Ellen Connolly of the Sunday Telegraph (Australia) reports that it was every bride’s worst nightmare: the picture-perfect country wedding ruined by food poisoning from a hens’ night at the local Chinese restaurant.
Country bride, Simone Sprenkeler, her bridesmaids and mother were struck down for a week with vomiting and diarrhoea after their girls’ night out at the Sapphire Chinese Restaurant in Inverell, in the State’s north-west.
The bridal party held the hens’ night on the Wednesday before the Saturday wedding. By the morning of her big day, they were all so ill they could hardly leave the toilet.
They tried valiantly to get ready, and Mrs Sprenkeler eventually arrived at the garden ceremony 50 minutes late. She vomited on the way to the church, she vomited during the wedding vows. So severe was the gastric that she was unable to have wedding photos taken.
While family and friends gathered outside the church to celebrate the just-completed nuptials, Mrs Sprenkeler had to be helped to the toilet where all she could do was “hug the bowl” with her ill mother crying at her side. Her bridesmaids were crying outside the toilet.
All of them then spent the next three hours at the Inverell Base Hospital, receiving injections in an attempt to curb the nausea, while Mrs Sprenkler’s new husband, Michael, entertained with the wedding guests at the reception without her.
The fallout from the ill-fated wedding, held on April 10, 2004, has been severe.
Mrs Sprenkeler was left traumatised. Along with her mother Irene Devoy and her sisters Lauren Devoy and and sister-in-law Kerry-Anne King, she launched legal action against the restaurant’s owners Suny Yuen and Elan Chen in the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal of NSW. Yuen and Chen subsequently sold the restaurant and it is now operating under new management.
Last week, Mrs Sprenkeler and her bridal party were awarded a combined $30,391.70 in compensation by the tribunal for “physical inconvenience, distress and disappointment” for “ruining the wedding day”.
“I burst into tears,” Mrs Sprenkeler, 25, told the tribunal about the moments immediately after the ceremony. “Everything became a blur and all I could do was hold on to the toilet bowl and vomit.”