The wedding of Becky & Mike 30.08.2018 Hotel Du Vin & Skillicorne Gardens, Cheltenham.
Updated: Nov 1, 2018
Imagine waking up on the morning of your wedding, seeing your 3 year old son playing in dappled sunlight streaming into your room yet you’re unable to get out of bed and hold him.
This is just a small part of the everyday struggle faced by Mike, the groom who is facing what is left of his life with his adoring family supporting him and his beautiful wife Becky and son Freddie making the very best of what time they have left.
Incidentally, that is exactly what they are doing, making the very best of the time they have left.
Mike was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease 2 years ago, a disease there is no cure for that totally debilitates the nervous system and leaves the individual a prisoner inside their failing body until the end.
Slowing up? I think not! Just mildly hindered.
Please take time to read Mikes inspiring blog, and just take a second to read that bucket list: http://www.painintheals.co.uk
The wedding was a low key affair, immediate family only, and (apart from 1 or 2) no one knew a wedding was happening.
I was honoured to be asked to cover the wedding by Mike & Becky, and felt slightly more pressure than normal and I didn’t do myself any favours by secretly filming the whole thing as well as photographing it, telling the wedding guests I was running my video camera to take stills from.
Arriving early at the prestigious Hotel Du Vin in Cheltenham, Mike had sustained a slight black eye due to a fall in the hotel room prior to my arrival.
My heart sank, but one look at Mike smiling away like a Cheshire cat I realised he had suffered worse on the rugby pitch, and it really didn’t matter too much to him!
An old vintage bus waited outside the hotel to take all the guests to the Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham where the ceremony would take place in the tiny walled garden, the Skillicorne Gardens, a stones throw from where Mike lived when this beautiful couple first met.
There was not a dry eye in the garden as Becky & her father entered, and that occasion will remain with me always.
Everything Mike and Becky had planned was realised in this moment.
Following the ceremony, there was the small matter of returning to Hotel Du Vin via the bus, the guests now well lubricated having enjoyed bubbles in the gardens as the sun continued to beat down.
Partying went on well into the evening as further evening guests arrived to find out what had happened!! The small matter of a wedding ☺
Not satisfied with just 1 wedding day, some weeks later Mike & Becky held another party, this time in a friends field in a magnificent Marquee provided courtesy of Mudway Workman Marquees: http://mudwayworkman.co.uk
Over 200 guests drank their way through the free bar, and for me personally it was nice to catch up with some of my old rugby colleagues.
Mike delivered a funny yet emotional speech and the party was simply a fitting way to finish off what was a wonderful few weeks for Mike Becky & Freddie. But I'll save those images for another post!!