Wigan couple get married in a hospital bed

Steph and James Goss at their wedding in a Croatian hospital
Steph and James Goss at their wedding in a Croatian hospital

A couple are enjoying the start of married life - even though their wedding did not quite go according to plan.

Steph and James Goss tied the knot in a hospital in Croatia, after disaster struck just two days before their dream wedding.

When we were waiting for the doctor to come, his foot was at a 90 degree angle

Steph Goss

They travelled to Croatia with 40 friends and relatives and planned to tie the knot in a 16th century palace in Dubrovnik.

They had spent £36,000 on the wedding and honeymoon, which they organised through Dubrovnik Luxury Weddings.

But while on a boat trip two days before the ceremony, James fell on concrete at a harbour and suffered a badly broken leg.

Steph, 30, said: “When he fell and was screaming, it was clear there was something majorly wrong.”

James was taken to the mainland by speedboat and then transported to the hospital by ambulance.

Steph said: “When we were waiting for the doctor to come, his foot was at a 90 degree angle.

“James kept saying to me, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry’.

“It was clearly not his fault, it was just an accident. He felt so awful and so guilty.”

James, 35, had broken the neck of his femur and needed emergency surgery.

With the wedding so close, the couple, who live in Up Holland, had to decide what to do.

Steph said: “I did contemplate cancelling, but then we thought of the bigger picture of all the people who had come over and how much money they had spent and the money we had spent on the wedding.

“We spoke to the wedding planners and the hospital and they said there was a chapel at the hospital, so that made it a little easier as James wasn’t under pressure to go somewhere he would be in a lot of pain. It was easier for him to go downstairs in a bed than leave the hospital and go in a wheelchair.

“We couldn’t have done it without the wedding planners. We owe them everything.”

James was taken to the chapel in his bed and did not have any painkillers so he would remember the wedding.

After spending the morning getting ready with her mother and bridesmaids, sister Lisa Whittaker and friend Fiona Campbell - and cancelling their honeymoon in Bora Bora - Steph went to the ceremony.

She said: “It was so emotional. I was walking down the aisle and couldn’t stop crying. Everyone was tearing up.”

The couple, who had been together for seven years, were officially declared husband and wife.

After the service, their guests went on a boat cruise, while Steph and James stayed at the hospital.

Steph later joined the guests at the wedding reception and had her first dance with her father.

The wedding planners took one of the meals from the reception to James and Steph returned to the hospital to spend the night there.

Steph said: “In hindsight we definitely made the best decision overall. Cancelling it would have been really upsetting and we would have had to plan something else that wouldn’t have been the same.

“James was glad as well because he had bought me a watch with the date engraved on it.”

James spent seven days in the hospital, before being flown back to the UK by air ambulance and taken to Wigan Infirmary.

The couple held a wedding reception in Liverpool and James was able to give a speech and celebrate.

He is now recovering at home, but it could be months before he is back to full fitness,

The couple are looking to the future after a tough 12 months.

Last year, James became ill, lost three stones and had jaundice.

Doctors diagnosed him with stomach cancer, saying he had just two months left to live. But five weeks later, more tests found he did not have cancer.

While James has recovered now, tests are still being carried out to find out what was wrong.

Now they are married, they are looking forward to making fresh plans for a honeymoon once James is fully mobile.

And despite having to change their wedding plans, Steph says she has no regrets.

“I got to marry my best friend at the end of the day, no matter how we did it.”