If you need a good, tear-jerking love story to get you through this hump day, get the Kleenex ready because this one has it all — a head-over-heels in love couple, a heartbreaking diagnosis, and a dream wedding thanks to the kindness of absolute strangers.
When Laura and Steven Monks became engaged in 2013, they came up with a three-year plan to save up for a family home and a wedding that would do justice to their 10-year-long love story. However, those plans were drastically derailed when Steven was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel and liver cancer.
"We didn't want anything grand and big. We just wanted a home to call our own. We wanted to do that before we got married but everything changed when we got Steven's diagnosis," Laura told the UK's Daily Mail. With the prognosis bleak and the fairytale future they had planned together together suddenly thrown into question, the couple fought hard through surgery and chemotherapy. But with the news that the cancer had become terminal, they knew that they wanted to tie the knot immediately. "As soon as Steven was diagnosed, we knew we wanted to get married straightaway," continued Laura. "We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be a proper family."
Stuck with little funds and little time, a nurse told the against-the-odds pair of a charity that organizes community donations to plan free-of-charge weddings to couples in similar heartbreaking circumstances. The organization, Gift of a Wedding, started planning a dream day for Laura and Steven almost immediately and the donations began pouring in. From a breathtaking dress being donated by a local bridal boutique, to a romantic string quartet, and memory-making professional photography and a photo booth, everything a bride and groom could every want was made possible for Laura and Steven.
Last Friday, the couple finally made their way down the aisle in a beautiful Manchester hotel. And with their three-year-old daughter serving as flower girl, Laura and Steven finally became husband and wife in a ceremony that wouldn't have been if not for the kindness of total strangers.
"Steven is currently on palliative care and we don't know what the future holds," the bride said. "But the kindness of strangers made our day completely unforgettable."