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Two doctors exchange vows via video call as they had to postpone their wedding due to pandemic

The bride's colleagues put together an impromptu wedding for the couple at the hospital with whatever material they had on hand.

Two doctors exchange vows via video call as they had to postpone their wedding due to pandemic
Image Source: Facebook/Duke Health

When Shelun Tsai, an OBGYN resident at Duke University Hospital, reached work on April 11, she couldn't stop thinking about how if it were not for the pandemic, she'd have been getting ready for her wedding instead. Like many other couples who had big plans for the spring of 2020, Tsai and her fiancé Dr. Michael Sun—a resident in Duke Psychiatry’s program—were forced to postpone their nuptials in light of the current global crisis. Although the couple and their families had resigned themselves to holding the ceremony on a different date, Tsai's colleagues had different plans for their friend and set about making the day one the couple would always remember. 


"They knew I'd postponed my wedding but people didn't realize it was that day until I was there [at work] and I said it was supposed to be April 11," Tsai told Good Morning America. The bride's colleagues immediately got to work, putting together an impromptu wedding for the couple in the pregnancy ward of the hospital with whatever material they had on hand. "It started out small, that they wanted to make me a wedding dress, then it was a veil, then flowers and then it became everyone chipping in and jumping onboard," Tsai explained.


"They literally started at 8 a.m. and in between patient care they’d get bits of stuff done and then had the ceremony at 3 p.m.," she said of her colleagues. Speaking of the memorable day in an interview, Sun said: "It was totally a surprise for me. I just got a link to a Zoom meeting actually, telling me to be present at 3 o'clock and so, there I was." Tsai's colleagues even arranged a special room for the bride to change into her DIY paper wedding gown and gave the couple a "first look" moment before the ceremony.


"When I initially dialed in, I was just sitting on my bed in a t-shirt, expecting to have [Tsai] say a few words and maybe there'd be some cake around. Instead, there was a bunch of people in face masks and [Tsai] in a really nice dress. And so, I put on a suit jacket and then we got to business," Sun revealed. Speaking of her wedding gown, Tsai explained that it was made from a paper gown they have at the hospital that's typically used by guests during deliveries. "It's not one of the approved paper gowns that we have for the coronavirus but it was something that we just kind of had lying around," she clarified.


"The flowers were made by the nurses and they were super creative. Some of them were made from construction paper, my bouquet was made from Kleenex and some tulle that also just lying around in the hospital," Tsai added. A nurse from the Labor and Delivery unit "officiated" the approximately 15-minute-long wedding ceremony while nearly a dozen of the couple's friends, family, and wedding party watched on Zoom.


After exchanging their vows, Tsai and Sun rode off on a hospital transportation cart decorated with "Just Married" signs while the medical residents cheered for the happy couple. "It was absolutely amazing," the bride said of the commemorative ceremony. "Every day I feel like we take care of our patients and we’re always so thoughtful and love what we do and to see that [my colleagues] also care so much about us and the things that mean so much to us, it was really touching. They’re really my work family and we really try to take care of each other." The couple, who met in college, revealed that they will exchange vows once again and officially tie the knot in October.


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