A CHADDERTON couple have overcome all the hurdles put in front of them, including a last minute postponement, to finally tie the knot in a special service at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

Bride-to-be Donna Friar thought that she’d ticked all the boxes when she’d arranged to marry her partner Mark Davis, who was receiving pain management at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.

Turning up for her big day which she’d planned with the registrar that very morning, she was told that Mark was on strong pain relief and was not fit enough for his big day and his preference was to wait until the following week.

Donna, all set in her beautiful dress, walked away emotional but ready to plan the day again.

She said: “I was so disappointed at first and thought he didn’t want to marry me.”

That disappointment soon changed though as the couple tied the knot just a few days later, surrounded by their close family.

Second time round, in her white and pink floral dress, Donna had another worry that with the new Covid-19 rules she would have to choose between members of her close family to keep it to the rule of six, brought in on her actual wedding day, September 14, by the government.

However, with help from the hospice staff, who contacted Oldham Council, they confirmed that current Covid regulations for weddings state that 20 people are able to attend as long as it is outside and social distancing measures are observed.

Donna and Mark quickly contacted their family and friends to invite them along to their celebrations. Those unable to attend the service, were able to watch the ceremony via a live-stream link which was being monitored by staff nurse, Chloe.

Donna, 58, and Mark, 55, who have been together for 11 years, five of which they have been engaged, met in their local pub The Colliers Arms and became a happy couple thanks to the matchmaking skills of both their friends.

With Mark’s brother Andrew proudly walking his future sister-in-law down the aisle and their closest friends as the only named people allowed to physically be at the civil ceremony which took place inside Mark’s room at the Hospice, Donna Friar finally became Mrs Donna Davis.

Donna said: “It was such a magical day. Words can’t even describe the feeling, we can’t thank all the staff at Dr Kershaw’s enough for organising it for us and making it so special.”

Mark hailed the staff hospice who he said had been "fantastic".

He said: “I’ve been looked after so well since being here, the staff at Kershaw’s have been brilliant and have bent over backwards to help me and to make our day so special.”

Hospice nurse Beth Robinson, who has been caring for Mark, said: “Mark and Donna’s wedding day was a true example of what Dr Kershaw’s is all about, making patient’s wishes come true no matter how big or small.

"It was amazing to see how many people came together to pull off their special day, from the nurses and doctors, to the events team, maintenance team, florist, bakery and even our very own Dr Kershaw’s Shop who kindly lent our nurses fascinators so staff could look the part.

"I was privileged to be able to get so involved and to make it a day Mark and Donna could cherish forever (especially after being engaged for five years).”

Dr Kershaw’s sent a special thank you to Keira’s Wishes for funding their afternoon tea and decorations.

Bosses have also thanked the Oldham Registrars for fast-tracking the couple's civil ceremony, Sparkles Cakes for providing the wedding cake, Arundel Bakery for their support with a buffet and additional wedding cake and Sarah Jayne Floral Design for the brides beautiful bouquet.