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Five brothers give bride special wedding day tribute

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 10/9/2018 Sheeka Sanahori
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When Kaley West Young heard her father's voice on her wedding day, she nearly collapsed. Her father, David West, passed away three years ago, but her five brothers found a way to incorporate him into Kaley's wedding reception.

"You just could not help but feel touched by what was happening," Kaley's brother Dustin West said. "Really not a dry eye in the crowd."

A couple months earlier, Kevin West had the idea for all the brothers to dance with Kaley in lieu of a father-daughter dance at her wedding. The brothers decided they'd play a song with short clips of their dad's voice from home videos interspersed throughout the song.

Once Kevin shared the idea with his brothers, everyone was immediately on board.

They settled on the perfect song for the occasion: Michael Bolton's "Fathers & Daughters." Kevin's twin brother Kasey West started watching home videos so he could put their special version together.

An inseparable bond

Kaley is the youngest of six children, and the only girl. Her brothers say she was extremely close with their father.

"She was definitely his favorite. Hands down. She's the youngest, his baby girl," Dustin said. "They really just had this amazing bond."

"He taught me how to play basketball, we went on tons of vacations together, we spent a lot of time (together)," Kaley said. "He was definitely one of my best friends, for sure."

Kaley and her brother Kasey were planning on having dinner with their father one day three years ago when they stopped by his house. They found him on the bathroom floor. David West had passed away suddenly from cardiomyopathy, a hereditary disease of the heart that no one knew he had.

His sudden passing was devastating for the entire family.

"He was a mailman. So he was just a down to earth, blue collar guy and just a lovable guy," Kasey told Humankind.

A wedding surprise

Kaley told her brothers she didn't want a father-daughter dance at her wedding reception, since her father wouldn't be there for her big day. 

Her brothers were already planning their big surprise.

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie: The West siblings at Kaley West Young's wedding. © courtesy the West family The West siblings at Kaley West Young's wedding.

"You don't want to have it, we won't have it," Dustin recalls telling his sister. "But we would love to dance with you."

They joked with Kaley that they were planning something for her wedding day.

"My brothers, a few months before joked about a surprise or doing something that was funny, so they led me astray thinking they were going to do something different," Kaley said. 

She had no idea what was about to happen.

"It's every girl's dream like Kaley mentioned to dance with her father," her brother announced at the wedding reception. "Obviously she can't do that, but as brothers we have the opportunity and we'd like to dance with her for her father-daughter dance." 

"Fathers & Daughters" began to play. Kaley started dancing with her brother Kasey. Then came the voice of their dad from a home video:

"Hi Kaley! My name is Dave West and I'm Kaley's dad, and I love her very much. 1800 times worth."

Kaley was overwhelmed with emotion.

"I was struggling to even stand," she said. "I was trying to keep myself composed, but honestly the only thing that I felt was complete love."

"She mentioned right when she heard that voice, she kind of felt, almost like a hug from behind," Dustin told Humankind. "I could tell in that moment it was special for her but it was also heartbreaking."

Each brother took some time to dance with Kaley, one by one, before the song ended. They cried together as they danced. The room full of wedding guests stood silent, watching the beautiful moment in awe.

Dustin said it was the perfect way to pay tribute to their father, a guy who loved everyone.

Their family never expected more than a few loved ones to watch their YouTube video, so the family was blown away when Michael Bolton shared it on his social media accounts. 

"That was the cherry on top," Kasey said. "He approved of it! So we were excited to see that."

They've all been pleasantly surprised with the outpouring of love strangers have shared upon watching their sweet moment. Several comments underneath the video are about loved ones who have passed away. One woman wrote that the video inspired her to call and reconnect with her estranged father.

"It's just a reminder to everyone that sees the video that family is most important," Kaley said. "And there's love in the world, and that's the greatest gift we could ever have to share to the world because the world deserves it."

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