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Giving us all the feels: Bride and young autistic girl share a tender moment

This story is extra special to the Hope Rises team because we personally know Olivia Swendsen – the “Cinderella” bride, and her new husband, Caleb. 
Take a look at these photos, thanks to Nicole Wickins Photography, captured in Akron, NY over the weekend.

​​ This young girl, a stranger to the bride, saw her taking pictures in the park prior to the wedding ceremony and ran up to her with open arms. 
Caleb’s mother recalls the unforgettable experience:
“Cinderella…WAIT,” shouted the girl while running up to her with a huge grin.
The young girl is autistic and was overjoyed to see her favorite princess. She touched Olivia’s dress and told her how beautiful she looked on her special day.
“Her mother told me she felt like she was in Disney world, a place she’s heard of, but never been. As I was making her dream come true by meeting ‘Cinderella’, she was making MY dreams come true by saying and believing I was a real princess!”
The young girl’s name is Layla. Her sweet innocence moved the entire bridal party to tears, Olivia says.
“Her joy and happiness just gave us all an overwhelming feeling of love that is just unexplainable,” Olivia remarks.

​​ Nicole Wickins, the expert photographer who captured the breathtaking moment, chimes in.
“When we were walking through the park, the groom stopped me and rerouted my attention to the little girl who ran up. He mentioned to me how much it would probably mean to her to have those photos from this moment, so I did as he requested.”
She adds: “Both of them have such large hearts and are such great people, so it was so nice watching them bless this little girl. I know that everyone involved felt equally as blessed by this touching moment.”
Layla and her princess friend are now forever connected. Olivia tells Hope Rises that they went from complete strangers to having a bond that cannot easily be broken.
“The family invited Caleb and I to Layla’s birthday party in a few weeks. Layla is a beautiful soul and God was working to bring us together for a reason.” 
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