Tina Pearce shares a dance with her new husband, Justin Pearce, as her mother, Linda Tuller, looks on. Photo courtesy of Manatee Springs.

Tina Pearce was about to get married. Then she learned her mother, who was in hospice care, would not be able to attend.

Instead of having her wedding day without her mother, Pearce decided to marry at Linda Tuller’s nursing home, Manatee Springs Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Bradenton, FL. Despite having only two days’ notice, the facility was able to make it work. 

“Hospice was reaching out to different people who had some connections to help with the flowers,” said executive director Steve Oelfke. “They were prepared to bring some things in, and then I had different department heads or activities people to help. We also had a maintenance team come in and start moving furniture.”

The ceremony took place in the center’s foyer and was attended by friends, family as well as six different news cameras. The ceremony was short but there was no shortage of heartfelt moments.

 To quote the new mother-in-law herself: “I’ve got a new son-in-law and I think I love him.”

For Oelfke and the rest of the Manatee Springs team, seeing the joy they helped create is just part of the job. 

“If you work around good people, you can make things really special for those under your care,” said Oelfke. “I think to be a good provider, you need to look for these types of opportunities to do, to find things that could be significantly meaningful to residents and their families.”