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Journalist duo ask for charity funds in place of wedding gifts

A journalist and her ex-reporter partner have raised hundreds of pounds for charity – by asking for donations rather than gifts on their wedding day.

Sarah Nicholls, chief reporter of the Times & Star in Workington, Cumbria, married Gary Moore at Gretna Green earlier this month.

And the wedding raised almost £2,000 for Cancer Research UK after the couple decided to mark the memory of former colleague Howard Milton, who lost his battle with the illness in May 2011 aged just 31.

Sarah’s father had also died as a result of cancer and, as they both had other relatives and friends affected by the disease, they decided to do something to help the cause.

“Howard’s death at such a young age touched a lot of people, not least the many people who had worked with him,” said Sarah, aged 28, who has now changed her surname to Moore.

Sarah and Gary Moore raised cash for charity with their wedding by asking for donations instead of gifts. Picture courtesy of

“We were conscious that, as someone of a similar age to us, he had been robbed of the chance to experience the joy of getting married and all the other things we have still got to come in our lives.

“There were other people too who had been important in our lives who could not be with us as we celebrated our wedding and we were keen to make sure they were remembered on the day.”

The couple met shortly after Sarah began her first journalism job as a trainee on the Western Gazette in Yeovil, where Gary had worked, and they both worked alongside sports reporter Howard.

They put together a collage of photos of lost loved ones, with Howard at the centre, and put it on show at the wedding along with a wish and prayer tree for people to tie messages of congratulations or of tribute to those affected by cancer.

Guests were able to donate on the day or via the couple’s webpage, which is still accepting donations.

Gary, 33, added: “Planning your wedding can become very much about the two of you, but by raising such a great total it feels lovely to have had a wonderful wedding day and given something back in memory of others.”

The couple displayed a collage of pictures of friends and relatives who have lost their lives to cancer, with their former colleague and sports reporter Howard Milton in the centre