For months, Bonnie Hall and her fiance Turnell Martin had planned their wedding day down to the last detail. They sent out the invitations, booked the fire house for the reception and arranged for the photographer.
What they hadn't planned on was spending their first married night -- along with 43 of their guests -- in separate rooms at the Tappahannock (Va.) Tidewater Hospital near Fredericksburg, suffering from intense nausea and stomach cramps.
Hospital officials said all 45 fell victim to food poisoning apparently caused by eating food that was not properly refrigerated at the festive reception in the Tappahannock Fire Hall following the ceremony in nearby Montross.
"Everybody sat down to eat.Suddenly I started feeling ill. I thought it was because I was mixing drinks. Then everybody started vomiting," said Betty Elizabeth Darby, the bridegroom's mother.
Darby said she left the party and arrived home with just enough energy to stagger in the door. Shortly afterward she said she got a phone call from the hospital telling her to come in for observation.
Hospital officials said yesterday all but three victims of the food poisoning had been discharged, and public health officials were investigating the cause of the illness.