Young newlyweds made sure the bride’s 91-year-old grandmother with Alzheimer’s could see her get married… By having a second wedding at her care facility.
In their effort to include the bride’s grandmother in their special day, childhood sweethearts Will and Rebecca Heppell went to great lengths to recreate their wedding ceremony.
The couple, who had tied the knot two weeks prior, traveled a total of 360 miles to hold a second ceremony in the grounds of the care home where Rebecca’s 91-year-old grandmother, Peggy Dracup, resides.
According to British news wire SWNS, the grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, was unable to attend the initial ceremony, so the couple decided to bring the celebration closer to her.
Rebecca said her grandmother was “overjoyed” that she could be a part of their “really special day.”
The couple, both teachers, met as teenagers and got engaged on their 10th anniversary last March during a romantic trip to Iceland.
The decision to recreate their wedding day in the care home’s grounds came after the staff at Peggy’s residence expressed concerns about her ability to undertake the lengthy journey to the original venue.
To accommodate her, Will and Rebecca painstakingly reproduced every aspect of their first ceremony, ensuring that even the smallest details matched.
The second ceremony took place on August 29, exactly two weeks after their initial wedding, and was decorated identically to the first, which included being showered with rose petals after the ceremony, and doing the same dance moves at the reception.
Rebecca said that she really wanted Peggy there on her big day, but the second time around was more relaxing than the first, and it turned out “great.”
As for her grandmother, “she loved it,” and “didn’t know it wasn’t the real ceremony,” as “the care home were absolutely amazing” about recreating their special day.
“The events manager went above and beyond and created a magical setting and made a spectacular wedding cake adorned with handmade sugar roses,” Rebecca noted.
“It was doubly magical, because we were reliving the original ceremony,” added her groom, Will.
The Heppell’s weren’t the first newlyweds to make sure their grandparents had the joy of seeing them get married, despite being confined to their care facility.
Chloe and Chris Wootton arranged a second wedding at her grandparents senior home last year, after her 86-year-old grandmother lost the ability to walk unaided, and her 90-year-old grandfather refused to attend without his wife.
The Hartismere Care Home in Eye, Suffolk arranged to host the event as a surprise for Shirley and Norman.
“Seeing nanny’s face light up in joy made the whole surprise worth it. I just wanted my nanny and grandad see me get married, and at first, I thought it would never happen,” said Chloe, who is also a teacher.
“I noticed her tear up a couple times during our afternoon tea. I think seeing her granddaughter married and in love was quite overwhelming,” the bride told SWNS.
“She’s always wanted us to be happy and loved. I’m so happy I could share that with her.”