A bride-to-be staged a ‘fake’ wedding for her dementia suffering gran at her care home – as she was too ill to attend the real thing.
Hannah Griffiths, 35, who is still planning her actual big day wedding with partner James Leeming, put on the special ceremony 95-year-old Ruby Higgs.
Hannah and James were ‘married’ at the Hartley Park Care Home in Plymouth, Devon, by a care assistant.
Hannah – who described Ruby as her ‘rock’, wore her full white wedding dress and the couple were surrounded by flowers and musicians.
The couple even said it was the most important of the two ceremonies they will have as Ruby could share it with them.
Hannah, who was born in Plymouth but now lives in Norfollk, said: “She’s like a mum to me.
“She’s a huge part of my life, she played a big role in my upbringing, helping raise my sister and I when my parents divorced.
“That’s why we wanted to do this. I really wanted her to be a part of it because I realised the one person I wanted to be there would be the one person that wouldn’t be.
“We’re so close it’s going to be quite emotional.”
She added: “When I went travelling in my 20s I came back and the first thing she said to me was ‘are you engaged yet?’
“So I know she’d want to be there.
“It’s so important to me so we wanted to make it really special. We ordered her favourite flowers – fuchsias, a violinist and a pianist to be there.
“She used to be a ballet school pianist and we know that music sparks memories, so we’re hoping it’ll trigger some lovely memories for her on the day.”
Hannah, who works for a housing group, said husband-to be James fully understood the situation.
She said Ruby, who was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia six years ago, has good days and bad days.
Hannah added: “On the good days she’s the person I remember but on bad days she is unrecognisable to me.”
Care assistant Krystelle Abbott, who married the couple in the fake wedding, said: “We just want Ruby to feel included and want them to be able to share their special day with everyone.
“It was a big thing for us as we had never done anything like this before.
“We just think it’s really valuable and worthwhile as the majority of our residents were there too – we were all really excited.”