German couple gets surprise wedding thanks to one SWFL organization

Published: May 26, 2022 6:13 PM EDT
Updated: May 26, 2022 6:25 PM EDT

A German couple who is no stranger to surprises gets a surprise wedding in Southwest Florida. They were on vacation when their twin girls decided to come early.

Their little bundles of joy have been at Golisano Children’s Hospital for more than a month, causing the couple to miss their wedding. Still, the Southwest Florida community stepped in to give them a celebration of a lifetime.

It is a vacation they will never forget.

“We never thought so far that this will be our first family trip,” said Manuel Scheider.

Manuel and Julia Scheider came to visit Cape Coral from Germany.

It was meant to be their last vacation before they tied the knot and their twin baby girls were born, but Julia went into premature labor at seven months pregnant.

“We are very proud of them to be… you call them Floridians. Right? Yeah. We heard about that,” said Manuel.

Baby girls Matilda and Marla are doing well in the neonatal intensive care unit at Golisano’s Children’s Hospital.

Mom and dad had to extend their vacation, staying at the Southwest Florida Ronald McDonald House, where they have been made to feel at home.

“Now this vacation place is no longer vacation place. It’s kind of a family. Family place,” said Manuel.

“There’s no way we couldn’t feel like family to each other. We see them every day. We spend more time with them sometimes than our own families,” said Amy Velez, marketing director for the Southwest Florida Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Spending time together, the staff found out Manuel and Julia could not go back home for their wedding that was supposed to be on May 7.

The organization decided to plan the couple their special day.

“I have no words for them. I can’t believe it. They’re so kind to organize our wedding,” said Julia.

“Getting to know Julia and Manuel has really been an honor. They’re just the sweetest couple ever. And we wanted to help them in any way we can,” said Velez.

The couple will return home as Mr. and Mrs. Schneider, although they don’t yet know when that will be.

They still need to get their baby girls’ passports, but they said they are in no rush to leave.