Wedding bells aren’t often heard in aged care communities, but two lovebirds have tied the knot in a seniors’ home in Brisbane over the weekend.
Carinity Brookfield Green resident Eddie Newman, 70, married his fiancée Marina Rouicheq in the aged care community’s on-site chapel on Saturday.
“I asked the chaplain Carol (Lewins), ‘How are you on for weddings?’ She said she’s only allowed to do funerals and I said, ‘We don’t need funerals yet’. So she organised a pastor to do our wedding,” Eddie said.
Eddie and Marina’s grandchildren played parts in the wedding ceremony, which was attended by around 50 guests. Four granddaughters served as flower girls with five grandsons as page boys.
The couple’s beloved dog, Hope, was there when Eddie and Marina said “I do”, and one of Eddie’s friends from Brookfield Green was in the wedding party.
A reception followed the exchanging of Eddie and Marina’s wedding vows, held outdoors on the lawns of the scenic aged care location.
Brookfield Green staff provided live music, playing flute and saxophone. Other staff took photos and prepared Eddie for the big occasion, which was filmed and broadcast live into residents’ lounge rooms.
Eddie, a former taxi driver and cotton factory worker, and Marina, who worked in aged care, met online and have been together for 11 years.
“The day we met she walked up to me, and she was dressed in red. I saw her and she was just beautiful. We got on so well, like a friend that you had met before. She’s very easy to communicate with,” Eddie said.
Marina said she and her new husband have been inseparable since the day they met.
“I always say he taught me to laugh; he taught me to live. He introduced me to new experiences like camping. But he can’t convince me to swap footy teams and go for Geelong. That’s never going to happen,” she said.
“We’ve had a pretty good connection over the years. We’ve had lots of ups and downs because of Eddie’s health but we feel this is the right time for us to get married. It was a very special day because this is Eddie’s home.
Marina and Eddie say they are grateful for the support of the Carinity Brookfield Green care staff over the past two years.
“It took Eddie a long time to settle into living in a nursing home. It was very hard for him to adjust but now he’s in a really good place,” Marina said.
“We’ve got a lot of memories here. The staff have been lovely. It’s just marvellous the things that they do for you.”
Eddie and Marina’s wedding nuptials was the first resident wedding to be held at Carinity Brookfield Green, located in Brisbane’s leafy western suburbs, since the 1980s.
The last wedding at a Carinity aged care community was held at Clifford House in Brisbane in 2013. The groom and the bride, not wanting her 90-year-old mother to miss the big day, brought the nuptials to her seniors home.