A GROOM is being comforted by friends and family after waking to find his new bride had died in her sleep on their wedding night.

Mariola Michalowski, 38, passed away just hours after celebrating her marriage to partner Krzysztof, who was known as Kris, last Friday.

The popular couple had two young children who were with them at the ceremony in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

More than £5,000 has been donated by well-wishers to help Mr Michalowski finish paying for the wedding and now his wife's funeral.

It is thought Mrs Michalowski has a history of epilepsy, although the cause of death is not yet know.

It is understood she was found in bed by her husband at the home they shared in Catterick Village after he had gone to feed their baby thinking his wife was sleeping in.

North Yorkshire Police was informed although a spokeswoman said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Polish national Mr Michalowski, 32, who has lived in the UK for more than ten years, works at Oakdale (Contracts) Ltd, based in Colburn.

Michael Jonas, managing director of the company, who attended the wedding, said Mr Michalowski was a well-liked member of staff and colleagues were devastated at his new wife's tragic death.

He added: "Kris is a great lad. He's worked his way from the shop floor to the office. We've watched him grow as a person and were delighted when he got engaged.

"At their wedding reception it was clear that Kris and Mariola were very much in love.

"The two children are going to grow up never knowing their mother

"It's a sad irony that they got married in Richmond registry office and Kris was back a couple of days later to register the death.

"The family are devastated and heartbroken."

Mr Jonas said the wedding was still to pay for and now the grieving widow would have to pay for a funeral.

In a bid to help, he has launched an on-line appeal to raise £8,000 to help the family - with more than £5,000 already donated by Thursday evening.

Dozens of messages of condolence have been left for the family.

One message reads: "We are all deeply shocked to hear of the sudden death of your wife and we would like to offer our deepest sympathy."

Another says: "So sad that your beautiful wife and the mother of your adorable children has been taken away Kris. So heart wrenching, so sorry for your loss."

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said: "We were called to reports of the sudden death of a 38-year-old woman at 8.52am on the May 14.

"Enquiries were carried out at the address and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

"A report is being prepared for the coroner."

To contribute to the fund set up to help the Michalowski family, visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/oakdale-kris