Wales

Facebook pays for Caerphilly couple's £20,000 wedding

Emma Collins and Shaun Parsons
Image caption Shaun and Emma were engaged for 14 years before tying the knot on Saturday

A couple have got married after a friend's Facebook campaign raised £20,000 to pay for their wedding.

Emma Collins, 31, and Shaun Parsons, 38, from Abertridwr near Caerphilly, were engaged for 14 years but could not afford a big wedding.

When the couple lost a radio competition for a free wedding friend Jenee Gatehouse set up a Facebook group to appeal for help.

Donations ranged from rings, reception, stretch limo to the wedding cake.

Emma, who tied the knot on Saturday, said: "It was absolutely fantastic."

Teaching assistant Emma, 31, and truck driver Shaun, 38, got engaged on Emma's 17th birthday in 1996.

But the pair, parents to 13-year-old twins McCaulley and Paige and 10-year-old Chloe, could never afford the big wedding Emma had always wanted.

They even entered a radio competition for a free wedding and made it to the final.

Image caption Shaun and Emma were engaged for 14 years before tying the knot on Saturday

But when they were pipped into second place they were devastated.

Best friend Jenee Gatehouse said that when she decided to set up a group on the social networking website Facebook to raise funds for the couple to have their dream wedding.

'Dream wedding'

"I thought every girl should have her special day, so why not try and do it for Emma."

Donations flooded in from across the community including the offer of regency building Llancayo House near Usk, Monmouthshire as a reception venue.

Further donations included catering for the wedding, photography for the big day, the wedding cake, a stretch limo to ferry bride and groom on the day, a wedding DJ, disco and marquee.

Speaking to ITV's 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!"

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