Efforts of bride and staff ensures Dad is part of special day

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New bride Katie Beckett with her parents Warwick and Helen (front), Monsignor Kerry Bayada and her husband. [Source: Calvary Care]

It is devastating when an older loved one can’t make a big family celebration due to mobility issues, illness or being in an aged care home but this bride wasn’t walking down the aisle without her father there to witness it. 

Luckily for new bride Katie Beckett and her family, staff at her father’s home at Sydney’s Calvary Ryde Aged Care and Retirement Community shared the same “can do” attitude and helped ensure she could bring her wedding to her father. 

Mrs Beckett’s father Warwick has had several health battles over the years and the family knew getting to another venue would be too difficult for him, so they set about bringing the wedding to him.

“We wanted Dad involved right from the beginning,” she said.

The wedding was the first held in the on-site St Margaret’s Chapel and getting Warwick to the chapel was a process that started long before the big day. Staff helped him do many practice runs so he felt ready and comfortable. It was also extra motivation for him to push himself and tick off some personal goals.

“Elizabeth and the other pastoral carers, along with Dad’s care team, worked endlessly to make sure Dad had the opportunity to attend Mass on Tuesdays leading up to the wedding,” Mrs Beckett said.

“This allowed him to get into a routine of getting out of bed, dressed and travelling down to the chapel, and to become accustomed to the process […] There was a lot of perseverance. I think it’s a testament to the relationship Elizabeth has with Dad that they were able to do it.”

Other residents at the home also got to be a part of the day, watching the wedding live-streamed and raising a glass at a special reception held at the home afterwards for the happy couple and proud parents Warwick and his wife Helen.

Alongside decorating the chapel, Mrs Beckett and her family catered the reception, provided champagne and flowers, and a wedding cake to share.

Mrs Beckett said, “It was the all-around special day that we always hoped for. It was all just meant to be.”

The ceremony was officiated by retired priest Monsignor Kerry Bayada – the same priest who married Ms Beckett’s parents more than 50 years ago and who now lives in retirement at Calvary Ryde.

“It was amazing to have Monsignor Bayada officiate, and it was so special knowing that he actually married my parents back in 1970! The bonus is that Dad now attends Mass with Monsignor Bayada each Tuesday, which he enjoys very much,” Mrs Beckett said.

“Our wedding day was the perfect day, and we were so lucky to be able to get married with Dad there, happy and relaxed and well-supported. It means a lot.”

Have any residents’ families held a special event at your facility? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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