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Wedding documented by hospital visitor

2013-01-07T14:52:00Z 2013-01-08T11:57:32Z Wedding documented by hospital visitorBILL TOSCANO -- btoscano@poststar.com Glens Falls Post-Star
January 07, 2013 2:52 pm  • 

GLENS FALLS -- With his wife upstairs at Glens Falls Hospital going through another procedure for her injured knee, Michael Bills took a walk outside and into a wedding Saturday.

“I saw a woman in a wedding dress walking into the front door of the hospital, and I asked her if she was getting married,” said Bills, a Queensbury resident who is a contractor and a part-time wedding photographer.

“She told me that her father was very sick and that they had hoped to get married in February, but had to move it up and do it at the hospital,” Bills said. “I asked her what room they would be in, then ran out to my truck and got my camera gear.

“You know it just seemed like the right thing to do. I never even hesitated.”

With her father, James Marsh, very ill with cancer, Melonie Nolan was determined he would see her married.

With help from hospital officials, she was able to arrange a ceremony in a room across the hall from her father’s.

That brought her to the hospital door at the same time as Bills.

“We were shocked,” said the bride, who was entering the hospital with other members of the wedding party. “My husband (Scott) was already in the room, and he had no idea.”

Nolan said she was stunned when Bills made his offer.

“He said, ‘This is my gift to you,’ ” she said.

“We didn’t have a photographer for our wedding, so this was the only way we got pictures,” she added, referring to a second, larger wedding ceremony later Saturday.

Bills did a complete set of wedding photos, which he is putting on a CD and will give to the Nolans.

The bride, whose maiden name is McAbee, is a former Granville resident who now lives in Troy with her husband. Her family is from Granville.

Family friends Theresa and Robert Cutter completed the wedding party as maid of honor and best man at the hospital.

After Justice of the Peace Colleen Lyon performed the wedding, the bridal party headed to the Modern Woodmen of America Hall in Wells, Vt., just over the border from Granville, for a second wedding in front of about 50 friends.

Lyon performed the service again, and everyone celebrated at a reception

Bills has been spending a fair deal of time at the hospital himself because his wife, Patty, suffered a serious knee injury in a fall and has needed a series of procedures.

He was happy to be in the right place at the right time.

“I didn’t want anything from it. I just knew it was something I could do for them,” he said. “I could not believe the reaction. I put one photo on Facebook and everyone went crazy.”

Nolan’s friends and relatives started re-posting and soon all of them knew the story and had seen the photos.

For their part, the newlyweds enjoyed their reception, visited the bride’s father again on Sunday and then did what they really wanted to Monday.

“We slept,” Melonie Nolan said. “We hadn’t slept in three days. That’s what we needed.”

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. iluv2garden
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    iluv2garden - January 08, 2013 10:27 pm
    Who says positive news doesn't sell? This story of a random act of kindness and generosity brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations to the newlyweds and best wishes for a happy marriage.
  2. ARMYMOM73
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    ARMYMOM73 - January 08, 2013 10:07 am
    This story has made me cry over and over. Such a bittersweet event but, it's wonderful that an absolute stranger would reach out and do such a sweet deed. Way to " Pay-It-Forward" and way to set an example for future generations. Kids nowadays need to read stories like this. These are the type of people we want to bring into the future!! Thank you Post-Star for shedding light on a story that is so heart warming. Way to go Mr. B!!
  3. fotoguy57
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    fotoguy57 - January 08, 2013 5:51 am
    Thank you! Just as Bill quoted me as saying... It seemed like the right thing to do. Our paths crossed at the perfect moment. I believe a power greater than ourselves orchestrated it. My wife Patty and I help others all the time. Anyone that knows us knows they can come to us and we will help if we are able. I've only been a wedding photographer for 6 years. I decided to do it based on helping couples who cannot afford the average charge. I work with them on whatever amount they can afford and out of the many I have done I've only had a problem with one who misunderstood. I may shoot 1,000 at a wedding but after editing it ends up being a third of that. The client was so angry with me even though I explained it from the beginning. I have done many as gifts but this one is the very best and I doubt it will ever get better than that. It truly was my pleasure. I am supplying them with prints and the disc. If anyone would like to browse my work, my Facebook page is "Chase Images" Thanks
  4. butterfly12
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    butterfly12 - January 07, 2013 8:22 pm
    Mr. Bills - thanks for being such a good and caring person! All the best is wished for the newlyweds and Mr. Marsh.
  5. debdar68
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    debdar68 - January 07, 2013 6:10 pm
    Mr. Bills, that was an incredible Random Act of Kindness...how very kind and generous and you gave this Bride memories of her Father she would not have if not for you...Kudos to you kind Sir!

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