NEEDHAM (CBS) – After a year of wedding planning a Needham couple is thrown a serious curve as the bride’s father needs emergency surgery the day before the ceremony.
But once they find out he’ll be OK, the wedding is on, but not at the original place, making this wedding even more memorable.
“I was just beside myself with fear,” remembers Erica Chafkin. That was the day before her wedding when she got a call from her mother at 3:00 a.m. saying she was calling 911.
“Because my father was doubled over in pain. He was in agony,” says Erica.
“It was life threatening. It was the kind of thing that he had to have surgery, now,” says Ales Hvezda, Erica’s fiancé.
He was worried about his future father in law, and his wedding. “I was like, oh my goodness! Everything just went up in the air,” he says.
To make it worse, Erica’s mother hurt her back helping her husband. “The two of them, actually, were admitted to the emergency room as patients,” Erica says.
That was at Newton Wellesley Hospital where the emergency gastric surgery on 74-year-old Michael Chafkin was a success.
Knowing he was okay, the couple decided to keep their wedding plans, but; “It was heartbreaking knowing that he would not be able to walk his only daughter down the aisle,” says Erica.
Then an idea. Why not get married at the hospital?
“They actually changed my father out of his hospital gown and helped him get into the suit that he was planning to wear on the day of my wedding,” Erica says.
And a small group including doctors and nurses enjoyed the ceremony. “My parents were, in fact, able to walk me down the aisle. It wasn’t the aisle I was planning on,” says Erica.
Then the happy couple went to the Embassy Suites in Waltham for another ceremony and their reception. “It’s incredible, getting married twice in one day. It’s great,” says Ales.
Both parents are doing well. The newlyweds are delaying their Cape honeymoon to help take care of them.