Kayleigh's late dad played key role

Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke Photos: James Lamb, One Lifetime Photography
Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke Photos: James Lamb, One Lifetime Photography
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When Kayleigh Salisbury walked down the aisle to her groom Stuart O’Rourke, it was a bittersweet moment.

Just 10 weeks earlier, her beloved dad David sadly passed away leaving a huge gap in their lives, not least on their big day.

Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke

Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke

But thanks to their loving families, their wedding day was still the day of their dreams.

It began when Kayleigh’s brother Will walked her down the aisle of St Wilfrid’s Church in Longridge, wearing their dad’s shoes which meant so much to them all.

Kayleigh had also had a silhouette portrait tattoo done on her left wrist of her and her dad, so that in a different way he walked her down the aisle.

The couple met in 2014 when they both worked at Royal Preston Hospital’s Ribblesdale Ward and became engaged on their two-year anniversary at home when Kayleigh was 31 weeks’ pregnant.

Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke

Stuart and Kayleigh O'Rourke

Kayleigh, a neonatal intensive care nurse, said: “Stuart had asked permission from my dad before proposing which meant a lot to me at the time but I had no idea how much it would come to mean on the wedding day.”

They had a Beauty and the Beast theme and incorpoarated Kayleigh’s dad into the whole day with memorials, placecards, photos and small bottles of Jameson’s whisky, which was her dad’s favourite tipple.

“I think the most special thing to me was that without knowing it, my dad picked my wedding dress.

“It was in the window of the shop and he was walking by with my mum and he pointed it out to her.

“She sent me a photo and I instantly fell in love with it. When I went dress shopping in February 2017 it turned out to be the one.”

Celebrations continued at Whalley Abbey where professional magician Paul Edmondson entertained between the wedding breakfast and evening reception.

There were lots of surprises including one for Kayleigh when her brother’s former band reunited for one night only to perform songs, requested by Stuart for his wife and her dad.

“They played a short set,” said Kayleigh. “I was so overwhelmed and everybody was on the dancefloor enjoying the surprise. I can’t believe they pulled it off.

“Despite the heartbreak so close to our wedding day, I truly believe that I had the day of my dreams. I married my best friend in idyllic settings surrounded by my closest friends and family.

“All the tributes to my dad made it feel as though he was there in spirit. As my bouquet charm said, ‘Dad I can’t see you but I know you are by my side’.”

Stuart, from Lea and an aeronautical engineer, added: “I had the most amazing day, spent with the most amazing people, and being able to call my best friend my gorgeous wife.

“As my best man said in his speech, you don’t marry the person you can live with, you marry the person you can’t live without and I believe that I’ve done that.

“I love that we did lots of things in celebrations to an amazing man, who was with us on the day.”