Devoted Burnley mum secretly paid for her daughter's wedding before her death
A bride to be, who is preparing to tie the knot next month, was stunned to discover that her mum had paid for her wedding before she died.
Sylvia Sturdy worked in secret with a close friend of her daughter Sam Allison's to pay for her wedding dress, bridesmaids' gowns, reception, flowers and even the suit worn by the bridegroom!
"I went to pay for things for the wedding and kept receiving emails to say it was all paid for, " said Sam.
"I couldn't understand what was going on until my friend told me what my beautiful mum had done for me.
"She had been sworn to secrecy all this time."
Following yesterday's announcement about the delay in he easing of restrictions due to Covid-19, Sam is going ahead with her wedding as planned at Burnley Register Office on Saturday, July 17th which is also her 40th birthday.
But instead of a reception she will throw a 40th party at her home in Padiham and hopes to hold a full wedding do at Lowerhouse Cricket Club on Saturday, August 7th, if restrictions are fully lifted by then.
Sam was due to tie the knot with her fiance, Dave Graham, on her birthday last year but in February her 66-year-old mum was given the devastating news that she had terminal lung cancer and six months to live
Sam, who works at Burnley's Iceland store, said: "The first thing my mum asked the consultant when he gave her the news was if she would be here to see me get married, it was just heartbreaking."
Determined to make sure Sam shared her big day with her mum the couple tried to bring the wedding forward but lockdown happened and put paid to those plans.
Sam said: "It was then that my friend, Kala Reeve, suggested a wedding blessing at home in the garden so that my mum could be there for the day.
"I spoke to Dave and he was all for it so that my mum could be there with us."
Even though it was a low key affair and the ceremony, carried out by a celebrant, did not mean the couple were legally married, it was a perfect day for Sam to share with her mum who died just two months later at the home in Burnley she shared with her long term partner, Kevin Teague and her pet Westie Billy boy.
Sam said: "It was a wonderful, perfect day and it also meant my mum got the chance to see me married which was something she wanted so much.
"For her it was our wedding day when I became Mrs Graham and that's all that mattered. She paid for the blessing and that's when she secretly started to pay for the wedding for this year too."
Also at the blessing were Sam's son Luke (15) who proudly walked his mum down the 'aisle' and her bridesmaids were skilled warehouse operator at Limitless Digital, Burnley, Dave's daughter Lucy who is 11 and her friends Vicky Dalrymple and Sam Gerrard. Paul Howard was the best man.
And a lovely photograph of Sylvia, taken on the day of the blessing, will be the centre-piece of the aisle at Sam and Dave's wedding next month.
Sam said: "It's a beautiful picture of my mum smiling at the blessing, it is such a great photograph.
"It will be a bittersweet day because my mum was my right hand man, my counsellor and my doctor when I was poorly.
"She was such an amazing lady, so kind and caring, she really was one of the best and I miss her everyday, more than words can say."