Help you down the aisle I must: The day Yoda empowered a flower girl with autism

October 17 | meganfinley
Photo by Kristy Angove

The wedding was held in a small country church. The bride was resplendent in a blue 1940s gown, and her three daughters were flower girls in floral circlets and big pretty dresses and… what the wha? Is that Yoda over there on the left, photobombing that lovely family photo?

Offbeat Bride reader Tara recently attended a friend's wedding, and noticed that one of the flower girls had a strange little green Jedi friend escorting her down the aisle, in the form of an awesome backpack.

Curious to know how it came to pass that Yoda crashed the wedding, Ms. Tara asked during the reception, and shared the heartwarming story with us…

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This is one amazing Yoda backpack.
T, the flower girl, had spent the morning hiding under the bed.

She has autism, and the prospect of an event with all those people was pretty daunting.

T's aunty finally coaxed her out from under the bed with the promise of a Yoda backpack.

Her aunt took her to the toy shop, and from that moment on Yoda sat on her shoulder and she seemed to feel safe with him there.

When it came time to put on the dress and head to the church T flat refused to go without Yoda on her shoulder.

Her mother, the bride, said to her family "If Yoda helps T get to the church and walk down that aisle with all those people watching, then Yoda is coming!"

And the result was one of the best images of a flower girl that has EVER been taken in the history of weddings:

Screenshot courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Oh wait, sorry… this:

Photo by Kristy Angove

It's no battle training on Dagobah, but weddings can (sometimes) be just as stressful and overwhelming. So cheers to the bride for letting Yoda coach this young padawan through her wedding duties!

  1. Wow! The family picture is absolutely breathtaking, and the story behind it…just wow! One of my favorite wedding stories for sure!

    16 agree
  2. Incredibley sweet and what an amazing wedding that must have been!
    I would love to see more of this beautiful family at what must have been an awesome event. lovely lovely photo!

    4 agree
  3. I saw this on the tribe and have been wanting to share this with my friends, and now I can:)

    2 agree
  4. omg. omg. I just got choked up. that last pic is just Beautiful.

    2 agree
  5. What a heartwarming story… with all the chaos that is a wedding it is the most simple things that make you stop and consider the big picture. Someday many years from now this family will be able to look back at pictures that include this beautiful little girl who found the courage with a little help from Auntie and Yoda. Thanks for sharing this! :)

    6 agree
  6. Simply adorable! This is such a sweet wedding memory! I can't help but think of all of the little flower girls and ring bearers who would probably have an easier time if they could bring their own special "friend" along.

    3 agree
  7. I love this entire story. Imagine some ten or fifteen years from now when her daughter is getting married and Ms Tara is sharing these photos of her to her groom (or bride) and their family.

    0 agree
  8. I love it! Our little son will be almost 2 at our wedding next year. His "special friend" is a little monkey comforter that goes to bed with him, which we are going to have on hand for emergencies on the day. This photo made be feel all warm and fuzzy : )

    Gorgeous little girls and gorgeous wedding.

    1 agrees
  9. I love the CRAP out of this! As someone whose passion it is to work with children with disabilities and/or special needs, it makes me SO happy to see parents who have their priorities straightened out! What's important is her ability to participate in the day with as little stress and anxiety as possible – even if Yoda gatecrashes!!

    LOVE it!

    14 agree
    • And, to be honest, I didn't even *see* yoda in the first picture until megan pointed it out in her writing. So to all those bridezillas who would throw a fit over something like this "ruining" your pictures (p.s. they are even MORE awesome with yoda), I was far too busy looking at how beautiful everyone looked in their gowns to notice. I'm so glad this mom didn't treat her flower girl as a pretty prop for the day and cared about her comfort :)

      2 agree
  10. Aww! She's a cutie-pie. The whole family just looks so warm and beautiful, and the story made me smile. A stuffed animal(or backpack) can be a special friend and I'm happy she got to walk down the aisle with him. :) What a cool mom!

    2 agree
  11. The Luke Skywalker picture cracked me up! And this story is beautiful.

    2 agree
  12. Fab! My daughter has autism, so we were thinking of ways to help Beanie make her way down the aisle as a flower dudette. Probably let her carry a Totoro or a Ponyo (she's a ghibli fan! I've raised her well…)

    12 agree
    • Totally proud of all the new little Ghibli fans. They'll grow up to be adults with good taste. :D

      0 agree
  13. every time i read this story it touches my heart–but the last picture is absolutely beautiful <3

    1 agrees
  14. I can't wait for twenty or so years to go by to read the story about Yoda at her wedding. Sweet story.

    1 agrees
  15. this beautiful girl's auntie wins the interwebs! Kudos to the entire family for realising the marriage and family is so much more important than the wedding day

    0 agree
  16. I love this story!!! This little girl is after my own heart. About a year ago I was in a friend's wedding and chose to use a yoda backpack as my purse for the day (and I'm a 28 year old adult). As much as I would have loved for him to,he didn't go down the aisle with me, but he did make an excellent dance partner at the reception.

    1 agrees
  17. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the dresses! Pretty bridal party, for sure!

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  18. We could all use " The Force" on momentous events like this !! Congratulations to the bride and groom, and to the precious flower girl!! I love it!

    0 agree
  19. wow! where did they get the backpack? I know a little girl with learning difficulties who would benefit so much from this. She is crazy about star wars!

    0 agree
    • Lucy, if you click the photo of the backpack in the post, it should take you to Amazon where you can purchase it! :)

      0 agree
  20. Thanks for featuring the story Megan, they really are a beautiful loving family.

    0 agree
  21. I'm finding this a bit awkward, but I am the bride in the photograph and my very dear friend asked to share our special day with you. Our children have always been our first priority, especially after the premature birth and subsequent passing away of our youngest child. We decided to get married as a celebration of strength, love and unity – not just for us as wife and husband, but as a whole family. I'm just surprised that we had Yoda there and not Scooby Doo! Thankyou for all of your lovely comments. T wrote a card to her Aunty and Uncle which read, "Thankyou for the Yoda. He has been very helpful in my life."

    17 agree
  22. That first picture is absolutely beautiful! And then the last one … it almost looks like Yoda is giving her a little kiss on the cheek for encouragement.

    1 agrees
  23. What a remarkable family. I too have worked with children with autism for years and it is so heartwarming to see a family,that understands and senses the needs of their child. Beautiful bride, beautiful family. Thank you for sharing.

    0 agree
  24. Yeah Special Ed parents learn that working outside the box to help our kids engage the world is needed and necessary. I'm not sure how I'm going to get my son down the isle with me but whatever it takes to make him comfortable will happen.

    0 agree

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