Last Saturday, May 8, Sarah Hunter activities coordinator at Finney House care home, finally tied the knot to her truck driving fiance Dave Thomas.
The turbulence of the Covid-19 pandemic had cancelled her plans for her special day multiple times, but residents of the care home had been counting down the days to the big day.
And after signing the documents in the Rose Suite at Preston Registry Office, she had arranged to pay a quick visit to the care home to show the residents her white dress.
Planning to cause quite a stir, she arrived in her unique version of a wedding car - a huge Peterbilt bonneted tractor unit.
But she was unaware that her two colleagues, Jen Stutter and Lisa Kimble, had been preparing a surprise, turning the foyer into a pop up wedding party venue complete with decorations, afternoon tea, sugared almond favours, wedding gifts, bucks’ fizz and a wedding cake.
And residents who were eager to be involved had spent time creating their own fascinators by hand to wear at the surprise celebrations, with one resident even being reduced to tears when she saw Sarah, who has helped care for them throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sarah said: "We were both shocked and amazed. I couldn’t believe the amount of trouble that everyone had gone to.
"One of our residents cried tears of joy when she saw me. I would have loved to have had them all at my wedding ceremony, but this really was the next best thing. It really helped to make this a magical day to remember.
"I have worked here for years and built close relationships with them during Covid. It has taken me so long to plan this wedding and as I booked it, I was telling the residents who were so looking forward to it and just wanted to see me in my dress.
"We have built so many closer relationships they were so happy, got cancelled February. It was absolutely amazing I couldn't thank them enough, they just thought I looked beautiful.
Sarah had been unable to invite residents due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, preventing residents from leaving the safety of their home and caps on the number of visitors that can attend weddings.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted to take place with up to 15 people in COVID-19 secure venues until next Monday, May 17, when the number will be increased to 30.
Jen Stutter, one of Sarah's colleagues at the Chorley home who helped organise the surprise, said: "Sarah’s not just a colleague, she's a good friend and we wanted to make the day special for her.
"Her wedding has been cancelled a couple of times due to Covid and residents have showed a lot of interest, counting down the days and sharing in her excitement. So we felt it appropriate to share the day with them and spoil Sarah at the same time."
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