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Couple’s Wedding Bells Ring (unexpectedly) at Penn State Health St. Joseph

Three days before Debbie and Tracy Griffie’s wedding day, their dear friend and minister, Pastor David Knotts, became seriously ill and needed to be hospitalized. Although Pastor Knotts was not critically ill, it was clear he wasn’t going to be discharged in time to perform the wedding service.

Since the couple did not want to postpone the pending nuptials, Pastor Knotts offered to perform the ceremony in his hospital room.


“We were relieved that David was doing better physically. We were also relieved that we would have a minister and an official wedding. Getting married in a hospital is a unique part of our story,” said Tracy, recalling their wedding day.

With Pastor Knotts and his wife, Sandy, being dear friends as well as colleagues of Tracy and Debbie, they knew it was the right time and place for them to get married… “It was not what we had planned to get married in a hospital room; however we were extremely thankful and happy that David was well enough to perform the ceremony. The hospital staff made sure that we were not disturbed during the ceremony and gave us a cheer as we departed,” said Tracy.

With only Pastor Knotts, Sandy, and Tracy’s son, Ryan, at the hospital wedding, Debbie and Tracy had a second ceremony and reception the following day where an un-ordained friend of theirs read the ceremony Pastor Knotts had prepared. This way, according to Tracy, they were able to exchange vows in front of more friends and family.

“In a way we have two anniversaries; so I have two chances to not mess up our anniversary,” he said.


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