Couple marries in parking lot so father can attend

Kent County

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The parking lot of a West Michigan dialysis center was turned into a wedding venue so the bride’s father could attend the ceremony.

Connie Gee married Matt Tsuchiya Saturday afternoon outside of Fresenius Kidney Care in Wyoming.

The father of the bride, Ernest Gee, has been receiving treatments at the center.

“It was very emotional. I was so happy to have him be there,” Connie Gee said.

When Ernest suddenly became ill and went into hospice care, Connie was not sure how they would be able to have him at the ceremony during the pandemic.

“With the current COVID restrictions, we aren’t able to see him more than two 15 minute supervised visits each week and so we knew we wouldn’t be able to have him at the ceremony,” Gee said.

The couple arranged to have the ceremony in the parking lot following a dialysis session in full protective gear while Ernest waited for his return ride back to hospice.

“I know when Matt asked if he could marry me, my dad through the nursing room window said, ‘Whose going to give you away?’ and that to me made it very important to me that he was there, so I knew we had to figure out how to have him be able to give me away,” Gee said.

The couple lives in the Portland, Oregon area and flew in for the ceremony.  

“We had to be very creative with this along with the help of a lot of people. We were able to make this happen and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Tsuchiya said.

Connie and Matt were engaged for two months and moved up the ceremony so Ernest could attend.

“To have her father there, it meant a lot to her, it meant a lot of him, meant a lot to me, personally,” Tsuchiya said.

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