It was a wedding that very nearly did not happen, but bride-to-be Sharon Karia was determined to defy doctors who feared she may never walk again after a horrific accident last year.
But on Sunday, more than 300 guests – including Deputy Mayor Councillor Randall Brew – saw the mother-of-two glide down the aisle at Singers Hill Synagogue, in Birmingham, almost eight months since she suffered extensive burns when candles set fire to her skirt at a New Year’s Eve party at her Leicestershire home.
Ms Karia married former councillor and the synagogue’s current president, Alan Blumenthal, in the first wedding service conducted by newly-appointed Rabbi Yossi Jacobs.
Her 11-year-old daughter Sadie was her bridesmaid, with her nine-year-old son Avi acting as the ringbearer.
The wedding party then adjourned to enjoy a lavish reception in Joseph Cohen Hall, in the Council House.
The couple met via a Jewish dating website in spring 2006 and announced their engagement last summer, and have gone on a Baltic cruise for their honeymoon.
Mandy Blumenthal, the groom’s sister, said: “Sharon’s accident meant she was in and out of hospital for countless operations and skin grafts, at one point it was really touch and go because the doctors didn’t think she would walk again unaided. As a result we weren’t sure if the wedding could go ahead, but she’s a very determined lady and the fact she did walk down the aise is testament to that.
“There were a few tears as she walked towards the chuppa and Alan on the day, considering how much she’d had to achieve to get there.”
Mr Blumenthal, aged 49, former Conservative councillor for Acocks Green, runs the menswear chain Suits Plus while his wife runs her own property portfolio.