It’s any bride’s worst nightmare: Hannah Bush became violently ill on her wedding day. Thanks to some IV fluids and some flexibility from hair, makeup and photography professionals — and the groom — Bush made it through her wedding day. She shared her first look video of her in the hospital on TikTok, and it quickly went viral.
“Every bride is posting their first looks, and they’re beautiful and I just so happen to be in the hospital for mine,” Bush, 25, of Lafayette, Louisiana, tells TODAY.com. “I wanted to share it just like every other bride.”
Bush says she felt good at the rehearsal dinner on Nov. 11. In the early morning of her wedding day, she woke up with a “shooting pain,” and she felt like she was going to throw up.
“I just ran to the bathroom, and I sat there for like 30 minutes—nothing happened,” she says. “I tried to get back to sleep, and then like 10 minutes later that’s when it all went downhill.” Bush could not keep anything down. At about 10 a.m. she went to the hospital, and the doctors assured her they could help her feel better for her 6:30 p.m. wedding. Two hours later, she returned home to shower, eat and drink fluids.
“I was getting my makeup done, and I was like, ‘I need to take a break,’” Bush recalls. “I ran to the bathroom again and just threw up everything I had just ate.”
Her mom said they could return to the hospital right then or after the wedding, and Bush knew she had to go back.
“I was like, ‘Mom, there’s no way I could physically walk down the aisle,’” she says. “We just headed back to the ER.”
While doctors gave her fluids and medication to stop her from vomiting, Bush felt overwhelmed. She was in the emergency room at the exact time she should have been getting her pictures taken with her groom.
“I started having panic attacks thinking about how this day is supposed to be fun, like I’m supposed to be able to spend it with all my bridesmaids and my husband’s family that came in, and I wasn’t able to do that,” she says. “I kept having these panic attacks.”
But when her husband, Nick Bush, 26, visited, he helped her navigate her anxiety. Her bridesmaids and family wondered if he should see her before she arrived at the church, but Bush knew he’d help her cope with the stress of the day.
“He’s always been my number one (supporter), my biggest cheerleader,” she says. “I knew he would come to the hospital, and he would just be there for me because it’s just the person he is.”
While in the hospital, she had her hair and makeup done and got dressed. She walked down the aisle barefoot because she didn’t think she could stand in heels.
“I walked into the church. I hadn’t even seen myself and my dress, hadn’t seen my hair, my make up, nothing,” she says. “My sister-in-laws were fixing my hair. … Oh my gosh, it was so chaotic. I never got to really settle down and enjoy the moment.”
She was even a little late to her wedding, getting there about 15 minutes after the start. At one point, someone asked if she wanted to postpone the wedding, but she was afraid of losing the church and the priest.
“We’re not pushing it back to tomorrow, and we’re not doing it at the hospital,” she recalls thinking. “We spent the whole year planning this. I’m getting married in the church that I want to get married in because my grandparents got married there. And then the priest that was marrying us married my parents. So, I really wanted to have that special moment.”
She shared the video of Nick Bush seeing her for the first time while she wept on TikTok, and it went viral.
“I don’t think anyone expects to have almost 40 million views on TikTok. It was overwhelming,” she says. “I’m not used to that. I’m not this person who’s on TikTok all the time. I’m not an influencer.”
While most viewers shared warm wishes, some thought she faked it or was just trying to get attention. She and Nick Bush made another TikTok to give some context to what happened. Even though it was not the day she hoped it would be, she still made it through the wedding and reception with a few naps.
“I was able to pull myself together. I stopped crying and just took a deep breath, and it just went smooth sailing from there,” she says. “I walked up to the alter, and the priest was like, ‘I have a trashcan right by my feet. We’ll walk to the back in case you need to throw up.’ I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is horrible.’”
Bush feels grateful for the help from the staff at the hospital and the support of friends and family. After arriving at the reception, Bush rested for about an hour. They considered skipping all the dances until the wedding planner suggested she might regret it.
“We cut the cake, and we did our first dance and I danced with my dad, and I think I just got this adrenaline rush because all my friends were so happy to see me,” she says. “I was just like, ‘I need to enjoy this moment.'”
Meghan Holohan is a contributing writer who covers health and parenting for TODAY.com. She enjoys cooking, yoga, reading, music and walking her two rescue dogs. Follow her on Twitter to see her recent stories.
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