An 85-year-old has married his 91-year-old sweetheart at his care home after dating – for 26 YEARS.
Peter Smirles and Jean Robson’s nuptials kept being postponed because of the pandemic.
But as his health began to deteriorate just after Christmas his doctor advised the ceremony should happen sooner rather than later.
It finally took place at The Cedars care home in Purton, Wiltshire after a licence was granted by the county’s superintendent registrar.
Peter, who has been dating Jean for 26 years after a previous divorce, said: “What can I say but I love her?”
Amy Thorne, manager of The Cedars, contacted Wiltshire’s superintendent registrar Sarah Bradley who secured a special license for the wedding to take place within the home.
The care home then worked with Jean and her daughters Alison Buckland and Susan Wyths to ensure a ceremony to remember and COVID-safe wedding took place.
On Tuesday, February 23 the blushing bride walked up the aisle and said ‘I do’. The marriage was witnessed by Alison and Susan.
Peter’s daughter and granddaughter also joined on Skype from their home in Norway.
The new Mrs Smirles said: “It was lovely that so many people put in so much effort to make sure this could happen.
“We have been planning this for so long but it seemed it might never happen.
“Peter actually first proposed to me about 25 years ago but I said ‘why rush’ and then it never seemed to happen.
“Amy and her team have been so good to make this happen, and The Cedars looked lovely today.”
Both Peter and Jean have lived in Purton for a long time and are well known through Jean’s job as a teacher and Peter’s as a dental surgeon.
Jean’s daughter Alison said: “It has been hard on my mum and Peter, but I can’t thank Amy and Sarah enough for making this happen.
”It means so much to my mum and to the whole family.”
Care home manager Amy Thorne says they were even able to get Peter’s bubble together and have a stag do in the home the night before.
Amy said: “I only started as manager here at The Cedars in January and this was about the first thing I was asked to do and we have been delighted to make sure it goes ahead.
“We managed to get Peter’s bubble together and have a beer or two for a stag do the night before as well.
“The organisation of the wedding has been challenging but we worked through the risk assessments and with our infection control experts to make sure that it was as safe as it could be.”
All visitors to the home had to take a lateral flow test and wear full personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.