This Teen Didn’t Have A Date For Prom, But Her Grandpa Stepped Up In The Most Amazing Fashion

Prom is a big opportunity to dress up for many teenage girls. And for Kaylah Bell it was no different. She had the perfect gown and was dressed to impress with all the accessories. But there was one thing missing – a date. However, her grandfather wouldn’t stand for that and so he stepped up to her aid in style.

Like many of her peers, 17-year-old Bell was excited for her prom night. The high school prom has a long history in the United States, with written accounts dating as far back as the 1890s. Traditionally, prom would mark a transition from childhood into adulthood and it was a night of multiple firsts.

Today, proms often serve as a teenager’s first grown-up social function. Indeed, in some cases it might also represent the first time they are permitted to drive a car at night. And while the prom has changed over the decades, one thing has stayed the same. To this day, it remains an event for formal dress-up.

Bell knew exactly what she wanted to wear on her prom night. The teenager had earlier made a bid for homecoming queen. But although her pitch for the position wasn’t successful, she didn’t want her gown to go to waste. So she hatched a plan to wear it to the high school prom.

The base color of the gown was a deep purple, but it was punctuated with large roses in pale pinks, purples and blues. The strapless dress had a corseted bodice that fit snugly to Bell’s figure. The gown was finished with a full skirt long enough to skim the floor.

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Bell’s dress was an apparently well-made garment which radiated a generally luxurious sensibility. Indeed, it was gown which appeared to represent a good choice for someone chasing the prom queen crown. Yet on the other hand, something still didn’t feel quite right. You see, the teenager had a reputation to maintain.

According to Bell herself, she comes from a family of somewhat flamboyant tastes in fashion. So while her prom outfit was well on its way to perfection, it somehow felt incomplete. And sure, every ensemble needs accessories. But this teenager had bigger ideas to transform herself into the belle of the ball.

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As Bell explained to Yahoo Lifestyle in April 2019, “I liked the dress because of how different it looked – it looked like it was for a queen. But there was something about it that was missing.” So she consulted with her family and they came up with the perfect finishing touches.

The resulting look was actually inspired by Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary was ruler of Scotland from December 1542 – when she was only six days old – until July 1567. Although she rarely sat for portraits, some paintings from the time depict the queen wearing luxurious fabrics with flamboyant frilled collars and elegant head pieces.

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So with Bell taking inspiration from 16th century aristocracy in the United Kingdom, something more needed to be done. The teenager knew that changes would be necessary to complete her prom outfit. So in keeping with the opulent style of Mary, Queen of Scots, Bell’s mom and aunt proposed that more bling was required.

Bell’s mom and aunt submitted that a diamond-encrusted belt was in order. Indeed, the teenager recalled as much to DailyMail.com in April 2019. “My family is very flashy and the dress just wasn’t flashy enough,” she said. “So my auntie told me to add the diamond belt and add the cape.”

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Indeed, the entire ensemble was wrapped up in a cape to match the gown. And while Bell had struck gold when she found the dress, it was thought that discovering a matching shroud would surely prove more difficult. And so the teenager enlisted the help of more family members to pull off the look.

Indeed, Bell got some help from her grandparents. They took her to pick out some purple and pink fabrics that matched her gown – and also some diamonds for a custom-made finish to the prom outfit. These final touches were added to ensure that the ensemble was fit for a queen.

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But it takes time to make, fit and adjust custom garments – and time wasn’t something that was on Bell’s side. The whole outfit, however, eventually came together with barely a moment to spare. In fact, the ensemble was only finished and ready the day before the prom was due to take place.

Bell’s regal prom gown was complete. So with her long hair cascading over her shoulders and wearing understated makeup and some jewels, the look was finished. Yet although the teenager seemed ready to be whisked away by prince charming, there was something missing. Bell didn’t have a date.

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It may seem odd that Bell paid so much attention to the details of her outfit without having a date to bask in her glow. But for her it wasn’t so straightforward. You see, it’s not that the teenager had forgotten to line one up or that she hadn’t tried to secure one.

“I was talking to some people but they all flaked out,” Bell explained to Yahoo Lifestyle. The teenager, then, had made an effort to secure a date for the prom – but with no success. “It was really hard to find someone to commit to being my prom date,” she confessed.

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Nevertheless, Bell was not disheartened. She didn’t have a date, but she wasn’t going to let that put her off going to the prom at all. Instead she simply planned to attend the event with a group of friends. But when it came to the night itself, something still didn’t feel right.

It is typical that such a formal event as prom will be widely photographed. And it’s also traditional for couples to pose together in coordinated outfits. For example, one half of the pair – usually the male – will choose accents such as ties, handkerchiefs and perhaps cufflinks to complement his date’s look.

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Once again, however, Bell was pragmatic about her situation. She wasn’t about to let her lack of a date take away from her enjoyment of the prom experience. In fact, the seemingly resourceful teenager had another idea. She knew exactly who would be the perfect stand-in for her prom photos.

The person who sprang immediately to mind as a “date” was her beloved grandfather. Now, seniors might not seem an obvious substitution in this situation – but Bell’s grandfather is different. Indeed, her grandpa – who the teenager affectionately refers to as “papa” – has quite a reputation around the Lancaster area for his dapper threads.

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Bell’s grandfather is Alvin Hackett and he serves as a pastor at the Solid Rock Bible Church. In fact, the 67-year-old founded the church in November 2000. Or, as the church’s website describes, Christ founded the institution with the help of Hackett. In any case, Bell’s grandfather is renowned for more than just his sermons.

“My grandpa is very stylish,” Bell told Yahoo Lifestyle. “Every Sunday when we go to church, him and my grandma dress alike and dress together for church and banquets.” The teenager added that her grandfather draws his style inspiration from the rather dapper TV host and comedian Steve Harvey.

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As a man of honor, then, Hackett is not the type of person who will let anyone down. And so, far from the unreliable boys in school, Bell knew she could count on her grandpa. And Hackett, like the style choices he makes, made an extra special effort for his granddaughter.

“My grandpa was the only one that I knew would dress to impress,” Bell explained to Yahoo Lifestyle. “So I had asked him to take pictures with me.” However, being a once-in-a-lifetime event for his granddaughter, Hackett wanted to make it a memorable one. So he planned some surprises for her.

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On the day of the prom, Hackett arrived at his granddaughter’s house to pose for the photoshoot. Of course, no girl’s outfit would be complete without a corsage, so he presented one to his granddaughter. And in perfect coordination with her outfit, it flawlessly matched the flowers on Bell’s gown.

True to his reputation, then, Hackett’s style choices were on point. And it seems that the pastor had paid particularly close attention to his granddaughter’s prom gown. Perhaps his awareness was inescapable since he had helped to pull the look together? Whatever the case, the corsage wasn’t the only thing that matched Bell’s prom dress.

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Indeed, Hackett used his granddaughter’s prom dress as inspiration for his own outfit. He wore a navy blue suit with white pin stripes in tune with the base color of Bell’s gown. But it was the focus that the pastor placed on the details of his look that really caused a stir.

Hackett wore a pale pink shirt and satin tie to complement the accent colors of his granddaughter’s dress. Furthermore, he accessorized with a pink handkerchief neatly folded and tucked into his breast pocket and a boutonniere pinned to his lapel. And as it happened, the boutonniere mirrored Bell’s own corsage.

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Hackett’s own outfit, then, was complete and fine-tuned down to even the small details. So Bell ended up having more than just her beloved grandfather looking suave on her arm as her prom date. Indeed, as the pastor had planned it, his ensemble coordinated perfectly with his granddaughter’s elegant gown.

For her part, Bell shared the photos with her Twitter followers. And she excitedly wrote, “My papa knew I didn’t have a date to my prom so he matched me!” The photos captured people’s hearts and the tweet has so far been liked by more than 107,000 people and has been retweeted over 12,000 times.

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Bell knows how well-appointed her grandfather’s wardrobe is. And she suspects that he didn’t need to look far to pull his outfit together. “I’m sure he already had a suit in his closet and put it together because he knew what my dress looked like,” Bell explained to Yahoo Style.

Nevertheless, Bell didn’t take his effort for granted. “The matching suit and corsage was all his idea,” she said. She paid respect to her grandfather for taking the time to graciously come to her aid. Indeed, it seems that she realizes how lucky she is to have a family who help each other out.

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“I felt blessed,” Bell stated. “A lot of people don’t get to have opportunities like this. For my grandpa to be happy and eager to do it was amazing to me. I felt extremely loved.” The teenager, however, wasn’t the only person blown away by her grandfather’s heart-warming gesture.

As Bell described to DailyMail.com, “My friends thought it was so adorable, because they knew how hard it was for me to find a date and they know how much I love my grandpa. Everyone was taking pictures of us, I think it made his day.” The appreciation, however, didn’t end there.

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Bell’s pictures of her and her prom date went viral, with many commenting with their own words of appreciation. The teenager received many compliments on her gown, with others paying respect to her grandfather. Some, however, were simply confused that anyone had passed on the opportunity to be her date.

However, although Hackett had wanted to make his granddaughter’s prom memorable, there was only so much he could do. When it was time for Bell to leave home for the dance, he wouldn’t be able to go with her. That’s because school rules seemingly apply even when you’re a senior.

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You see, Bell’s prom had a strict age limit of 21. Being 46 years the wrong side of that restriction, the pastor didn’t have the opportunity to escort his granddaughter to the dance and show her off on the dance floor. When the formal photos were taken, Hackett’s role in proceedings was done.

Bell, however, was thankful for her grandfather’s effort in making prom night a memory to treasure. “[I’ve been] so stressed out with figuring out how I’m gonna pay for college,” she explained to DailyMail.com. “Being around my family and everyone chipping in to make my prom something beautiful makes me feel overjoyed.”

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Meanwhile, her grandfather’s attention to detail was merely the icing on the cake. “My papa matching was truly a blessing to me,” she described. “It makes me emotional to think about it because we are super close. I really just feel blessed that I was able to create this memory with him.”

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