Love was very much in the air at the borough’s hospice when a devoted couple pledged their love by tying the knot for a second time.
Derek and Joanne Hall got married again in a poignant ceremony at Wigan and Leigh Hospice (WLH) yesterday organised with the help of the charity’s staff and volunteers.
Derek has an inoperable brain tumour and the couple decided on the ceremony in the headquarters of the Oak Centre day service which has transformed their lives.
Joanne, 47, walked down the aisle in the chocolate-coloured gown she wore when they first married almost 12 years ago.
She was accompanied by Derek’s dad, also called Derek, while the groom, 48, stood alongside his mum Sheila.
Joanne said: “It’s been the most amazing day of my life. It felt so special and this time around I feel can actually enjoy and savour the day.
“I can’t even find the words to describe how I’m feeling. I’m so grateful to everyone who has contributed to today. I can’t say thank you enough for the work everyone has put in.
“It has meant everything having it here. It’s like a home from home – we drive into the car park and it’s like a big hug.”
Derek said: “Last night I was nervous, I watched a film last night to chill out and then when I woke up this morning I was even more nervous!
“I’m feeling relieved and happy now the ceremony is over - it was better than our first wedding. It’s better because we are reaffirming our vows and there’s been such a happy buzz around – it’s been brilliant.
“I felt so lucky when I came in and saw the room and the decorations. It’s amazing what everyone has done. We are just two people but everyone has come together to make this happen, it’s like one big happy family.”
After the service a wedding breakfast of sandwiches from the hospice’s kitchen and a cake bought and decorated by an Oak Centre volunteer was served.
Derek and Joanne’s friends from the day service also provided bunting, wedding favours and decorations, while businesses donated blossom trees and wedding thrones.
The couple also enjoyed a donated evening in the bridal suite at the Greyhound Hotel.
Oak Centre manager Jacqui White said: “It was lovely seeing a couple on their special day and how many people came together to make it perfect for them.”