A California teen didn't have a date for prom, so her grandfather stepped in — and their matching outfits have gone viral

Kaylah BellKaylah Bell before prom with her grandfather Alvin Hackett.
  • Kaylah Bell didn’t have a date for prom so her grandfather stepped in to fill the role.
  • It’s customary for couples to wear complementary outfits to prom, taking the obligatory photos before the event.
  • Bell’s grandfather Alvin Hackett surprised her by coordinating his suit to her custom-made dress and cape, and giving her a corsage, too.
  • She told INSIDER it made her feel “blessed” and “loved.”
  • After sharing pictures of her with her date, Bell went viral on Twitter.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

Prom should be one of the most exciting events in a teenager’s school calendar, but thanks to the societal expectation to have a date for the evening, it can often prove to be stressful.

But for one Californian teen, not having a date for prom resulted in not only a touching family moment, but also online fame.

Kaylah Bell, 17, was the only one in her friend group who hadn’t found a date in time for prom, but that didn’t stop her from going.

To make sure Bell, from Lancaster, California, still felt special on the evening, her grandfather stepped in, donning an outfit as spectactular as his granddaughter’s.

Kaylah 4Kaylah Bell

It’s customary for couples to wear coordinating or at least complementary outfits to prom, naturally having plenty of pictures taken in their finery before they go.

Bell’s grandfather, 67-year-old Alvin Hackett (whom she calls “Papa”) didn’t want his granddaughter to miss out on this, so he created a dapper outfit designed to pair beautifully.

Kaylah 3Kaylah BellKaylah Bell before prom with her grandfather Alvin Hackett.

After sharing pictures of her with her date, Bell went viral on Twitter.

“My papa knew I didn’t have a date to my prom so he matched me!” she wrote in a tweet which has now been retweeted nearly 12,000 times and garnered more than 105,000 likes.

Not only had Hackett, a pastor, coordinated his blue pinstripe suit and pink tie to Bell’s dress, but he had an extra surprise up his sleeve in the form of a corsage for the teen and a matching boutonniere for his lapel.

“I asked my papa to take pictures with me, however the suit was a shock to me because I didn’t know he would match with me the way he did,” Bell told INSIDER.

Bell’s outfit – a strapless blue and pink gown and satin cape, clipped together with a gem clasp – was custom-made for the occasion.

Kaylah 2Kaylah BellBell’s dress was custom-made for prom.

“The inspiration behind my dress was from the dresses Queen Mary of the Scots wore from the show ‘Reign,'” Bell said.

“I always wanted to look like a queen for my prom ever since I was little but Queen Mary’s outfits definitely inspired me.”

Read more: A photographer asked teenagers to edit their photos until they thought they looked ‘social media ready,’ and the results are shocking

Bell never imagined the images would get the reaction they did.

“I was kinda confused because when I normally post on Twitter I get like seven favourites and one retweet so I thought that it was spam or something till I saw my friend Kiara’s text telling me I went viral,” she said.

“What a way to show real love. A milestone that will never be forgotten,” wrote one person.

“This is so wonderful and special. What a great papa. Young lady you look beautiful!” added another.

Kaylah 5Kaylah Bell

Although Hackett wasn’t able to attend the prom due to the event having an age limit of 21, the fact that he stepped in for the pictures and put so much effort in meant the world to Bell.

“I honestly feel blessed because of how loved he made me feel, and makes me feel everyday,” Bell said.

“My grandma put a lot into my Papa’s suit I’m sure, so I just felt blessed and loved.”

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