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A fake wedding at a Redditch supported living facility has united its residents after many months of being locked down.

On Wednesday 29th September, residents from St David’s House and Queens Cottages, in Batchley, came together to celebrate romance and fairy tales as tenants Maureen and Vernon - sort of - tied the knot.

Maureen Buttery and Vernon Haden “became a couple” earlier this year and after noticing their flowering friendship, St David’s Activity and Engagement Coordinator, Gill Talbot, joked that they should have a pretend wedding.

Gill said: “I never thought that my suggestion would be taken seriously. Four weeks later the couple had their dreams come true!”

The ‘wedding’ was pulled together in the record time of just four weeks with Gill calling on a small army of local businesses and members of the community to lend or donate wedding related goods and services including: table decorations, wedding cupcakes, wedding cake, flowers, balloon arch, red carpet, bridal bouquet and much more.

Maureen and Vernon also enjoyed the typical pre-wedding activities with their friends, as St David’s hosted a hen party and a stag do for each.

On the wedding day, family members, along with 42 of the tenants from St David’s were in attendance. Tenants dressed for the occasion and a number wore hats lent by the care team.

The bridal party included a member of the care team, suited and booted, to give the bride away, two tenants and a care team leader as bridesmaids, another tenant was the vicar and the Scheme Manager Steven Horton was Best Man.

At the reception, guests were entertained by Singer Kelly Taylor, the great granddaughter of another tenant, and Saxophonist Carole-Ann Hartells.

Later there was party music courtesy of DJ Rolie Slater – another tenant - which got everyone singing and dancing the night away.

Bride Maureen said: “It was one of the happiest days that I have had for a very long time - it has been a tough 18 months for us all at St David’s. I wanted everyone to have a fabulous time, lots of fun and a good old knees up, and we certainly did that. I would also like to thank all of the staff here at St David’s for their continued support.”

Gill added: “Congratulations to Maureen and Vernon! We’ve had a fantastic time planning and hosting a mock wedding and all the other activities that come with that. It’s brought excitement and fun to our tenants and is still being talked about. We are very proud that we were able to do this for our tenants and celebrate something positive.”

Portfolio Holder for Housing Services, Cllr Craig Warhurst, said: “Covid has given us all a greater appreciation of what is important in our lives – human contact, friendship, fun, celebrating even the smallest things. The tenants and staff at St David’s should be so proud of their positivity and resilience after such a difficult time. They are role models for us all, and I wish the happy couple many years of friendship.”

Go here for more information about St David’s House and Queens Cottages.