Tiffany Bumpaous and Demetrius Williams of Kennewick had every intention of getting married before their triplets were born March 19 at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland.
"I wanted to get married before the babies came," Williams said. "But life got in the way. But today we're going to change all that."
The two became husband and wife in a ceremony Saturday in the Don and Lori Watts Pediatric Center where their newbies are still being cared for.
Karter, Nolan and Ellie were born several weeks prematurely, weighing in at about 2 pounds each. They've had to remain at the hospital since their birth until they are eating enough and have consistent weight gain. They will go home today with their newlywed parents.
Williams, 24, couldn't stop smiling after he and Bumpaous, 21, said their vows in front of hospital staff and a few family members.
Pastor Patty Armstrong, from Story Point Community Church in Kennewick, officiated the ceremony and remembered another ceremony at Kadlec that held a special meaning more than 50 years ago.
"My parents, Ed and Blanche Shane, were married here in Kadlec's cafeteria on Jan. 3, 1958," Armstrong said. "My mom was a nurse here then and my dad worked in maintenance at the hospital."
Williams said he predicted his wife, who has a twin brother, was going to have triplets even before it was confirmed by doctors.
"I have no idea how or why I knew," he said. "There was something in her voice when told me she was pregnant that made me think this was not going to an ordinary birth."
The couple were encouraged to have their wedding ceremony at medical center by the Kadlec staff.
"The Kadlec Foundation donated the cake and flowers from Arlene's Flowers for the ceremony," said Emily Volland, a Kadlec spokeswoman. "And the staff all chipped in and brought all the decorations."
The wedding is the first for the pediatric ward at Kadlec, but not the first party, she said.
"We've had a prom here before for a patient who wasn't able to attend her high school prom," Volland said.
The Williams triplets, who were all eating well and gaining weight, were decked out in spiffy new attire for the marriage of their parents.
The only time Bumpaous wasn't fussing over her children, wearing her white full length wedding gown, she stood next to Williams, holding hands, tears falling as Armstrong bound them in matrimony. Though she is pursuing a nursing degree, Bumpaous (now Williams) will take a little time to bond with her babies before finishing her degree through an online course. In the meantime, one baby is a handful but three means Williams will have to chip in when he isn't working his construction job.
"I'm looking forward to raising these children," Williams said. "It'll be tough sometimes, but we can handle it."
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal