LUDINGTON — Julia and Ravi Sharma of Ludington planned to meet at the altar on Friday—their wedding day. They just didn’t think the altar would be in the hospital.
The newlyweds were to be married at the Mason County Courthouse. The wedding happened, as planned, but the ceremony took place in the Birthing Center at Memorial Medical Center (MMC) in Ludington.
Julia (formerly Evans) and Ravi are expecting a baby in March. So when Julia was hit with painful kidney stones on her wedding day, instead of walking down the aisle, she found herself in a hospital bed being treated by her obstetrician, Dr. Margaret Gustafson, and attended by the Birthing Center nurses.
“It’s a long time until the baby comes,” Julia said, “but I sure felt like I was having labor pains.”
Naturally she was distraught about her wedding, so Dr. Gustafson went into “wedding planner” mode. Magistrate Patricia Baker agreed to come to the hospital to perform the ceremony. Instead of being married at 1:30 p.m., the Ravi and Julia were being married at 12:21 p.m. on 12-21-12, adding to the memorable nature of their wedding.
The “something borrowed, something blue” tradition was observed. Julia’s nurse, Michele Schoon, came up with blue scrub pants and loaned her the wedding gown—a hospital gown.
The MMC dietary staff purchased a cake from McDonald’s Bakery in Ludington, decorated it with a bride and groom figurine, and provided a toast of sparking grape juice. The hospital marketing office added some MMC-themed cookies for the wedding party.
The wedding party included Julia’s sister, Sarah Haas, her good friend Jamie Lunde, along with Dr. Gustafson and nurse Schoon. The wedding photos were taken by Dr. Gustafson’s office manager, Debbie Lunde (Jamie’s mom).
Said Schoon, “I’ve never witnessed a wedding. I couldn’t help crying!”