Couple marry in surprise wedding ceremony arranged by hospital staff

Newly-wed Helen is currently under-going end-of-life care and had planned to get married in May.

Ian Snug
23 April 2019
Wedding at Nottingham Hospital

More than 30 relatives attended the wedding ceremony, many changing plans last minute to attend.

A patient and her partner were married in a surprise wedding ceremony held at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) earlier this month.


The couple, who have been together for three years and were planning to get married in May, were married at 11am on Friday 12 April in a surprise ceremony organised by staff on Loxley Ward at Nottingham City Hospital.

Newly-wed Helen has been a patient on the ward for two weeks is currently under-going end-of-life care.

Helen said: “It was a truly wonderful day. I can’t believe how beautiful the room was and many of my family and friends made it to the ceremony at such short notice, some even travelled from London.”

One of the staff on Loxley Ward has a friend who owns a wedding dress shop and decided she wanted to offer her services. She visited the ward the night before the big day to take the bride’s measurements – working through the night to make sure the dress was ready in time for the ceremony.


‘A fantastic celebration of life’.

More than 30 relatives attended the wedding ceremony, with many changing plans last minute to attend.

Debbie Raffle, Sister on Loxley Ward, and her team helped decorate and prepare the ward ahead of the ceremony. She said: “It was an absolutely lovely day for everyone involved. Our staff pulled out all the stops to make this a really special occasion and it is a fantastic celebration of life. On Thursday evening, staff spent the majority of the morning gathering whatever we could to transform the day room and patient’s dining room into the surprise wedding venue.”

The ward staff also put on a small buffet for the visiting relatives and Tesco in Carlton kindly donated decorations, cups and cutlery for the big day.

Debbie added: “It has been a truly magical day for all those involved and is a fantastic celebration of life. This is a memory that will stay in my heart for a long time. Days like this are a reminder of what a privileged position we are in and how proud we are to be able to touch patient’s lives.”


Sharon Dickinson, Head of Midwifery at NUH said: “It was a really inspirational and lovely ceremony for the patient, relatives and staff on the ward. I am very proud of the team who went the extra mile to ensure Helen and her husband Rob had a lovely day.”

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments