HALFWAY through chemotherapy for aggressive breast cancer, Evelynn Wilkie knew that one thing would give her the strength to get through it – the wedding she’s always wanted.
When she married her childhood sweetheart David, when she was just 19, the pair were on a shoestring budget, but always wanted to have a big white blessing when they could afford it.
But because of personal heartache and tragedy, the pair had to postpone the big white wedding blessing of their dreams for 22 years, until September 8 this year.
Now, though it’s just a fortnight away, that dream wedding has turned into a nightmare because the couple’s wedding supplier, Brides of Portsmouth, has gone bust.
As reported in The News yesterday, the shop has ceased trading
Evelynn, 41, and David, 43, fear they will be left without a wedding dress, five suits, flowers, photographer, cake, veil and car. But they are determined to go ahead with the blessing.
Evelynn, who lives with David and their son Josh in Emanuel Street, Buckland, said: ‘We had our package with Brides of Portsmouth, and when we had to postpone it, we just rolled it over.
‘We spent about £2,600 on it, and my husband worked so hard for all of that money.
‘We only found out what happened on Monday when we went for a fitting for Lisa my sister, who’s my bridesmaid, and it was all closed up.’
Evelynn was originally supposed to have the service on her 15th wedding anniversary, but her father suffered a stroke so it was postponed until the 20th anniversary in 2010.
But tragedy struck again when her brother, Lee Warren, who was 36 at the time and suffered from cerebral palsy, was taken seriously ill.
He died in November last year.
Evelynn said: ‘I’m determined to go through with this now because of my dad, and especially my brother, who was such a fighter.
‘I’ve had a mastectomy, I’m halfway through chemo, and it was this wedding that was keeping me going.
‘I’m a very positive person, and I get my inspiration from my dad and my brother.
‘We’re going to get a photographer somehow, and our first picture is going to be outside Brides of Portsmouth, just to show them what’s what!’
Evelynn and David’s tale is one of romance.
They met when Evelynn was a sweet 16-year-old girl, and fell in love.
Three years later they decided they wanted desperately to get married and start a family.
They had no money, but were determined, in Evelynn’s words, to do it ‘properly’ in a church, and they chose the Church of the Holy Spirit on Fawcett Road, Fratton, with just two witnesses.
That church will be the venue for their blessing.