Engaged couples share plenty of hopes for their wedding day.
The day will be sunny, beloved guests will fill the seats, the ceremony will go smoothly … and the reception will be a party of a lifetime.
What they do not envision is a massive allergic reaction, a race for an EpiPen and an ambulance drive to the nearest hospital – for the bride.
Yet that is the way it went down Sept. 16 for Victoria and Dominic Tumolo of Clayton, New Jersey. The couple had just enjoyed their cocktail hour, had eaten dinner and were beginning to dance when Victoria started to feel sick.
"I felt my throat start to close," she remembered. "I started to break out in hives. This had happened to me twice before that, so I knew I was having an allergic reaction.’’
Victoria left the dance floor quickly, grabbed her new husband, mom and dad and rushed to an outdoor deck.
“I was starting to have trouble breathing and we had to grab my EpiPen and my dad had to give it to me through my wedding dress,’’ she recalls. “I had to take my dress off outside so they wouldn’t cut it off me when we got to the hospital.’’
Dominic, 25, and his new mother-in-law took off her wedding dress together. "Not exactly what I was imagining for our wedding night," he said.
Victoria, who turns 26 this weekend, has since learned she is allergic to milk and almonds, and that the symptoms manifest after exercise (in this case, dancing), a medical condition called exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Victoria was treated and released, but the couple missed the rest of the reception.
"I wanted everyone to stay and have a good time," Victoria said. "There was a lot of confusion, and some people knew what was going on. My bridesmaids were crying for about an hour. And someone else cut our cake.’’
Adds Dominic, “The DJ didn’t make it into a big scene, so everyone kept partying, which was awesome.’’
The newlyweds still went on their honeymoon to Aruba, where the reception came up.
“We had a great time, but hanging out in our hotel room talking to Dom, I was feeling a little sorry for myself, too," Victoria said. "We were talking about the reception and I got upset about it again.’’
Meanwhile, a plan was afoot to give the couple a reception do-over.
Frank Catrambone, the owner of the entertainment company that performed at the wedding, teamed up with caterer Jim Auletto to make it happen again.
“It just struck me, this poor girl. How can you walk away from your wedding reception and your wedding day? It broke my heart," Catrambone said.
On Nov. 26, the couple will have a second reception, complete with a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing and of course, that cake they never got to cut.
As for the happy couple, they are doubly grateful for a second chance at their big day, which they say at least 150 out of their 250 guests can attend.
“I’m thinking of cutting that cake and smashing it in her face,’’ says Dom with a chuckle. “We’ve been trash talking like that for a while.’’