best wedding attire, the appearance of the seven special guests caused Cíntia to shed tears of happiness. She’s clearly so proud of the kids and happy that they are there to celebrate her special day.
Once the ring bearers and flower girls reached the altar, Cíntia and José stopped to greet every one of them. The bride gently touched their little faces with an unmistakable look of love and adoration on her own.
Turns out, Cíntia had really planned to have the kids in her practice during her big day. However, when she asked the priest for permission, he declined her request.
“In reality, my husband had asked him to say that because he had already planned it with the priest,” she explained.
Cíntia said that her groom’s surprise was one of her favorite parts of the wedding.
“I love my profession so much and having the opportunity to have some of the children with us on this day was inexplicable,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “The emotion overcame me in a way that I thought my heart would not be able to handle!”
Cíntia has been working with the kids for years to help improve their language and communication skills. It’s clear that they’ve become more than just patients to her—they’ve also become family.
“I truly love what I do and I am lucky to be able to help them have a better quality of life,” she said. “I believe that every person has potential. We need to look at them beyond their disabilities so then we can help them surpass the barriers they have in life.”
The speech therapist is a staunch advocate for inclusion, and her choice of hiring a wedding photographer with Down syndrome proves that. João Vicente beautifully captured the day’s special moments.
“I always raise the banner of school and social inclusion and that’s why I had invited João, who is a photographer, because I had seen his work and really liked the photos and the way he transformed the details of our daily lives into photos,” Cíntia wrote.
“Beautiful! I think that in order for people to show their skills we need to give them the opportunity to do so.”
“That’s why having João Vicente as our photographer, in addition to being an honor to be photographed by him, was my way of showing that there are no limits when we don’t define people just by their diagnosis!
It was beautiful, wonderful, better than I ever imagined and we still contributed to a more inclusive society. There is no greater happiness than that”, she concluded.
Indeed, this sweet gesture of her students being ring bearers made their already-special wedding day more meaningful. Witness the heart-melting moment in the video below.
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