Bride defies mystery illness to walk down the aisle after planning wedding in just THREE weeks
For more than two years an unused bridal gown sat boxed away in a loft.
And after ill health forced Tom Willmott and his then-fiancée Kayleigh Harvey to cancel their wedding plans for a third time, the happy couple thought their big day would never happen - until three weeks ago.
Now the 27-year-old bride has defied a mystery illness to enjoy a whirlwind wedding at a unique Dereham location.
Mr Willmott, 30, first met his future wife at Northgate High School.
Friends for years, they started dating four-and-a-half years ago before getting engaged at the Spanish island Lanzarote in June 2016.
Mrs Willmott, owner of The Studios salon, bought her perfect wedding dress straight away but soon after began suffering from stomach pains and migraines which resulted in her collapsing in public and staying in hospital overnight.
Mr Willmott, who works in traffic management, said: “We cancelled three weddings and it devastated her each time. She didn’t want to get married with a possible dark cloud over her on her special day.
“We had to decide twelve weeks before each wedding if she was going to be well enough on the day or not. It was a nightmare.”
But their fortunes took a welcomed turn after Mrs Willmott spotted an unusual location in their beloved hometown.
“It was really important for us to get married in Dereham because it’s where we’re from,” she said. “I knew about this beautiful garden so we decided to approach the owners, who then said they were happy to let us use it as a venue.”
Owned by Graham and Sally Watts, Dale Farm opened its doors on Sunday August 26 to 44 guests of the couple.
The two-acre garden is known in the area for being part of the National Open Garden Scheme and boasts a large spring-fed pond and more than 1,000 plant species and varieties.
Mr Willmott added: “We are the first and only couple to ever get married there.
“It was brilliant.”
Mrs Willmott’s best friend, Naomi Davis, officiated the service and her 10-year-old daughter Elle Simpson gave a speech which “moved everybody to tears”. Mrs Willmott also has a five-year-old son Blake.
She added: “It wasn’t what I had originally planned but it ended up better than I could have imagined.”
The couple plan to honeymoon once Mrs Willmott receives a diagnoses following on-going tests.