Rusper couple, Emma and James O’Malley, had a unique way of supporting St Catherine’s Hospice on their wedding day - by hosting a bar in memory of the bride’s father.
Wanting to do something special to commemorate the memory of Emma’s father, Nevill, the couple asked their guests to give donations to St Catherine’s in exchange for drinks at ‘Nev’s Bar’ and raised an amazing £1,745.20.
In the lead up to their big day, Emma and James bought all their own drink for the bar and arranged for two friends to serve on the night.
The bar was open for the evening reception and was a big success, with guests digging deep to support St Catherine’s, who had cared for Nevill.
Explaining what inspired them to raise funds for the hospice on their wedding day Emma said: “I’d always wanted to do it after a friend of mine did something similar at her wedding. I thought it was a lovely idea. We had a barrel engraved and put up a picture explaining what we were doing to our guests. There were no formal drink prices so donations were just at our guests’ discretion.
“Dad died when I was 19 but the bar was a lovely touch for our family and a great way for me to acknowledge and bring him into my wedding even though he wasn’t around. I also carried a locket which had his picture in on my bouquet.”
She added: “We live next door to a village church and as James had proposed on Christmas day the previous year, we decided to have a winter wonderland themed wedding.
“We went away on honeymoon over Christmas and New Year to the Maldives and Sri Lanka which was amazing. We’re both really chuffed that we could raise money for such a worthy cause and would like to thank all our family and friends who donated to Nev’s Bar.”
The couple’s donation will make a real difference to St Catherine’s the patients there. It is enough to fund an entire day of day hospice services, which help patients through a range of wellbeing activities such as art and music therapy, exercise groups and peer to peer support groups.
For anyone wanting to support St Catherine’s on a special day, the charity has a specially designed In Celebration range of place cards and donation envelopes or can offer support with other plans of any size. For details go to www.stch.org.uk or call the fundraising team on 01293 447361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org