When a woman is determined to get married, there is very little that can stop her — even an emergency surgery.
Carolina Castillo of Woodbridge had her heart set on calling Oct. 11, 2012, her wedding anniversary. On Wednesday, she had her marriage certificate in hand and planned to marry her boyfriend Johnathan Owen in a small personal ceremony at Owen's church.
Her due date was a few days off, so she thought she had time.
"We wanted to get married before the baby was born. Ten, 11, 12. That was the plan," she said.
At eight months pregnant, however, sometimes nature has other plans. Castillo felt contractions early Thursday morning. She went to Lodi Memorial Hospital for tests and observation. Doctors scheduled her for an emergency Caesarean section on Thursday evening.
No matter. The wedding would go on.
"We were going to get married no matter what," she said.
At a special request from Owen and Castillo, the hospital planned an impromptu wedding for the couple.
Instead of meeting with the bishop at the temple, he came to Lodi Memorial. Nurses in the maternity ward brought a small white cake, flowers and punch. A slice or two was set aside for Castillo, who was fasting before the procedure. The mothers of both the bride and the groom were present, along with the bride's nephew.
The couple was touched by the thoughtfulness of the hospital staff.
"It was very generous of them. We didn't expect it at all," she said.
This isn't the first wedding held at Lodi Memorial, said Carol Farron, hospital community development director.
"We've done a wedding or two in the past. It's always a joyous event, especially when combined with the birth of a child," she said.
The hospital has a lush healing garden in their central patio as well as a quiet room that serves as a chapel. Both have been the site of past ceremonies, but this wedding was held in Castillo's room.
The wedding was at 4 p.m. Castillo went into surgery at 6 p.m. Baby Evangeline was delivered by 7 p.m. with a full head of hair, weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.
The new mom and dad spent the next 24 hours enjoying their baby, and convincing everyone that the wedding truly happened.
"It's so crazy, because nobody really believed it at first. Even my doctor thought it was a joke. It's a story nobody will believe," said Castillo.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.