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As part of a partnership with Operation Recuperation, Apex Hotels have gifted five NHS workers the wedding of their dreams as a thank you for their hard work and sacrifices during the pandemic.
The third NHS wedding took place at the luxury Apex City of Bath Hotel in August. Lara Jeanes and Sam Gilks were chosen from hundreds of applicants to have their dream day realised. After Sam proposed in 2019, the couple were looking forward to spending the year planning and saving for their big day in 2020. However, as Covid-19 hit, junior doctor Lara was deployed to an intensive care unit where she was treating the sickest patients. “I’ve never been in a situation like that before,” she says. “My job was to put people on ventilators to keep them alive and support their organs and my everyday shifts were 12 hours long, which meant I’d be wearing PPE for up to eight hours a day. That’s eight hours where I couldn’t eat, drink or go to the bathroom. It was exhausting.” To make matters worse for the couple, the pandemic meant their 13-month-old daughter Sienna couldn’t go to nursery and so Sam, who worked in food operations, had to quit his job to care for her. “Instead of saving for a wedding, we were suddenly reduced to one income,” he says.
Apex Hotels treated Lara and Sam to a complimentary wedding package, including a three-course wedding breakfast in one of the hotel’s stunning suites, with drinks, evening buffet and upgraded wedding-night accommodation in their luxury rooms. The couple also had full access to the hotel’s relaxing spa facilities so they could fully unwind before the big day. The ceremony itself took place at the historical Roman Baths, which is mere moments away from the hotel. Lara and Sam said their vows beside the torch- lit steaming waters, which was exactly the outdoor wedding they dreamed of.
To complete the day, the pair were gifted other wedding essentials from some of Apex’s trusted suppliers. The whole event was beautifully captured by Jay Rowden Photography, flowers were provided by The Painted Flower, and Celebration Roadshow made sure the evening party was kept in full swing. Lara was made to look picture perfect thanks to make-up artist Lisa Caldognetto Bridal and hair stylist DM Hairdressing. Meanwhile, the botanical-themed wedding cake was especially designed and made for the occasion by The Gorge Bakehouse.
Find out more about tying the knot at Apex City of Bath Hotel www.apexhotels.co.uk/destinations/bath/apex-city-of-bath-hotel