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Couple renew wedding vows after 70 years

When two residents at Mais House decided to renew their vows on their platinum wedding anniversary, our staff went above and beyond to make it happen.

On the 30 April, Brian and Barbara, two residents at our care home in East Sussex, renewed their wedding vows as a part of their platinum wedding anniversary. 

Family, friends, the local mayor and priest, and a letter from the Queen, were all in attendance to witness the heart-warming scene. 

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Renewing their vows

Brian and Barbara came to Mais House together, and share a room. As a part of their 70th wedding anniversary, they decided they would like to renew their vows.

Renewing their vows

Brian and Barbara came to Mais House together, and share a room. As a part of their 70th wedding anniversary, they decided they would like to renew their vows.

As soon as their wish had been expressed, staff in the care home set to making it a reality

Unfortunately, both have suffered recent strokes, and Barbara is displaying the early signs of dementia. 

Throughout the day of the renewals, the care staff therefore took it upon themselves to remind Barbara of their decision. She responded with the same surprised excitement each time. 

Once under the arbour and prompted to recite the vows they made in 1949, though, there was no stopping them.

At times, they spoke the words from memory as though they’d first spoken them yesterday. 

“These events are meaningful for the residents involved and celebrate their lives.”

Lee Owen

Head of Activities at Mais House

Other residents joked with the younger staff members about the rarity of long-lasting relationships “nowadays”. 

The service was followed by a champagne reception and – perhaps a first for our care homes – a dance contest between a priest and a Frank Sinatra impersonator. 

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Brian and Barbara celebrate with the local mayor

The kitchen staff pulled out all the stops too, producing a spread of canapés for residents and guests. 

“These events are meaningful for the residents involved and celebrate their lives”, Lee Owen, Head of Activities at Mais House said. 

“Brian and Barbara were over the moon with how the day went as they were able to reminisce with their family and friends. 

“Fred, who celebrated his 105th birthday the day after, said it made him feel proud to be a part of The Royal British Legion.”

“The work that goes into making a day like this possible is truly humbling”, added Giada Ciccozzi, who was in attendance to help set up decorations for the day. 

“Alongside planning and running the service, the staff were preparing for a 105th birthday on the following day. And that’s on top of caring for all the 40 residents they have in the home”. 

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