The morning of May 19th boded well as the sun smiled down not only for the Royal wedding of Harry and Meghan at Windsor, but also for Cumbrian couple Darren and Nicola whose journey to this day had been nothing short of a tale of triumph overcoming adversity. Their amazing story had begun a few years earlier when they had met in the Boots store Carlisle where Darren worked as a security guard. A friendship ensued with a first date following in due course which was held at Barton’s Yard bar at the Halston Aparthotel Carlisle, a venue that would also be the place Darren chose to propose to Nicola a year later, and again the hotel playing host as the place they would pledge their commitment to each other in their recent marriage ceremony.
Nicola’s life seemed to be panning out quite nicely when on March 4th 2015, the unthinkable happened – Nicola was taken ill very suddenly as she walked to her place of work at the Iceland store on Lowther Street Carlisle. She developed a crippling headache and violent sickness out of the blue and – clearly unwell – heeded the advice of her manager to leave work and get home as quickly as possible. Nicola decided to call in en route home to see her mother Margaret who works at Chivers Sports on Abbey Street, but on arrival there, Nicola’s condition had deteriorated and with her vision clouding and pain in her back and legs, her quick thinking mother rang a doctor immediately.
On the Doctor’s advice, Nicola was driven by her mother and Aunt straight to the Cumberland Infirmary where she was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage caused by a ruptured blood vessel. She required emergency surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where surgeons set about repairing the bleed by sealing off the area with a titanium coil. The operation was a success but the ordeal took its toll on Nicola who initially had to take eight months off work to recuperate physically and also come to terms emotionally with having had to face such a traumatic near death experience.
During this worrying point of her life, while she was visiting the Boots store on a regular basis to see her sister Louise who worked there, fate intervened and she met Darren who has been her rock ever since. Nicola remembers that it was a love at first sight scenario and felt an instant connection with the man who would first become a firm friend and then her husband and soulmate. With Darren at her side, Nicola has tackled the post-traumatic stress that ensued after such a life-changing illness, and together – with Darren’s understanding and down to earth nature peppered with a great sense of humour – they have moved forward from a very dark time of Nicola’s life to a future filled with hope and excitement.
The aftermath of suffering such a major health scare has left Nicola with a constant reminder as she continues to be subject to daily headaches and fatigue, but with Darren as her constant companion, she feels she has become a stronger and more positive person than she ever was. Her wedding to Darren has just crystallised what was clearly a very special relationship, and she muses that from being in a “most horrendous, dark place in my life and struggling through it … Darren came along, and made everything brighter”. As for the date of the wedding, that seems to be extra special too, as not only was it the date of the Royal wedding, although the couple had chosen the date well before the Royal couple announced they had also plumped for the 19th, but also the day of the F A Cup Final and with Nicola and Darren both being avid Manchester United fans there was excitement in imagining their favourite team battle it out with Chelsea! As Nicola says, “I suppose we’ll never forget our anniversary!”
The weather decided to pull a blinder for such a special union, and the couple were able to have photographs taken at various locations inside the Halston and at the rear in the garden area, as well as some romantic “together” shots opposite, outside Carol’s Boutique where the bride purchased her dress, and near Carlisle courts.
Have a look at some of their images from this epic day, including the first wedding car for the groom breaking down, but being quickly replaced so he could get to the hotel on time. If you would like me to photograph your wedding day please contact me
Wedding Planner – Emma slack events manager of The Halston
Florist – Vandella flowers
Makeup – Sue Mckluskey from Estée Lauder boots carlisle,
Hair – Becci from Craft hair and beauty
Cake Company – Claire Losh
DJ – Steve McKnight top disc dj services
Catering Company Name – The Halston
Dress – Carol’s Bridal Boutique
Second Photographer – Gail Caddy