A Brisbane couple learned the true meaning of ‘in sickness and in health’ when they were struck by a severe bout of gastro on their wedding day, that prevented them from making it past the entrees. However, in a wonderful act of generosity, their reception venue planned a second surprise reception that left the overwhelmed newlyweds in tears.
Accountant Mike Brennan, 27, and his pediatric nurse bride Bec, 25, had spent 18 months planning their Valentine’s Day wedding in at Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art. However, neither of the pair could predict they would be so unfortunate as to become violently ill on their special day, which meant that the couple never made it to their first dance, never got to make speeches, and didn’t get the chance to spend the evening celebrating with their 100 guests. Instead the newlyweds spent their wedding night in hospital beds with their parents keeping vigil.
The gastro virus emerged early in the day when Mike’s sister Monica became ill during the ceremony, and shortly after bride Bec began to feel sick during the wedding photos. However, it wasn’t until the bridal party arrived at their art gallery wedding reception that things took a turn for the worse.
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The couple managed to enter their reception and cut their cake, however they could not make it past the entrees at the virus began to take hold. Bec told the ABC news, “The creamy prawns were put in front of me, and I was like ‘get those prawns away from me … I’ve gotta go!’.”
As a result of the virus both the bride and groom, as well as the best man and a bridesmaid were placed in a makeshift nurse’s station at the reception venue until they were then transported to hospital. The following day both Mike and Bec’s parents had fallen ill, as well as the groomsmen and some of the bridesmaids.
When GOMA wedding planners Sarah Thomas and Kelsie Smith found out what had happened to the couple, they decided to surprise the newlyweds with a second wedding reception, which they planned in just six days.
Upon Mike and Bec’s return home to Brisbane, following their honeymoon which they could not forfeit, they were invited to a family dinner and ‘special tour’ of GOMA. Once inside the room they were surprised by their wedding planners and 70 of their original wedding guests.
Bec’s wedding dress and Mike’s tuxedo had been provided, as well as a band, photographer, cake, flowers and photo booth. Even the hotel that they had originally booked for their wedding night donated accommodation for the evening of their surprise reception. “You realise how grateful you are to have friends and family and suppliers and people who you get in contact with who are going to do that for you,” Bec told the ABC.
Mike and Bec were overcome with emotion when they realised that their wedding venue had surprised them with a second wedding. “We were crying, and I looked at our wedding planners – these are people who don’t really know us – and they were bawling,” said Bec.
Sarah Thomas from GOMA told the ABC, “This was no one’s fault, it was just one of those things that was such exceptional bad luck, that’s why everyone just wanted to make everything happen for take two.”
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