He was supposed to be a happy man on his wedding day, but Ghanaian-born Gabriel Deku, 25, found himself shedding unstoppable tears as his wife-to-be, Annabella, made her way into St Martin in The Fields church at Trafalgar Square, London.
Gabriel’s emotional breakdown drew wild cheers from the congregation, but his best man, Tolu Ige, charged him to pull himself together.
Gripping his friend by the shoulder, Tolu urged:
“Come on, stand up, stand up. This is your moment, man. You look at her. ‘You look at her now, you look at her man. You look at her. You stand up and you look at your wife.”
Struggling to stem the tears, Gabriel wiped his eyes while his friend said: “You look her in the eye.”
The video of the moment tears started flowing from Gabriel’s eyes as he caught a glimpse of the bride has gone viral on social media, prompting speculation as to what caused him to cry.
One popular theory on Facebook had it that he had dated Annabella for four years and had never had sex with her, and so the prospect of finally sleeping with her after the wedding overwhelmed him with joy.
Another suggested that the cost of the wedding must have been too much for Gabriel to bear, while yet another theory had it that the groom must have cheated on the bride the night before the wedding.
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But in an interview with the Daily Mail after the wedding, Gabriel said he had had a bet with his mum that he would not cry at the wedding.
However, he said, as Annabella approached, he suddenly felt a deep appreciation of the woman he was getting married to.
“Seeing her there, I suddenly felt a big appreciation of what I actually have. Knowing that I’m in a relationship like that made me really overjoyful; where someone loves me unconditionally.”
“She looked so beautiful. We have different characters; she is actually the more emotional one in the relationship, while I was trying to be the hard man. I kept saying, I’m not going to cry.”
He said he managed to get hold of his emotions during the reception although he “had a bit of nerves”.
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The Daily Mail reported that by the time the pair embraced, the whole congregation was in tears – including the bridesmaids.
Annabella, 24, an account manager, was walked down the aisle by her mother, Damaris, the report said.