SIOUX FALLS S.D. — Just days before his wedding, Jacob Akerson was stranded without a best man to stand beside him at the altar.

Because his friend could not fly from California to visit him because of work commitments, he called upon the grandfather who had been with him for all other significant life moments: His grandfather at 74 years old.

For the 26-yearold groom, it was an easy decision. Harvey “Al” Akerman is his father figure, and he considers him a friend.

Jacob stated, “Whenever I have had an issue I’ve always went to my grandpa since he’s one of the best I know.”

Jacob did not know his father and lived with his parents until the age of 6 or 7. His grandfather witnessed Jacob’s birth as well as major events in his childhood.

Al was Al’s father, who taught Jacob to fish and hunt. Jacob explained that Al taught Jacob everything, including how to tie shoes and clean shotguns.

Jacob, his bride and Maria will now visit their grandma, grandpa, and play card with them frequently.

The groomsmen pose with Maria (Renteria) Akerson for wedding photos Sept. 30, 2021. Harvey "Al" Akerson stepped in days before the wedding as best man.

Jacob stated, “It’s a great feeling, and I can’t help but cry just thinking about it. It means so much to me.” “I don’t know how it feels to be close to your father, but I imagine it has to be something like this — maybe more so, because he chose to fill the role.”

Jacob is the eldest of two brothers, Jacob, who was a ringbearer for Jacob’s Sept. 30, 2021, wedding. Jacob also knows Al as a retired dentist and owner of Dakota Hardscape Supply. Jacob and Al are close friends.

Harvey "Al" Akerson poses for the camera and crowd as the bridal party is introduced at the reception following Jacob and Maria Akerson's Sept. 30, 2021 wedding.

Al said, “It felt like having another baby, actually,” Al said, “I felt we were very lucky to have him as a part of our lives.”

Al was the most adorable old man on all photos, and he danced to the reception’s introduction music.

Al shared his thoughts in his best man speech about how Jacob has grown into a kind man, and how happy he was for Maria to join their family.

Harvey "Al" Akerson gives a best man speech Sept. 30, 2021 after filling in the role on short notice for his grandson, Jacob Akerson.

“We’d been married 52 years, and I said I hope they’re as happy as we are for 52 years, too,” Al said, adding that the secret to a happy, long marriage is getting “picked by the right woman — and I think Jacob did.”

Al had never been a best man at a wedding before this.

Al stated, “I believe it’s mine one shot at best man.” “I hope that I did okay.”

Source: USAToday.com

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