Bayside couple Nicole Hartstein-Guida and Edward Guida knew they wanted a special person present when they said “I do.”
That person happened to be Harstein-Guida’s mother Jane Hartstein, who is currently a patient at the Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack, Long Island.
Hartstein has been on a ventilator following a stroke more than three years ago and the couple realized she could not make the trip to their wedding venue in New Jersey. So they decided to bring the festivities to her.
The couple’s relationship began eight years ago and Guida knew his then-fiancée wanted her mother at their wedding.
“I just want Nicole to be happy, and I want her mom to be happy, too. We knew we wanted to do this,” Guida said.
Prior to their official ceremony on May 26, the Gurwin staff decked out the family room on the respiratory care unit with twinkle lights, a chuppa [a canopy traditionally used in Jewish weddings], “Mr. & Mrs.” signs and tulle. The staff even created a makeshift aisle outside of the family room.
“I can’t believe this,” Hartstein said when she was wheeled into the decorated family room on the unit. “I’m just so happy, I can’t believe they did this.”
“I know you wanted to be at our wedding, so we’re bringing our wedding to you,” Hartstein-Guida said as mother and daughter wiped away tears of happiness.
Staff and residents watched as Hartstein-Guida’s uncle James Jacobs escorted her down the aisle while “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perry played in the background.
A small group of family, a priest and a rabbi received the couple in the family room as they kissed and solidified their lifelong commitment to each other.
“This is amazing,” Hartstein-Guida said.
When the ceremony was over, Hartstein sat back and watched as attendees congratulated the newly married couple.
“This is the best gift anyone could ever have given me,” she said.
The couple then had their official ceremony at the West Mountain Country Club in Woodland Park, New Jersey. They live-streamed the ceremony for Hartstein on her TV at Gurwin.