Elizabeth Mannion-O’Keeffe was devastated that her 93-year-old mother, Jean Mannion, couldn’t attend her wedding in Harrogate, due to a long-term illness, so she and husband, Tony, took the wedding to mum and reran the whole ceremony just for her, complete with registrar, guests, cake and bridal gown, at the Belong care village in Warrington where she is a resident.
25 guests arrived at the care village’s ‘Venue’ for the occasion, including Jean’s best friend of 76 years, Peggy Sanson, where they watched the happy couple exchange vows beneath an archway festooned with flowers, at the end of a decorated aisle. One of Warrington’s Deputy superintendent registrars, Lance Goodwin, performed the commitment ceremony in full, supported by mum’s carers, who provided a reading on ‘Love’ and acted as bridesmaids for the event. And to cap it all, the reception was held in Belong’s Bistro, with guests treated to a wedding banquet in the form of mum’s favourite meal, ‘fish and chips’, prepared by the village team, accompanied by Prosecco and wedding favours, composed of organza bags filled with Love Heart sweets.
The village community rallied around to make the day as special as possible, providing a photographer and videographer to capture the ceremony too,
and donated a number of decorations, including the adorned archway, gifted by local garden centre, Bents. And the event was made even more significant by the presence of TV news crews from both BBC and ITV.
Speaking of wedding number two, bride, Elizabeth, said: “Not many people would re-run their wedding ceremony in the space of two weeks, but it was so important to us that mum got to be part of our special day. We are overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of everyone at Belong, without them we couldn’t have made this happen. I know we will all treasure the memories of this truly wonderful day forever.”
Belong Warrington’s experience coordinator, Kerith Pepperdine, took on the role of wedding planner for the event. She commented: “Belong is dedicated to providing customer-centred care, and so when we heard Jean would be missing her daughter’s wedding, we offered to rerun the ceremony at the village. We are so thrilled we could help make this happen for the family, it’s been a true honour to play a part in their special day.”