Wedding Day Fundraising
17th July 2018
Georgina offered to fundraise for us at her wedding instead of receiving wedding gifts. Georgina raised well over £500 on her special day, we would like to say a huge thank you to her and her wedding guests!
Georgina’s little lad Harry has autism as do her two cousins and a close friend. She said she wanted to support us and our work supporting families and adults with autism. She wanted the wedding to be autism friendly and said that Harry was really helpful in this.
We wanted to know more and asked Georgina a few questions about her wonderful day. She was also kind enough to send us some of her great wedding photos.
Please tell us a little about your wedding day, how did it go, how did you all feel?
Our wedding was everything and more we could have hoped for. We kept it very relaxed and all got ready at home. This helped the young children and Harry especially as we didn’t get married until 3pm so he had the morning to play and relax and get used to all the people being around. We were nervous of course but as we kept the wedding very chilled and informal the nerves were no where near as bad as they could have been!
Please tell us a little about your association with autism, why did you chose Autism West Midlands to fundraise for and how have you done this?
I got in touch with Autism West Midlands after finding you on the Internet. It was becoming obvious Harry had ASD and as it’s very new to me I needed help and advice. I had a meeting with a lovely lady that came to see me and the advice and support she gave me was so useful and I no longer felt so alone. I will be doing courses in the near future and hope to attend some coffee mornings. Autism West Midlands is a wonderful charity that helps so many people in so many different ways. They are invaluable to so many people and I couldn’t think of a better way to say thank you than by asking for donations instead of presents on our wedding day. We fundraised by setting up a just giving account and having collection boxes at our wedding party.
What would you say is your greatest challenge as a parent of a child with autism and what would you like to improve to help more?
I feel the greatest challenge to me as Harry’s Mum, is understanding! Having never been in this situation before I need to understand. Understand why Harry behaves, reacts and says the things he does. Understand that he is not being naughty, not doing things on purpose, that he is struggling and it is my job as his mum to understand why and to help him through. The melt downs are my biggest difficulty but we are managing and I will continue to learn the best way to do this for Harry. I think there just needs to be more openness and information out there to help parents and so that the general population understand Autism more and why people and children with ASD behave the way they do.
Did Harry enjoy the day, how does he feel about things?
Harry had a WONDERFUL day! There was no pressure put on him. We made sure that he had made several visits to the small church we were married in, also to the village hall where the party was held. He was surrounded by close friends and family and had the best day ever! He was allowed to shout out in the church no one cared! The vicar was also wonderful. He loved singing “He has the whole world in his hands” as one of the hymns. Although the best things about the day for Harry was the tractor and trailer we had as transport, the bouncy castle and slide and most definitely the food, as he was allowed to help himself to it when ever he wanted and we made sure there were prawn crackers, his favourite!
What tit-bit of advice would you like to share with other parents from you experiences?
Getting married and having a child with autism needn’t be stressful. Use social stories, involve the child as much or as little as they want. Visit the places they will be going if you can. The most important thing I think we did was put no pressure on Harry or my other guests with Autism. There were no sit down meals, no speeches where they “had to be quiet” they could do what they wanted and just enjoy the day. They had space to take themselves off and have a quiet moment if it was all getting too much. It worked!
We would like to thank Georgina and her husband for making such a personal donation to us.
Photos taken and supplied by Gabrielle Bower Photography.