Bedside Wedding in a Hospital ICU

When my mom sent me a text late on a Friday afternoon that my uncle wanted, and needed, to get married that weekend, I knew our work was cutout for us. Further complicating things: He had cancer in his liver, brain and kidney, and was confined to his ICU room. We needed to legally complete the wedding asap because we didn’t know how much longer my uncle had.

First move: ask twitter for help.

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Turns out, a lot of people can legally perform marriage ceremonies. After looking into it more, we figured out that what we really needed help with was the marriage license. Missouri, like most states, doesn’t allow for marriage by proxy and requires both parties to be present at city hall when filing for a license. I sent a message to people who I thought may have connections to within St. Louis city government.

Within hours due to the work of my friends (thank you, thank you), I got connected with Eddie Roth, Director of Operations for the city of St. Louis. With his help, along with many others, we were able to coordinate someone from the city to visit us in the hospital to complete paperwork after making the trip to city hall first thing Monday morning. Everyone at city hall that assisted us was a class act and more than accommodating. My family can’t be more grateful for everyone that assisted us in making this happen.

I was lucky enough to get to photograph his wedding day. It was by far the greatest gift I could ever give my uncle and aunt, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of everyone that came together to make it happen.

We sadly lost my uncle the following Saturday after a blessedly quick cancer battle. It was far too soon, but I’m thankful his suffering wasn’t prolonged any more than it was. He died peacefully surrounded by family.

My aunts walking to city hall at 7:50 am first thing Monday morning.
My aunts walking to city hall at 7:50 am first thing Monday morning.
Waiting outside the recorder of deeds before the offices open.
Waiting outside the recorder of deeds before the offices open.
The staff in the recorder of deeds office assisting us.
The staff in the recorder of deeds office assisting us.
Officiating the marriage license.
Officiating the marriage license.
Officiating the marriage license.
Officiating the marriage license.
Officiating the marriage license.
Officiating the marriage license.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
The marriage ceremony.
Post-ceremony celebration.
The marriage reception.
The marriage reception.
The marriage reception. Champagne in the ICU isn’t something you’ll see everyday.
The marriage reception.
The marriage reception.

The marriage reception.
The marriage reception.
Signing the certificate.
Signing the certificate.

   

(All photos © Mike Ziegler. Please do not download, re-upload or otherwise share these photos outside of linking here. Contact: mike.ziegler.photo@gmail.com)

  • Lisa E.

    I’m reading this almost a year and a half after the fact but it’s still beautiful. Terribly sad, but super touching. Hurrah for humanity.