He made quite the bridal party entrance in a Darth Vader mask as the Star Wars theme song rang out, but 4-year-old Gage Newville is getting national attention for what happened before his dad's wedding reception. As new stepmom Emily Leehan, a senior airman, read special vows to her new stepson during the ceremony in New York on Saturday, the boy "lost it," his father Joshua Newville, a Marine sergeant, tells ABC News. Leehan read her vows facing both the groom and his son, and with lines like, "I may not have given you the gift of life, but life surely gave me the gift of you," it didn't take long for Gage to run to her side, sobbing as he hugged her waist.
The two servicemembers dated for two years before exchanging vows, reports the New York Daily News. So while Newville calls Gage's biological mother—Virginia Beach resident Kali Nuckols—a "great" one, Leehan has been in the picture about as far back as Gage's memories reach. Even so, Leehan was surprised by Gage's strong reaction. "At 4 years old I really didn't expect him to understand what was going on, but his emotions tell a different story," she tells CBS Local. "I didn’t expect him to cry at all! He totally caught us all off guard but he made our big day 100 times better." The newlyweds are both active duty, so will skip the traditional honeymoon to get back to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-LakeHurst in New Jersey. (One couple has exchanged vows dozens of times.)