2 Brides Shared Their Father-Daughter Dance With A Family Who Couldn't Have Their Own

“It only seemed right to give Jess and Megan and Pete this opportunity."

At a wedding, the father-daughter dance is exclusively reserved for a bride and her dad — unless the brides are Michaela and Nora Cook-Yotts.


The newlyweds chose to share that once-in-a-lifetime moment with Michaela Cook-Yotts' childhood friend and bridesmaid, Jessica Otto and her father, Peter. 

Courtesy: Denyse Dias / BelleRey Photography  

Because he has cancer for the fourth time, with only a month or two to live, according to Otto, she and her sister, Megan, would never have had this opportunity, if not for the Cook-Yotts. "The entire Otto family is like an extension of my own family… Jessica and I are best friends, and Nora looks up to Pete," Michaela Cook-Yotts told A Plus. 

Peter Otto had helped Nora find a new job, so when the couple learned about his diagnosis, she wanted to give back to him in whatever way they could. 

“It only seemed right to give Jess and Megan and Pete this opportunity,” she added.

Courtesy: Denyse Dias / BelleRey Photography  

"Deep down, I knew it wasn't in the cards for us," Otto told ABC News. "It was everything to me, I don't think they will ever fully know [what] it meant to me." Though the Otto sisters were in on the couple's plan, their father was surprised when he heard their names called at the wedding. "They were afraid Pete would say, 'No' if he was told ahead of time," Cook-Yotts explained. "He wouldn't have wanted to take the spotlight off of me and Nora." 

Nevertheless, after Michaela and Nora finished their respective father-daughter dances, when "they [the DJ] called our names and had us come up there," Otto recalled, "He knew." 

The father and daughters danced to a remix version of "Every Breath You Take.”

Courtesy: Denyse Dias / BelleRey Photography  
Courtesy: Denyse Dias / BelleRey Photography  

"It was so selfless of them to take time at their wedding to give us this moment," Otto added. The gesture was especially meaningful to Otto and her father, as they will be unable to share another one of their favorite moments together this year. 

Both avid bikers, the father-daughter duo participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC), an annual bike-a-thon benefitting Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (where Peter Otto is being treated) together in 2014 and 2015. 

This August, however, Jessica Otto will be riding alone. Her dad is not healthy enough to join her, but she is nonetheless biking and raising funds for cancer research in his honor.

"…Though it won't make a difference in her father's life, it could change the course of history for another family," Cook-Otts said, encouraging anyone interested to donate to Otto's fundraising page. 

 "As long as my body will let me ride, I'll ride," Otto said. And as long as her body will let her dance, she'll do that — with the best partner she could ever ask for — too. 


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