“We couldn't believe how kind people were being”: Strangers pay for couple’s wedding after groom is diagnosed with terminal cancer

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Amy Lewis
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One couple from Manchester have been left overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, after receiving incredible donations towards their wedding day.

Laura and Steven Monks got engaged in 2013, just three months after having their daughter Lydia. And after forming a three-year plan, they decided to put off getting married to save for a house instead.

But last October, Steven was diagnosed with bowel and liver cancer. Despite an operation to remove his bowel and chemotherapy treatment, in April this year doctors sadly told the couple that Steven’s condition is terminal.

“As soon as Steven was diagnosed with cancer we knew we wanted to get married straightaway. We all wanted to have the same name and we wanted to be proper family,” says Laura.

“We were saving up to buy a house. We'd saved quite a bit towards the deposit. We just wanted a home to call our own before we got married, but everything changed when we got Steven's diagnosis.”

The couple were told about charity Gift of a Wedding by a Macmillan nurse, and got in touch straight away.

The charity specialises in helping couples who are facing terminal or life-shortening illness get married quickly, by asking wedding suppliers and members of the public to help with donations.

“Gift of a Wedding put a post about us on their Facebook page and within a matter of days dozens of people came forward offering to donate things towards our big day,” says the Laura.

“We had a magician, candy cart, cupcakes, the venue dressing, a DJ, a florist, chocolate, favours, photography, invitations, videography, my wedding dress, seating plan and name cards, hair, make up and nails, wedding cake, a professional singer all gifted to us, as well as a string quartet, a ring cushion, a toastmaster, a photobooth.”

“We couldn't believe how kind strangers were being.”

The couple got married on Friday in a city venue near their home in Manchester, surrounded by their family and friends.

Among the people who helped to make the event a success was wedding photographer Steve Grogan, who photographed the entire day for free.

“Steven is currently on palliative care and we don't know what the future holds,” says Laura. “But the kindness of strangers made our day completely unforgettable.”

All images: Steve Grogan Photography. For more information see

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Amy Lewis

Amy Lewis is a freelance writer and editor, a lover of strong tea, equally strong eyebrows, a collector of facial oils and a cat meme enthusiast. She covers everything from beauty and fashion to feminism and travel.