NHS worker who missed a big day during the pandemic was given a dream wedding at Edinburgh hotel
An NHS worker was finally able to enjoy her big day after the pandemic put an end to her dream wedding plans in Italy.
Thanks to a chain of luxury hotels, frontline worker Rebekah Brown and her fiancé James Smith, both from Fife, were finally able to wed in Edinburgh in an emotional ceremony.
Working in collaboration with the Operation Recovery project, the Apex Hotel chain wanted to thank NHS workers for all they have done during the pandemic by providing the opportunity to still have a dream wedding.
The couple, who were chosen from hundreds of applicants, were finally able to enjoy their big day in luxury Hotel Apex Waterloo Place in Edinburgh on Saturday June 11.
Rebekah, who is a specialist biomedical scientist working in the pathology department at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, returned to work at the start of the first lockdown after the birth of her second child.
She described the situation back at work as “terrifying” at the time and worried about how to keep her family safe.
Unfortunately, the pandemic also ended any plans for the couple to enjoy their dream wedding in Italy in September 2020.
“The restrictions meant we couldn’t be sure if the wedding would go ahead or not, but we held on as long as possible hoping we could get married,” Rebekah shared. “Ultimately, we had no choice but to call off the wedding in June 2020.
“With parents who had to come from all over the world, it just wasn’t going to work, but we were devastated.”
The now married couple, who have two children together, have been together for seven years and have been engaged since 2016.
Speaking about the wedding in Edinburgh, James added: “We were desperate to get married and share our love for each other with our family and friends. Apex Hotels made our dream wedding a reality and we don’t can’t thank them enough for giving us such a wonderful and memorable day.
“For that day, being in the city where we had our first date, Edinburgh, made it even more special.”
The luxury hotel chain offered James and Rebekah a complimentary full wedding package, including a three-course wedding breakfast, drinks, an evening buffet and upgraded accommodation for the wedding night.
Additionally, the couple received other wedding essentials from some of Apex’s trusted vendors, with the event digitally captured by Andy Hamilton Photography, flowers provided by Carolyn Designer Florist and the evening held in full swing. boom by Dougie Robertson of Buena Vista.
Piper James A Nicholl ensured the wedding had the right soundtrack on the big day too, while Apex’s own Food and Beverage Projects Manager Susan Reid specially designed the couple’s cake.
Apex Hotels Chief Commercial Officer Michael Stott explained that after hearing so many stories of sacrifice and hardship from NHS workers doing all they can to keep us safe during the pandemic, Apex Hotels wanted to say thank you.
They came up with the idea of giving five dream wedding packages to frontline NHS workers whose lives had been disrupted due to COVID and teamed up with Operation Recovery to make it happen.
Operation Recovery has worked with 20 of the hardest hit hospital trusts throughout the pandemic and provided holidays, overnight stays and experiences for over 1,000 NHS staff and their loved ones.
Mr Stott said: ‘I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Rebekah, a mother of two very young children, to have to go to work in a hospital every day in fear of bringing a life-threatening illness to her. family.
“To then have to cancel her dream wedding in Italy where she and James wanted to declare their love in front of family and friends. It must have been a rollercoaster of emotions for the couple over the past two years.
“I am absolutely thrilled that working with some great vendors, I was able to give them a fantastic wedding day that they will remember. Apex Hotels is a family business and family values are important to us. Rebekah and James truly deserved a wonderful family celebration and we are so glad we were able to make it a reality for them.
Founder of Operation Recovery, Rachel Sherwood was thrilled the couple were finally able to celebrate their big day in style.
She said: “It’s something we’ve been working on together for some time now and it’s wonderful to see it come to fruition.
“A very deserving couple will have lasting memories of a wonderful day and this is an incredibly special gift to give.”
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