This Morning Wedding
Paul Brough and his fiancée Sonya Keating on why they won’t let MS stop them from having their dream wedding on This Morning
Thurs / ITV
Holly and Phillip are about to make Sonya Keating and Paul Brough’s dreams come true by arranging a lavish ceremony to be shared with the nation.
Paul Brough and Sonya Keating were destined to be together. The devoted couple from Liverpool met almost 40 years ago at nursery, aged three, before getting together nearly two decades later after their families became next-door neighbours.
Last year, however, their perfect life with son James, 12, and Natasha, 25, Sonya’s daughter from a previous relationship, changed forever when ex-forklift truck driver Paul, 42, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It drastically altered the pair’s long-held plans to get married.
‘We got engaged at 21 and were saving up, but in 2011 I had an ovarian cyst and took a year off work so our funds went on bills. At 40, we got engaged again but then Paul got MS, so things were put on hold,’ says healthcare assistant Sonya, 42. ‘Now, because we’ve been together so long, we want to face Paul’s illness as man and wife.’
Thankfully, those old romantics at This Morning stepped in to make their dreams come true and, a few weeks ago, hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby surprised Sonya and Paul with the news that they would be getting married live on the show. The ceremony, which will feature in Thursday’s edition of the daytime show, will take place at a top-secret London venue and every aspect of Paul and Sonya’s big day has been arranged for them. While Gok Wan is working on Sonya’s wedding dress (see below), chef Phil Vickery will oversee the food and Phil and Holly will be guests of honour.
‘I still can’t believe it and I can’t thank everyone enough,’ smiles Paul. ‘After everything that has happened, this just came at the right time. It takes a huge weight off our shoulders and there will be lots of exciting surprises.’
‘We probably would have got married somehow, but not in this way, which is how every little girl dreams her wedding will be,’ adds Sonya. ‘They are organising everything for us and Gok’s design team has a picture of a dress that I’ve always had in my mind so I know that is going to be lovely, but just seeing those rings on our fingers will be so special.’
Despite Paul’s condition, the couple hope that he’ll be able to walk his bride down the aisle with James as his best man and Natasha as Sonya’s maid of honour.
‘Our goal is that Paul doesn’t have to use his crutches and This Morning has said they will do everything they can to help him,’ says Sonya, who’s thrilled that they can share their nuptials with the nation.
‘It’s lovely that all of our friends and neighbours can watch us on television and I’ve already had many Facebook messages from people I don’t even know, wishing us well.’
But will there be any nerves about getting hitched in front of millions of viewers?
‘I’ll be nervous until the moment that I see Sonya walking towards me,’ beams Paul. ‘Then I know those nerves will disappear because hearing her say “I do” is all I’ve ever wanted.’
Guests of honour… Holly