Love was in the air and the wedding bells chimed at a Sanctuary Care home in Bordon when a resident’s granddaughter and grandson-in-law recreated their wedding day – at the care home.
Joan Kneller, 95, is a resident at Ashley House Residential Care Home, and wanted to see her granddaughter Laura-Jane (nee Kneller) wed the love of her life Tim Piercy- but poor health meant she was unable to travel to attend their wedding ceremony and reception in York.
Joan’s family and the care home team wanted her to be able to enjoy her granddaughter’s nuptials, so it was decided that the wedding would be recreated in its entirety at the care home, complete with the bride in her beautiful wedding dress, flowers and a wedding cake.
Laura explained: “We were devastated that Nana couldn’t attend. As we couldn’t bring Nana to the wedding, we decided to bring the wedding to her and recreate the magic of the day at Ashley House.”
In the build up to the day on Sunday 22 June, the home was abuzz with residents reminiscing about their own wedding days and making hats and buttonholes for the big day. The home’s catering team planned a special wedding breakfast and Karin Hoogenhout, support worker at the home, made a beautiful traditional wedding cake with the care home’s team arranging flowers for the occasion.
Margaret Powell, the care home’s manager, said: “The morning of the wedding was so exciting – there was a real buzz in the air. Everyone got involved with the preparations - we chose flowers from our garden and relatives of our residents also donated some from theirs.
“Our maintenance man made a beautiful archway for the happy couple to ‘get married’ under and we got strawberries and mint from our activities leader’s allotment to put in the Pimm’s which we used to toast the happy couple.”
Joan was joined by the bride and groom’s family, residents, friends of the home and members of the local community for a beautiful ceremony. An organist played The Wedding March and children scattered rose petals as the blushing bride walked up the aisle on the arm of her father.
Activities leader Ronnie Smith took on the role of reverend to read out a beautiful poem about marriage in place of traditional vows, reminding people that “you are never too old to hold hands or say ‘I love you’”. The groom then kissed his bride to a round of applause and cheers from the congregation.
After confetti throwing and photographs, all who were present enjoyed a fantastic wedding reception with delicious food, drinks and dancing galore.
On attending her granddaughter’s wedding, Joan said: “I had such a happy day.”
Margaret added: “It really was such a special day and we were delighted that Joan got to see Laura in her wedding dress looking so lovely. Thank you to all those who supported us to hold this wonderful occasion for Joan – and to all those who came along on the day.”