Cancer diagnosis: Strangers paid for every single thing in a couple's wedding - CVIEW NEWS

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Monday, 14 September 2015

Cancer diagnosis: Strangers paid for every single thing in a couple's wedding



A young couple who had a 'three-year plan' to save for a dream home and wedding had to ditch their plans and rush organising their big day in just three months after the groom was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Laura and Steven Monks, both 35, tied the knot on Friday in a hotel ceremony - all paid for by the kindness of strangers.
A charity helped them organise the big day by asking for donations of flowers, a wedding cake and even a dress by members of the public.
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Laura and Steven Monks, both 35, tied the knot in a wedding ceremony all paid for by the kindness of strangers after Steven was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A charity helped them organise the big day by asking for donations of flowers, a wedding cake and even a dress by members of the public
Laura and Steven Monks, both 35, tied the knot in a wedding ceremony all paid for by the kindness of strangers after Steven was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A charity helped them organise the big day by asking for donations of flowers, a wedding cake and even a dress by members of the public

Laura's wedding dress was donated to her by a bridal shop, and the photographer, magician, DJ, singer and Rolls Royce driver all provided their services to the couple free of charge after hearing their story.
Laura and Steven, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, got engaged in 2013, just three months after the birth of their daughter Lydia, who turns three next month.
The couple, who were friends for ten years before they got together, put their wedding plans on hold and started saving up to buy a house, but last October the pair were left dumbfounded when Steven was diagnosed with stage three bowel and liver cancer.

The kitchen fitter had an operation to remove his bowel and started chemotherapy straightaway. However, in April this year doctors told the couple that Steven's condition is terminal.
Corporate banker Laura said: 'We were saving up to buy a house. We'd saved quite a bit towards the deposit. We just wanted a little small cottage, something cosy, we didn't want anything grand and big. We just wanted a home to call our own. We wanted to do that before we got married but everything changed when we got Steven's diagnosis.
'As soon as Steven was diagnosed with cancer, we knew we wanted to get married straightaway. We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be a proper family.'
The couple put their wedding plans on hold and started saving up to buy a house, but last October the pair were left dumbfounded when Steven was diagnosed with stage three bowel and liver cancer so they rushed to plan their big day
The couple put their wedding plans on hold and started saving up to buy a house, but last October the pair were left dumbfounded when Steven was diagnosed with stage three bowel and liver cancer so they rushed to plan their big day
Laura, second from left, pictured with her bridesmaids at the charity-funded wedding, was sent dresses for her bridesmaids - as well as a lace embellished gown for herself - to wear on the special day
Laura, second from left, pictured with her bridesmaids at the charity-funded wedding, was sent dresses for her bridesmaids - as well as a lace embellished gown for herself - to wear on the special day
The kitchen fitter, third from left, had an operation to remove his bowel and started chemotherapy straightaway, but in April this year doctors told the devastated couple that Steven's condition is terminal
The kitchen fitter, third from left, had an operation to remove his bowel and started chemotherapy straightaway, but in April this year doctors told the devastated couple that Steven's condition is terminal
The couple, who were friends for ten years before they got together, wanted to all have the same surname - along with their two-year-old daughter
Laura and Steven said their vows surrounded by close friends and family at The Place apartments in Manchester City Centre
The couple, who were friends for ten years before they got together, wanted to all have the same surname - along with their two-year-old daughter so they said their vows surrounded by close friends and family at The Place apartments in Manchester City Centre, right
Speaking about their decision, Laura said: 'As soon as Steven was diagnosed with cancer we knew we wanted to get married straightaway. We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be a proper family'
Speaking about their decision, Laura said: 'As soon as Steven was diagnosed with cancer we knew we wanted to get married straightaway. We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be a proper family'

She continued: 'We spent years saving, and looking back now, we wish we had done things in moderation. We've only ever been on one family holiday to Portugal because we were always thinking about saving money.
'Steven was self-employed and he was working six or seven days a week. He looks back and wishes he had been able to spend more quality time with us. Saving was our number one thing, we were always thinking about three years ahead, but nothing could have prepared us for what was going to happen.
'We had a meeting with a Macmillan nurse and she told us about a charity called Gift of a Wedding. She explained that the charity asks businesses and members of the public to donate things such as wedding cakes, name cards, dresses and makeup to couples like us who want to get married quickly.
'It sounded amazing. I called the charity straightaway and filled in an application form, and days later the founder called us to say our wedding had been approved, and we have been busy planning our big day ever since.
'We told our friends and family about us finally getting married and no-one could believe it. They couldn't get over a charity like this even existing. We are so grateful to them for making this happen.'
'Gift of a Wedding put a post about us on their Facebook page and within a matter of days dozens of people came forward offering to donate things towards our big day.
'We had a magician, candy cart, cupcakes, the venue dressing, a DJ, a florist, chocolate, favours, photography, invitations, videography, my wedding dress, seating plan and name cards, hair/make up and nails, wedding cake, a professional singer, as well as a string quartet, a ring cushion, a toastmaster, a photobooth and a wedding car all gifted to us.
'We couldn't believe how kind strangers were being.'
'We couldn't believe how kind strangers were being,' said Laura, pictured kissing her husband on their big day watched by close friends and family
'We couldn't believe how kind strangers were being,' said Laura, pictured kissing her husband on their big day watched by close friends and family
Laura had a lace adorned dress donated by a bridal shop for her big day
Laura had a lace adorned dress donated by a bridal shop for her big day
The couple had daughter Lydia as their flower girl at the wedding, which had a pink and white colour scheme
The couple had daughter Lydia as their flower girl at the wedding, which had a pink and white colour scheme
Steven, pictured with his wife and daughter, is currently on palliative care and the family don't know what the future holds
The duo said that the kindness of strangers made their big day 'completely unforgettable'
Steven, pictured with his wife and daughter, left, is currently on palliative care and the family don't know what the future holds

Laura and Steven said their vows surrounded by close friends and family at The Place apartments in Manchester City Centre.
Laura said: 'We had our daughter Lydia as our flower girl and we had a pink and white colour scheme. It was a city centre wedding.
'Steven is currently on palliative care and we don't know what the future holds, but the kindness of strangers made our day completely unforgettable.'
Patricia Harrison, Founder and Chair of Gift of a Wedding, said: 'I first spoke to Laura in February 2015, when she called the office to nominate her partner Steven for the Gift of a Wedding. She went on to tell me that Steven was terminally ill as the result of bowel and liver cancer. 
'One of the most important things that came out of our conversation was the fact that Steven and Laura were local to the charity. They live in Hyde, which is only a few miles from our head office, so I was really pleased that someone local was going to benefit from our wonderful work.
Patricia Harrison, Founder and Chair of Gift of a Wedding, said: 'It was wonderful giving Steven and Laura the news that they were going to get married. They were totally overwhelmed but extremely happy. I believe a few tears were even shed'
Patricia Harrison, Founder and Chair of Gift of a Wedding, said: 'It was wonderful giving Steven and Laura the news that they were going to get married. They were totally overwhelmed but extremely happy. I believe a few tears were even shed'
Steven seen enjoying his big day with his groomsmen at the city centre wedding
Steven seen enjoying his big day with his groomsmen at the city centre wedding
Steven, pictured, second left, with friends, and Laura spent years saving, and looking back now, they say they wish they had done things in moderation
Steven, pictured, second left, with friends, and Laura spent years saving, and looking back now, they say they wish they had done things in moderation

'During my conversation with Laura, we established that Steven fulfilled all the initial criteria, so an application form was sent to them for Steven to complete. Laura was so pleased and excited that Steven had got through to the application stage, she couldn't stop expressing her gratitude for us even considering them for a wedding. It always reconfirms that I did the right thing setting up the charity when merely promising to send an application form sparks such happiness.
'On receiving their completed application form, we were quickly able to process it and make the decision that their application had been successful. It was wonderful giving Steven and Laura the news that they were going to get married. They were totally overwhelmed but extremely happy. I believe a few tears were even shed.
'Since giving them the wonderful news, this lovely couple have been a joy to work with. They have done everything we've asked really quickly, which is appreciated especially as they have so much to contend with Steven's illness. Laura has been the perfect bride, she's one of the most organised brides I have ever had the pleasure to work with and I must say, she has really good taste.' 
A spokesperson for the charity said Laura was so pleased and excited that Steven, pictured with his daughter, had got through to the application stage, she couldn't stop expressing her gratitude
Steven seen with his daughter Lydia, who turns three next month
A spokesperson for the charity said Laura was so pleased and excited that Steven, pictured with his daughter, had got through to the application stage, she couldn't stop expressing her gratitude
Steven, pictured with his daughter at the beach, and his wife say they are so grateful to the charity and the strangers for making their big day happen
Steven, pictured with his daughter at the beach, and his wife say they are so grateful to the charity and the strangers for making their big day happen

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