Paramedic Paige Stride and Police Officer Rob Wilkins have been gifted a dream wedding worth £20k by Regent’s Conferences & Events, following a campaign to recognise the UK’s incredible key workers.
The picturesque wedding venue, which is based in the heart of London by Regent’s Park, was keen to give something back after thousands of couples have been faced with inimitable disruption this year when trying to plan their dream days.
After hundreds of humbling accounts from couples around the country, Regent’s faced the difficult decision of choosing just one winner. A final shortlist of four worthy couples culminated in the decision to offer the wedding to Paige and Rob, and 100 guests of their choice next summer.
The couple have been working to protect London’s streets throughout the pandemic, Paige as a Paramedic with the London Ambulance Service where she’s worked for the past five years, and Rob as a London Police Officer where he’s given seven years of service. The two met on the job during an emergency call out three years ago and have balanced life alternating incredibly long and strenuous shifts on the front line ever since.
Upon receiving the news, Paige and Rob said: “It is frankly incredible to have won. We have both been blown away by the support shown by our friends, family and colleagues from across both the Police and Ambulance services. Winning and being recognised as deserving such an incredibly special venue for the day, we can’t believe we get to marry our soulmate so close to where we met, in front of all of our colleagues and family. It truly is the wedding we have both imagined in our minds before we were even engaged. To see a team like Regent’s recognise and appreciate two emergency services and the (sometimes) thankless job we do has honestly filled our hearts with so much happiness – we’re on the verge of bursting!
“Working on the frontline this year has been a challenge, while it has been incredibly tough, it has also brought out the best in us and society at large in many ways, from looking after our neighbours to clapping for the NHS. We have all worked hard to support each other in ways we can. We have both worked insanely hard in order to protect and care for each other wherever we can, and we are so grateful to Regent’s for allowing us to celebrate our big day in a way we never otherwise would have been able to.”
On the decision to offer the wedding to Paige and Rob, Rafael Azzopardi, Conference and Events Manager at Regent’s said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer such a special gift to a truly deserving couple. It’s been fantastic to see the recognition and tributes to so many emergency workers, charities and hard working volunteers this year, but we wanted to find a way of giving back with a measurable thank you to a couple who particularly deserve it, and Paige and Rob are that couple. The team were very moved by all the stories that were recounted and the final decision was tougher than we’d imagined.
“The emotional and financial implications for many during COVID-19, as well as the physical ones, have been vast and we’re so excited to deliver the dream day for a lovely couple who have been let down by 2020 but have remained positive, committed and an honourable representation of the emergency services. We can’t wait to start planning!”
As part of the package, Paige and Rob will have grounds and marquee hire at the picturesque London venue with use of a secret garden, and three course wedding menu with drinks for up to 100 guests. The three runner up couples will also be offered a complimentary wedding planning service throughout their engagement process as a thank you for their hard work as remarkable key workers.