Since he couldn’t walk her down the aisle, she brought the wedding to him.
Aubrey Schmitt was nearly two and a half months away from walking down the aisle to marry her fiancé, John Cruz. The couple had already taken care of two of the most important tasks of wedding planning: booking a venue and picking the DJ. The ceremony was supposed to be different, bigger. Then tragedy struck.
Aubrey’s father, Thomas Schmitt, was admitted to Tampa General Hospital during the week of August 1.
"Suddenly, he went in for something unrelated to his liver, but then it [liver] just started shutting down," Aubrey said.
But there was no way Aubrey was getting married without her father. Once she realized the extent of her father’s deteriorating condition, the couple decided not to wait 71 more days. Instead, they opted to have the wedding immediately, right by her father’s bedside.
"Every time a doctor kept coming in and telling us things we didn’t want to hear, we decided we need to do it now," said Aubrey.
Aubrey and John pulled off an impromptu ceremony, with permission and assistance from staff at Tampa General. The couple was married in her father’s ICU room on August 11. While the room wasn’t lavishly decorated with lights and wedding flowers, the bride wore a white dress and carried a purple bouquet to match her now husband’s purple necktie. Her father was set to wear a tuxedo for the wedding, so Audrey sought help on Facebook for a suit. Within a few hours, Fancy Frock Bridal and Formal Boutique in Wesley Chapel, Florida, delivered a tux.
You can see Aubrey and her father during the ceremony below:
"Yes, we all want the pretty dress and the beautiful hair with all the decorations, but at the end of the day, none of that matters," Aubrey said. "So many strangers came together to help make our day special so I could hold my dad's hand as I married the love of my life. Thank you to everyone."
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For now, Aubrey is cherishing the time she has left with her father. Aubrey’s best friend, Amanda DuBose, has started a GoFundMe to assist with the family’s medical bills.