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Courtesy Mark Riggs
“A random lady coming to visit her family gave me a bobby pin in my hair and put in my baby’s breath (from the gift shop),'' said the bride, who was able to stand for her vows despite being in labor. "I felt like Julia Roberts.”
TODAY contributor
updated 11/13/2012 5:27:36 PM ET 2012-11-13T22:27:36

An Ohio couple got married in a hospital last Thursday with the bride wearing a white bed sheet and expecting a baby boy, who arrived the next morning.

Cynthia Reese was admitted Monday, Nov. 5, to Akron General Medical Center on Akron, Ohio, after going into labor two months early. On Wednesday, her fiance, Michael Bof, surprised her by arranging for a judge to marry them in her hospital room before the birth of their son, Michael Frederick Bof II.

Hospital staff found out — and went into wedding planning mode.

“I think when we found out her fiance wanted to surprise her in the room, it became contagious,” said Maggie Arbaugh, nursing director at Akron General. “We got flowers. Someone thought she has to have a dress. A senior tech got a bed sheet and fashioned a fabulous wedding gown. We have to have refreshments, a reception. Each person sort of jumped on board.”

‘Just say yes’: When wedding proposals go public

For something blue, Melody White, the senior technician, sashayed a blue monitor belt around the white bed sheet. The groom found wedding rings at a jewelry sale in the hospital lobby. Staff got the go-ahead to permit Reese to leave her patient bed to attend her wedding in the hospital’s chapel. Traveling in a wheelchair to her ceremony, visitors took notice — clapping, fixing her hair and even playing the wedding march, as one woman already playing the piano did, at nurses’ request, after finding the song notes on her laptop.

Courtesy Mark Riggs
The reception proceeded back in her hospital room decorated with balloons and a bride and groom figurine from the gift shop — and the couple shoved brownies in each other’s mouths and toasted with ginger ale.

“I felt like I was in a freakin’ movie. I was sitting there all drugged up and people were clapping,” said the 27-year-old bride, who works at teen retailer Aeropostale. “A random lady coming to visit her family gave me a bobby pin in my hair and put in my baby’s breath (from the gift shop). I felt like Julia Roberts.”

Their wedding photos are ready – after only 88 years

At the end of the ceremony, hospital staff quickly asked the Admitting Office for paper, wrote “Just Married” and stuck it on the back of Reese’s wheelchair. The reception proceeded back in her hospital room decorated with balloons and a bride and groom figurine from the gift shop — and the couple shoved brownies in each other’s mouths and toasted with ginger ale.

“I was so excited,” the bride said. “I was so happy and overwhelmed and everybody pitching in and the surprise my fiance gave me. I’m about to cry right now. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

Wheeled wedding unites couple with cerebral palsy

But she got more: the following morning at 10:27 a.m., Michael Frederick Bof II, weighing 4 pounds and 12 ounces, arrived two months early but just in time for his parents to get married.

Luckily little Michael is very healthy for a premie and his parents hope to be able to take him home in a few weeks.

“I wanted to get married and be like a family and have his last name,” his mom said.

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

Video: Team of pros make fairy tale proposals come true

Explainer: 12 of the world’s wackiest weddings

  • Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    Your wedding day is supposed to be your day — one of the most pivotal days in your lives.


    If that’s really true, then why not join the throngs of couples who are choosing to live out wild, fanciful or downright silly dreams in conjunction with their nuptials? Doing so could have a practical benefit: It could save you big bucks. In these recessionary times, many have been shunning lavish weddings and opting for unique ones instead.

    Here are 12 recent examples of utterly wacky — and utterly memorable — weddings. Click “next” at the left to start your (strange) trip down the aisle.

  • Holy matrimony, Batman!

    Image: Newlyweds Batman and Wonder Woman, also known as Neil Vaughan and Sharon Wetherell
    Adam Gerrard  /  SWNS

    For those of you out there who always sensed that Batman and Wonder Woman would make a great couple: It’s happened!

    On July 31, Sharon Wetherell and Neil Vaughan of Devon, England, tied the knot while all dressed up as their favorite superheroes. As “Wonder Woman” theme music blared, Wetherell, 40, made a grand entrance at the ceremony wearing blue hot pants, a red corset, flashy boots and a tiara and veil that cost her about $160. The groom’s face-obscuring Batman costume set him back about $290.

    The couple’s friends and family also got gussied up as superheroes. Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Robin, Poison Ivy, Lara Croft, the Joker, Bananaman and the Incredibles were all in attendance.

    “Our wedding was absolutely amazing and it cost us less than some couples would spend on just the dress,” Mrs. Vaughan said in the British newspaper The Daily Mail. “We were not allowed to see each other’s costumes before the big day, but when I did see Neil he looked fantastic as Batman. ... It was such a great day.”

  • No cold feet at T.J. Maxx wedding

    Image: Lisa Satayut and Drew Ellis at their T.J. Maxx wedding
    Bill Pugliano  /  AP for TJ Maxx

    Who doesn’t get excited about the prospect of bagging a bargain? Bride Lisa Satayut decided to combine that feeling with her excitement over bagging her beau.

    Explaining that T.J. Maxx is her “happy place,” Satayut married Drew Ellis in July in the size 8 shoe aisle of a T.J. Maxx store in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

    The bride — a self-proclaimed “'Maxxinista” — wore a strapless white chiffon gown, with long black gloves and bright green gladiator-style sandals. A widened aisle, vine-covered arch and white chairs with red bows highlighted the traditional ceremony that included string music, display-dodging cameramen — and curious shoppers who stopped bargain hunting long enough to watch.

    Related video: With this bargain, I thee wed at T.J. Maxx

  • Happy ogre after

    Image: Vivian and Tracey Williams with dressed up wedding guests
    Wales News Service

    Tracey and Vivian Williams, a happy couple from Wales, tied the knot in May by dressing up as two of their favorite movie characters: the green ogres Shrek and Princess Fiona. Tracey Williams, 33, told the British newspaper The Daily Mail that the themed wedding idea suited her and her new husband perfectly.

    “Our friends always used to say we looked like the characters when we went on nights out,” she said. “Even though Shrek and Fiona are both green ogres, we didn’t take it offensively because we like them so much.”

    The couple actually saw a “Shrek” movie on their first date and have been loyal fans ever since. To get ready for the big day, the pair covered themselves in green body paint and affixed fake green ears to the tops of their heads. Tracey donned a bright red wig to complete the Princess Fiona look, and Vivian sported checked trousers.

    The Williams’ wedding guests got in on the fun, with the best man dressing up as Monsieur Hood, the bride’s father going as Lord Farquaad, the bride’s mother playing the Fairy Godmother and the maid of honor playing Snow White.

    Related story: Pair dress as Shrek, Fiona for wedding

  • Kiss the bride – if you can find her

    Image: Marvin Hunter and Kim Silver in a tree stand
    Mike Moynihan
    An Iowa couple whose passion for bowhunting encouraged Cupid's arrow to strike wore camouflage to blend in with the wooded backdrop at their treetop wedding.

    Kim Silver, 42, dressed in a silk gown made by camouflage specialists Mossy Oak, and her 61-year-old groom, Marvin Hunter, was dressed in camo shirt and pants at the June nuptials.

    They said their vows atop a tree stand hunting platform. The bride and groom occasionally punctuated the ceremony by firing arrows at targets. Hunter said the couple had always joked about getting married on a tree stand. Silver said the pair hunt together so much that the camo wedding "just seemed like the right thing to do."

  • A viral dance sensation

    Image: Wedding party dancing down the aisle

    Most couples wait until the reception before breaking out into the Funky Chicken on their wedding day, but Kevin Heinz and Jill Peterson figured, why wait to unleash their unbridled joy?

    The 28-year-olds floored their wedding guests by having their whole bridal party — including seven bridesmaids, five groomsmen and four ushers — boogie down the aisle in a choreographed dance more at home in a Broadway musical than in a somber church.

    Groomsmen split into sides as Heinz did a somersault in front of the wowed crowd — and the gown-clad Peterson quickly followed, shaking her hips to Chris Brown’s “Forever” while pumping her bridal bouquet into the air during the June 20, 2009, ceremony in St. Paul, Minn.

    The wedding party rehearsed the dance for just 90 minutes.

    Of course, some things are too good to keep to yourself. And when Kevin posted the wedding dance routine on YouTube, it quickly became a viral hit, with hundreds of thousands of people sharing in the couple’s novel way of showing their matrimonial joy.

    Related video: Wedding party boogies down the aisle

  • 110 bridesmaids set world record

    Image: Jill Stapleton with 110 bridesmaids

    Some people think five or six bridesmaids are a lot. But how about 110? Jill Stapleton, an Ohio gymnastics teacher, set a world record in June when she invited all of her young students to be her bridesmaids at her wedding.

    “We were actually going to go away for our wedding but this wedding day is more important to a lot of these little girls and boys back here that have made my dreams come true,” Stapleton said. “This is our dream wedding.”

    Stapleton married Chad Greenhill, a Marshall University cheerleader. The previous record was 90 bridesmaids.

  • An aisle of light bulbs, grills

    Image: Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby
    Courtesy Audwin Joaquin Mosby
    The bride wore white. The guests wore orange smocks.

    A Southern California couple wed in June in front of more than 100 guests at a Home Depot store where they work.

    The wedding party for 56-year-old Carolyn Weatherly and Audwin Mosby, who’s 55, marched down an aisle of light bulbs, grills and paint to the outdoor garden section.

    A wedding arbor and stage had been built from the store’s lumber and supplies.

    The bride said the store in Lake Forest is like a second home and her colleagues are like family.

    "I feel awesome," Mosby told the Orange County Register. "This is the best thing that has happened to me in a long, long time."

  • Sweet, sugary love

    Image: Jared and Jerri Guinther eating doughnuts at wedding
    Sara Terese Heise

    Voodoo Doughnut, a wildly popular indulgence with two locations in Portland, Ore., has an entire menu dedicated to wedding services. That menu includes a variety of matrimonial options, such as this “Legal Voodoo Wedding” package for $200: “Legal wedding ceremony, coffee & doughnuts for 24 people, 700-square-foot chapel, free parking & doughnut centerpiece.”

    The doughnut shops have married off more than 300 couples, sending hearts racing with both romance and sugar intake. Pictured here are Jared and Jerri Guinther enjoying their sweet nuptials.

  • Jaws of love

    Image: April Pignataro and Michael Curry in shark tank
    Talk about taking the plunge. April Pignataro and Michael Curry opted to be lowered in a steel cage into a shark tank to exchange their wedding vows in June.

    The bride wore a white wetsuit; the groom wore a black one. The experienced divers spoke their vows into radio headgear transmitted to a minister outside the tank while about 75 guests watched from behind glass. The 120,000-gallon tank at Atlantis Marine World in Riverhead, N.Y., includes sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, moray eels and a massive Queensland grouper.

    Both Pignataro and Curry said the concept of a shark tank wedding thrilled them. “We both love the ocean, we love the water ... and yes, the idea of an underwater wedding, not to mention one surrounded by sharks at an aquarium, is different and unique, but that is also exactly who we are,” Pignataro told NBCNewYork.

  • 'I do' in Aisle 2

    Image: Jack Frankel and Fina Nikolos at wedding
    Mike Stocker  /  SunSentinel.com
    One couple decided to tie the knot where they first met: Whole Foods Market.

    Jack Frankel, 75, and 67-year-old Fina Nikolos met in May 2009 at the supermarket in Coral Springs, Fla. It had been raining when Frankel noticed a beautiful woman pass him. Nikolos offered to walk him to his car with an umbrella. He later thanked her by taking her out to lunch.

    In January 2010, the two returned to the place where their love began for a small wedding ceremony in the store's cafe. About 40 people attended the ceremony as store employees and customers watched and smiled. The couple held each other close during the ceremony, shedding a few tears. They also exchanged emotional vows. Nikolos was too overcome to finish hers aloud.

    According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, this was the first time customers wed in a Whole Foods Market in Florida, though employees have gotten married there.

    Frankel told reporters that the most irresistible thing about his bride is her eyes. “She looks at me with those Spanish eyes and I melt,” he said.

  • I now pronounce you bride and ghoul

    Image: Jack Holsinger and Connie Spitznagel
    Alicia Castelli  /  The Chronicle-Telegram

    Why don’t more bridal magazines suggest this as the perfect theme for an October wedding?

    In October 2009, Jack Holsinger, 61, and Connie Spitznagel, 44, dressed as pale-faced vampires for their Halloween-themed ceremony at a haunted house near Cleveland, Ohio. Holsinger arrived in a coffin inside a hearse, and the coffin was carried to the altar by six pallbearers. Minister Greg Kopp was dressed as Jason in the "Friday the 13th" movies. After the vows were exchanged, he ordered Holsinger not to kiss his new bride but instead to bite her on the neck.

    The couple vowed to love each other and haunt and howl at the moon together. Like typical mortal couples, the groom said he just wanted his bride to be happy.

    “This is her first wedding,” Holsinger said. “She had a common-law marriage the first time around, so she never really got a wedding. It’s what she wanted and it’s about her. It’s her time. Whatever she wanted.”

  • Will you Mario me?


    Proving that love is a game that two can play — a video game, that is — Bobbi VanZante and Elijah Slagter of Pella, Iowa, decided on a unique theme for their wedding: Super Mario Brothers. Slaget, the groom, will dress as Mario, of course, and VanZante will be costumed as the lovely Princess Peach.

    The father of the bride will be dressed up as Bowser, even though he’s the villain of the Mario universe. “It’s kind of part of the game,” VanZante explained to NBC’s Megan Reuther. “Bowser and all his buddies steal Princess Peach.” So who better to give the bride away to her groom?

    VanZante’s mother, Lori Mullen, was good-natured about the Mario madness, which included such details as making turtle shells out of bicycle helmets. “It fits both of them,” she said. “It’ll be a fun day and good remembrance.”

    Reached for comment inside a Nintendo gaming system, the real Mario commented: “It’s a-me, Mario!”

Photos: Punching bag? Fishing net? New uses for an ex's wedding dress

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  1. All about healing

    When his wife walked out on him after 12 years of marriage, Kevin Cotter of Tucson, Ariz., needed to find a way to cope. On a blog called MyExWifesWeddingDress.com, he began chronicling his search for 101 practical ways for a newly single guy to use an ex-wife's wedding gown. Hilarity ensued – and so did a book deal. Cotter’s new book, “101 Uses for My Ex-Wife’s Wedding Dress,” is set for release on Oct. 25. Read on for Cotter’s eye-popping examples and descriptions of what a used wedding dress can do. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Dog leash

    “A wedding dress makes a great leash with a loose collar for a larger dog. You’ll need to use a lot of dress to make a strong knot, but it is well worth the effort,” Kevin Cotter writes in his new book. “Lenny seemed incredibly proud to be strolling around the park in a wedding dress leash when I treated both of us to a walk that day.” (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Punching bag

    "A punching bag is a great addition to any post-divorce workout plan," Kevin Cotter said. "Just stuff it with something (I used sleeping bags), hang it, and punch away." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Sports banner

    Kevin Cotter loves sports, and as a graduate of the University of Arizona, he loves UofA. When he and his brother headed out to the UofA homecoming football game, they brought the wedding dress along with them. "A wedding dress makes an excellent banner to support your favorite team," Cotter explained. "Just be prepared for some questions when you try to bring it into the stadium." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Snow camouflage

    "Look closely at this picture," Cotter said. "I'm hard to spot in my wedding dress snow camo." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Shower curtain

    "A wedding dress shower curtain wouldn't perform great for long showers because it isn't waterproof," Cotter said. "But it works great for me because I live in the desert and take short showers." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. MC Hammer pants

    "All I can say about my MC Hammer pants is: You can't touch this." -- Kevin Cotter (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Fishing net

    "Thanks to my buddy Ellis I caught, I believe, the first trout in the history of the world to be netted by a wedding dress," Cotter said. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Turban

    "A wedding dress turban is guaranteed to attract odd looks at Starbucks," Cotter said. "But it also scored me free coffee so I would call the outing a success." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Christmas tree skirt

    It's hard to imagine a finer Christmas tree skirt than a used wedding dress – particularly when Santa has Tecate and Guinness to deliver. (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Surrender flag

    "I actually thought about waving the surrender flag a couple of times during my wedding dress project," Cotter said. "But I am glad I saw the dress complete 101 (plus) uses." (Colin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Moving on

    Kevin Cotter, 38, got married again to Ashley Nowe, 28, on June 18, 2011 -- about two years after his first wife left him and left her wedding dress behind. "Ashley’s dress doesn’t have the potential that my ex-wife’s dress does in terms of its capability," Cotter said. "It has no tulle, which I think rules out straining pasta, straining juice – all the net-related activities are ruled out." (Courtesy of Kevin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Laughing again

    Kevin Cotter met his new wife, Ashley Nowe, on Match.com. "I could tell from our early emails that we had similar senses of humor," Cotter said. “She said earlier in our relationship that if it worked out and one day we were to be married, it would have to be a beach wedding and she would wear a thong bikini. She said she would not risk leaving me with any amount of material for a sequel. ... But in the end, she was brave. She wore a dress.” (Courtesy of Kevin Cotter) Back to slideshow navigation
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