Alex, the 15-year-old daughter of New Jersey couple Daniel Anderson and Beth Lancaster-Anderson, gave the moving tribute at the pairs’ wedding reception, which took place at The Rainbow Room in New York City.
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But it wasn’t until over a year later that footage of the speech went viral, after the couple’s wedding cinematographer, Sky Cinema Films, shared it on TikTok in a three-part series that has since been viewed over 42 million times.
“The idea of a stepmom was unsettling before Beth came into my life,” Alex says in one of the clips. “But now that she’s here, I’ve never been happier and more excited for a stepmom as perfect as Beth.”
“Usually, having divorced parents is hard,” she continues through tears. “But Beth made it all worth it. Gaining Beth is one of the best things that ever happened to me.”
The moving comment left both Beth and Dan visibly emotional.
Ruth Samson, who has been running New Jersey-based Sky Cinema Films with her husband since 2016, told In The Know she first decided to upload the clips of Alex’s speech to TikTok after reviewing some footage from Beth and Dan’s wedding a year after the event.
“We were going through their wedding video because it was Beth and Dan’s wedding anniversary and we were moved again when we rewatched their daughter’s speech,” Samson said. “As soon as I posted it, I was surprised by the number of views it got. We are so glad that many people loved the video and that we are able to share such a touching moment with the world.”
And touch the world it certainly has — the three TikToks of Alex’s speech have racked up tens of thousands of comments, with many users expressing how the sweet family moment has impacted them.
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“Why did I, like, just start crying?” one user wrote.
“The fact that Beth is dying to get up and hug her wow,” said another.
“I’m sobbing and also Beth’s hair is everything,” noted a third.
Beth Lancaster-Anderson, 47, told In The Know that when she met her now-husband at a New York City restaurant in 2016, it was nothing less than love at first sight.
“I went to meet a girlfriend for dinner and she was running late from work,” she recalled. “Sitting at the bar of a nearby restaurant, I texted my friend to see if we could postpone as it was very cold out and I was getting tired.”
“Two gentlemen walked in and I didn’t recognize them,” she continued. “I was texting on my phone, but Dan, my future husband, came up to my right and I glanced up and we made eye contact. To this day we like to think of it as love at first sight as we both remember the eye contact we made.”
The pair ended up forsaking their original plans that evening and going to dinner together, and the rest is history.
After a year of dating, Dan ended up proposing to Beth in 2017 at the same restaurant where they met — in the exact same seats where they shared their first glance.
The pair’s subsequent 2019 wedding was nothing if not a family affair, with Dan’s two daughters, 15 and 18, welcoming Beth into their family with open arms.
Although Alex’s speech has since brought thousands of viewers to tears, Beth says her stepdaughter’s words hit her closer to home than most people could imagine.
“When my late father found out he was terminally ill, I was 16 years old,” she told In The Know. “He wrote me several cards during that time and the words in one of them have stayed with me forever. He wrote, ‘always be as nice as you are now.'”
“Many years later, in both my professional and personal life, I have been told many times, ‘You are way too nice, you should be tougher,'” she continued. “These remarks saddened me and even started to make me feel different, almost like an outsider.”
For Beth, hearing her stepdaughter call her the “nicest, most genuine person ever” was an understandably emotional culmination of one of the core values she has held dear for her entire life.
“When I heard my stepdaughter’s words the evening of my wedding, I did indeed break down,” she shared. “I am not her mother by blood, but know there is no one a person would rather hear those words of praise from than their child.”
“I am not only extremely proud to be her stepmother, but now I can be extremely proud of being raised to ‘be nice’ and how it made me the woman I am today,” she added. “My father couldn’t be at our wedding that night but I know Alex’s words would’ve made him proud, too.”
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