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After 17 years of asking, Kathryn is finally ready to get married

Bride set to arrive on a tractor, with the couple's dogs acting as ring-bearers

Stephen Lawson and Kathryn Garrigan with their dogs Emma and Meg

A groom from Lathom is looking forward to finally marrying his fiancée after she accepted his proposal having refused for years. 

Stephen Lawson, 54,  and Kathryn Garrigan, 50,  have been together for 17 years and Stephen has asked her to marry him many times.

Kathryn kept saying no for various reasons – but after a health scare, she has finally accepted and the pair are now excitedly planning their nuptials on May 3 at Briars Hall.   

Kathryn said: “We met when we were both working at West Lancashire council’s Stanley depot and it really was love at first sight.

“Stephen has asked me countless times to marry him, but I didn’t think we needed to to prove our love. 

“Then I lost my dad in 2006  and shortly after became really poorly myself and it put life into perspective more.”

Doctors found a cyst on Kathryn’s ovary, which she had removed, but she still continued to be poorly.

After further examination it was discovered her ovary hadn't been removed  and she was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation,  leaving her needing treatment in Clatterbridge as her body suffered an adverse reaction.

 Kathryn said: “It was just after I’d finished my treatment when Stephen asked me to marry him again and I said yes – but only if you organise everything.

 “He took up the challenge and has been incredible.”

Stephen has picked out Kathryn’s wedding dress and has had their wedding rings specially made.

Every month leading up to the wedding, Stephen has handed Kathryn an envelope with a surprise about the big day inside it.

The first month, he handed her a box with her wedding shoes inside and another month it was a booking confirmation for her favourite artist, Josh Adams, to play at their special day.

The couple have a pair of black Labradors, Emma and Meg, and they will be taking part in the wedding as ring bearers wearing cream and gold neckerchiefs.

Kathryn will also be arriving at the wedding on a John Deere tractor thanks to her friends Susan and Trevor at TJ contracting.

Kathryn said: “I couldn’t have wished for anything better. It’s the second time we’re both getting married and it means so much more this time around. I wanted the wedding to be incredibly special and have things that mean something to me involved.

“Sadly, neither of my parents are still alive to see me walk down the aisle – but my 22-year-old son Ben will be giving me away.

“The whole thing has been such a lovely process. The girls at the dress shop, Creation in Wigan, have been simply brilliant as well.

 “When I walk down the aisle to At Last by Etta James, I’m sure it’ll be magical. ”