Most brides don’t imagine that their special day will be spent in hospital – but for Christine Jo Miller, that situation became a reality. The bridal bouquet in particular proved to be an unwelcome wedding guest, as the flowers it contained rendered the bride temporarily blind. Despite this unfortunate development, however, Miller still wasn’t going to let her nuptials be ruined.
The evening before her wedding on September 2, 2017, Miller had decided to spruce up her bouquet with flowers from her family estate in Lincoln, Nebraska. The 23-year-old was looking to add a personal touch to the arrangement, and so after spotting some delicate wildflowers, she chose to add them into the mix.
Unfortunately for Miller, though, the flowers happened to be from a snow-on-the-mountain plant. And the white leaves the variety produces can trigger an allergic reaction similar to that caused by poison ivy. Miller had already developed a fondness for the plant, however. She’d even begun picking the flowers regularly a few months earlier. But she still had no idea that they were poisonous.
The evening before the wedding saw no flower-related drama, though. In fact, Miller was sprucing the bouquet all evening after her rehearsal dinner. Speaking to Women’s Health, she said, “The flowers had no effect on me.” It wasn’t until the following morning that things started going wrong.
Neglecting to clean her hands, Miller instead began her day by washing her face. In her Women’s Health interview, though, the bride revealed, “It all went downhill from there.” Indeed, Miller’s eyes immediately started watering, and a rash developed on her face. She nevertheless tried her best to stay calm, even as her face became “red and bumpy.”
Thankfully, some of Miller’s bridesmaids had had medical training, and they advised her to drink water to alleviate the symptoms. Her aunt also suggested Benadryl and steroids – but nothing worked. Miller even placed cool cucumbers over her eyes to soothe them while her hair was being done.
However, as Miller told People in March 2018, she then opened her eyes to find that “everything was super blurry and [she] couldn’t see.” Soon, the rash had spread to her arms and neck, and she had lost her vision. “My rash was getting worse [and] my eyes were pouring out water constantly,” Miller explained to Women’s Health. And this meant that she had to make a judgement call.
But while Miller’s mom suggested that her daughter postpone the wedding, Miller herself was determined to carry on with proceedings. Speaking to Women’s Health, she explained how her and her partner Jon had never lived together and that she had looked forward to waking up with him. So, for Miller, canceling “didn’t feel like an option.” After all, an enormous amount of effort from her family and friends had gone into the special day.
Determined to make it through, Miller told her mom to instead drive her to a local medical center – only to then find that it was shut. But this didn’t stop the bride. “There were 300 people there wanting to have fun. And it didn’t make it any better to soak in my own sorrows,” she told People.
So, after arriving home, Miller pulled her dress back on and headed down the aisle to join Jon. And with her eyes streaming and her rash causing her excruciating pain, she married her fiancé. Straight afterwards, though, the newlyweds rushed off to hospital, and Miller was given some eye-drops and a steroid injection.
Still determined not to let the incident ruin her day, Miller then insisted on going to the reception, even though she was in agony. Desperate to help her to be more comfortable, Jon rushed into Target and purchased a top adorned with the word “Bride” and a pair of comfy pajama pants.
Then, after having their first dance and cutting the cake, the couple returned to their room. There, Miller fell asleep and Jon ate a pizza. And according to Miller, she was in tears for long periods of her wedding night – not exactly what she had planned beforehand.
Fortunately, a week later, Miller had recovered from her ordeal. And, at that point, the wedding photographer surprised the couple by organizing another reception for them. However, there is a chance that the allergic reaction might have caused some permanent damage to the bride.
For instance, Miller has since noticed slight differences in her eyesight. She told Women’s Health that her eyes are more sensitive, adding, “It seems like I have to wear sunglasses, or else it’s impossible to keep my eyes open when it’s sunny.” Nonetheless, she can’t be sure that these changes are directly linked to her allergic reaction on the wedding day.
Meanwhile, upon learning about Miller’s ordeal, TV presenter Steve Harvey got in touch with the couple. Speaking to People, he explained that he was shocked at the turn of events on their wedding day and felt that “they deserved another opportunity to celebrate.”
As a result, Harvey organized a dream Disney wedding for the pair. This came complete with a new dress for Miller and with Harvey himself as the officiant. Miller also arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, and the whole family was able to spend the rest of the day enjoying the theme park.
And it didn’t stop at the wedding day, either. Harvey organized a honeymoon for the couple, too, taking them to sunny Hawaii for a stay at Disney’s Aulani Resort. Harvey told People that he chose the theme because he wanted to give the couple a dream wedding. He added, “What better place to make it happen than Disney?”
“Steve did absolutely amazing,” Miller told People, overjoyed by this act of kindness. And she also informed Women’s Health that it was a very emotional occasion. “I could actually see what my husband looked like,” she said. “It was beautiful and more than I could’ve ever expected someone to do for us.”
And Miller also expressed her gratitude to Harvey via a post on Facebook, which revealed that it had been a “crazy past few weeks” for the couple. She thanked the Disney team as well, writing, “Every single person we met from both Disney and the Steve Harvey crew were absolutely amazing to us. We feel so blessed and thankful beyond any words we could say. AND WE’RE GOING TO FREAKING HAWAII!”
But even though the newlyweds had a difficult start to their marriage, Miller maintained that the drama of their special day had only made their relationship stronger. Talking to People about married life, she added, “It’s been amazing. We’ve loved every second of it.” What’s more, she also revealed that she was pregnant. Just keep that child away from those snow-on-the-mountains!