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Bride gets married in pretend wedding at care home for her 95-year-old grandma

PUBLISHED: 07:38 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:38 22 September 2017

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

The Plymouth Herald

A bride-to-be has married her partner in a pretend wedding at a care home so her 95-year-old grandmother would be there for the celebrations.

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth HeraldHannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

Hannah Griffiths, who lives in Acle, is yet to organise her real wedding, which she wants to hold abroad, but said she would not want to get married without her grandmother, Ruby Higgs, being there.

The 35-year-old, and her partner James Leeming, said the version of their wedding at the Plymouth care home was the most important of the two as Mrs Higgs, who suffers from dementia, was able to share the special moment with them.

She told The Plymouth Herald: “She’s like a mum to me. She’s a huge part of my life, she played a big role in my upbringing, helping raise my sister and I when my parents divorced.

“That’s why we wanted to do this. I really wanted her to be a part of it because I realised the one person I wanted to be there would be the one person that wouldn’t be.

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth HeraldHannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

“We’re so close it’s going to be quite emotional.”

The wedding was complete with flowers and musicians and a care home assistant was given the pivotal role of marrying the pair.

Miss Griffiths, who was born in Plymouth but now works for a Norfolk housing group, included many special touches in the day for Mrs Higgs who she described as “her rock”.

“When I went travelling in my 20s I came back and the first thing she said to me was ‘are you engaged yet?’ So I knew she’d want to be there,” she said. “It’s so important to me so we wanted to make it really special.

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth HeraldHannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

“We ordered her favourite flowers - fuchsias, a violinist and a pianist.

“She used to be a ballet school pianist and we know that music sparks memories, so we’re hoping it’ll trigger some lovely memories for her.”

Mrs Higgs was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia six years ago. The condition changes personality and behaviour, also causing difficulties to speaking.

“On the good days she’s the person I remember but on bad days she is unrecognisable to me,” said Miss Griffiths.

Hannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth HeraldHannah Griffiths and James Leeming get married at a Plymouth care home in front of her grandmother Ruby Higgs. Picture The Plymouth Herald

Krystelle Abbott, who married the couple, added: “We just wanted Ruby to feel included and wanted them to be able to share their special day with everyone.

“It’s a big thing for us, we had never done anything like this before.”

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