MARIETTA, Ga. - A couple's wedding was put in jeopardy when the groom gets bit by a copperhead the night before the couple would say "I do."
At first, the couple thought they'd put their big day on hold, but then, they decided to get married right there in the hospital. The couple canceled their venue and decided to exchange vows right there in the room.
"I said we had a hospital honeymoon."
Saturday, Melissa and Ricardo Zapata were supposed to walk down the aisle, but the night before a copperhead bit Ricardo as he tried to grab wood for the bonfire.
"As soon as I put my hand in I felt something. I didn't know what it was I thought I hit my hand on something. Shined my light and I thought it was a rattlesnake but they said it was a copperhead," said Ricardo Zapata.
Melissa rushed him to Piedmont Hospital in Ellijay, and a few hours later doctors sent him to WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta. At that point, it appeared the wedding was off. That was until Melissa told the pastor what was going on.
"He said 'Melissa, if Ricardo is able and you want to go ahead and go through with this, we can come to the hospital,'" Melissa Zapata recalled.
Melissa said immediately the hospital was on board, accommodating any way they could.
"So, my sister, maid of honor, best man, my mom, dad, my mom, his mom, and sister, a couple more friends. I put on my wedding dress and he put on his shirt. We played our song and got married," Melissa said laughing as she recounted the experience.
Melissa said she met Ricardo during a difficult time for both of them, but nine months later she knew he was the one for her.
"The trials and tribulations we got through life are part of our testimony. And if this story right here touches just one person then I've done my job," Melissa said.
The newlyweds said they don't feel cheated out of a wedding, and now have a pretty amazing story to tell.
"I was telling her 'You to need to write a book about this, it would be a good book,'" said Ricardo.
"It was amazing the way the hospital accommodated us. Hey, let 15 people in the room with us, In CCU and that doesn't happen. We really do appreciate it," said Melissa.