Judy Bryant had long dreamed of having her two grandmothers be matrons of honor at her wedding, which was to be this weekend in San Diego. But two weeks ago, one grandmother required emergency surgery and was still recuperating at a Torrance hospital.
So Bryant, 28, brought the wedding to her grandmother's bedside.
As Bryant, of Torrance, and John Tucker, 28, of Tampa, Fla., exchanged vows Thursday in Room 455 of Little Company of Mary Hospital, Angelina Dorsi, 89--a pink carnation pinned to her blue nightgown--lay in bed and smiled, briefly squeezing her granddaughter's hand. Next to Tucker stood Bryant's paternal grandmother, Irene Bryant, 82.
The matrons of honor were the only attendants as the Rev. C. Joe Bellamy, pastor of South Bay Church of God, performed the ceremony. The bride wore a white ankle-length dress and hat while the bridegroom was dressed in a black suit with a white shirt and gray-striped tie.
After the traditional kiss, the newlyweds walked into the crowded hallway where they were showered with rice by a handful of nurses gathered to witness the ceremony. A couple of bottles of champagne were popped open and several family members and friends used plastic cups to toast the determined bride.
"I wanted them there," Judy said of her grandmothers.
"They're both very special. They've always been a part of my life. It's hard to explain what they mean to me, but anybody who knows them, knows how unique they are."
"This was wonderful," Dorsi said from her bed, still smiling. "It think it was a big honor. I thought I was going to have to miss the wedding. I feel much better already."
The ceremony was originally to take place in the hospital's chapel. But some of Dorsi's stitches from abdominal surgery had broken, and her doctor said that moving her could make the problem worse.
Shortly after the ceremony, Dorsi was wheeled back into surgery to replace the torn stitches.
The new Mr. and Mrs. John Tucker were also in a hurry after the ceremony. They had to rush down to San Diego, where Tucker's family was to arrive from Florida for a repeat of the vows Saturday.
Meanwhile, Judy's parents, Ed and Norma Bryant, stood in the hallway after the ceremony looking somewhat bewildered as hugs were exchanged while nurses with food trays zipped by.
"It's kind of confusing," Ed said.
But their bewilderment quickly turned to pride.
"She said she wanted to get married in front of her two grandmothers," Norma said, "and that's exactly what she did."