A couple have got married after a Facebook campaign raised £20,000 to fund their wedding.
Emma Collins, 31 and Shaun Parsons, 38, from Abertridwr near Caerphilly, were engaged for 14 years as they could not afford a big wedding. The couple entered a radio competition for a free wedding, but they were left devastated when they were pipped to the post and finished second.
Truck driver Shaun proposed to teaching assistant Emma on her 17th birthday in 1996. However, the pair who are parents to twins McCaulley and Paige, 13 and 10 year old Chloe, could never afford the wedding they had always wanted.
After seeing the couple’s upset at losing the competition, best friend Jenee Gatehouse set up a Facebook page for the couple which appealed for help. “I thought every girl should have her special day, so why not try and do it for Emma,” Jenee told BBC News.
Soon donations flooded in from across the community. Contributions ranged from rings to the wedding cake, from a stretch limo to the 500 capacity wedding venue. Other donations included a wedding DJ, disco and marquee.
The couple recently appeared on ITV’s show Daybreak, the new Mrs Parsons said: “I’ve always wanted the big dream wedding, a Christmas wedding, a big dress. It was perfect. I keep signing Emma Collins and it’s meant to be Emma Parsons now!”