Human Interest

Preemies serve as attendants at parents’ wedding, thanks to NICU staff


Told they would have difficulty getting pregnant, Chandra and Tyson Dahl scheduled an appointment with a fertility doctor, but a month before they were to go, they learned Chandra was pregnant. That’s not where the surprises ended for the couple, who had a wedding planned for April 24.

At their first ultrasound visit, they heard two heartbeats and learned they were having twins. Though the pregnancy was event-free, babies Jaycen and Arianna were born six weeks early on April 11, sneaking in their birth before their parents could have their wedding. They each weighed about three pounds and were placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) so they could receive proper medical care.

Chandra and Tyson Dahl

“They’re so small and so frail,” Chandra told CTV News. “It’s the most difficult thing we’ve ever had to go through.”

The babies would still be in the NICU when their wedding was scheduled to take place, so the couple saw no reason to postpone it. They planned to “have a quick little COVID wedding and then go see our kids in the NICU and get a few more photos while we’re in our dress clothes and stuff,” explained Tyson. But they got much more than they expected.


When the NICU’s social worker and the assistant head nurse learned of their plans for a quick wedding, they decided to plan something the couple would never forget.

“It started with Gurinder (Dhillon, social worker) telling me about the date for the wedding, and I remember circling it on this piece of paper, and I was like, there’s a girl and a boy, so how cute would it be to have this flower girl and thing bearer?” Nurse Lauren Roberts told CTV News.

Dhillon added, “They can’t really be a ring bearer and flower girl without cute outfits.”

The duo was able to find a tux and a flower-covered onesie in preemie sizes and they decorated the isolettes with knitted blankets, flowers, and a ring box.

“I cried, of course, because that’s what I do,” said Chandra. “It was amazing.”

Tyson added, “It was magical. It was more than we could imagine, really.”

Arianna will be able to come home in a few weeks, according to CTV, and Jaycen hopefully soon after. They say the care they and their babies have received has been “top notch.”

“It’s indescribable how much we appreciate it, how grateful we are,” said Chandra. “These are memories that are going to last a lifetime when these little ones grow up. They’re going to cherish them in the way that we cherish them.”

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