A bride was moved to tears after her doting groom surprised her with a 70-year-old recording of her late gran singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
Chelsey Mahlke, 33, from Las Vegas, had no idea that her now-husband, Darin, 43, planned to interrupt the ceremony with a long lost recording of her gran, Janiece Bellanger.
The bride burst out in tears as the recording of her grandma, who was her best friend, singing the Judy Garland hit back in 1947 played during the first dance.
Janiece, who had five children and four grandchildren, made the recording from her bedroom when she was 14 years old.
The beloved grandmother sadly passed away back in 2005, aged 71.
Unfortunately, medical device manager Darin never got to meet Janiece but when he found the old record in Chelsey’s belongings, he had it transferred to MP3 form and sent it to the DJ.
The surprise went down well with Chelsey and her family who also didn’t know the recording would be played.
Cattle rancher Chelsey, said: ‘It was a complete shock.
‘We had our first dance planned for later on but when we walked in, the wedding planner handed Darin the microphone.
‘I had no idea what was going on. The only people who knew were the wedding planner and the DJ.
‘None of my family knew so it was a big surprise for them and everyone was crying.’
Chelsey says having a bit of her grandma during the ceremony made it the perfect day.
‘My grandma was my best friend. I was her first grandchild, her name is my middle name,’ she said.
‘I would have loved for her to see me get married.
‘There was a void throughout the entire day.’
The pair married in 2018 in a lavish outdoor ceremony with 150 of their friends and family in their hometown of Las Vegas.
Chelsey said: ‘We had a memory table for people who couldn’t be there and I had a locket with a picture of my gran tied around my bouquet but hearing her voice was so special, it made me feel like she was there with me.
‘She loved music, music was her life and she was a great singer but she was really humble about it.
‘She never played music for anyone and was very specific about who she played to but she lived to play the piano and sing.’
The newlyweds met in 2014 and Darin proposed on Chelsey’s cattle ranch on July 4, three years ago.
Chelsey said: ‘There’s a tree on my cattle ranch that’s special to us because we carved our initials into it so its our special spot.
‘It was July 4 and he said we should film a video for family saying happy 4th of July so we set up the tripod and when I turned around he was on one knee.
‘I wish they’d got to meet, [my grandma] would have loved him.’
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