Rachel IIlsley, right, writes to thank all who helped her achieve a remarkable fundraising total in aid of Cancer Research at a charity wedding fair held at Marsh Farm Hotel in Royal Wootton Bassett on Sunday 22 April. Here she describes the event.
"My day started on the Saturday afternoon when we started to decorate the suite kindly provided by Marsh Farm where all the entertainment and dress shows and cancer research wedding dresses were to be displayed.
"I was joined by Paula and her twin daughters Shelley and Jo and we worked solidly until 3am the following morning. The hotel owner, Peter Cousins and his management staff including event manager Lorraine Wright also worked through the night setting out tables in all the other rooms.
"The doors opened at 11am and extra hotel staff had to man the overflowing car park, with a number of visitors parking on the grass verge of the main road as every space on site was full.
"We achieved approximately 250 visitors throughout the day to visit the 33 wedding supply exhibitors. We had hairdressers, beauty therapists, hats, flowers, balloons, table decorators, naughty underwear, fake tanning, insurance providers, a photographer, videographer, jewellery, cars, stationary, tiaras, holiday destinations, Debenhams, sweets and chocolate fountain to name but a few.
"Swindon band Locomotion played in the Marsh Suite and Frank Sinatra vocalist Adam Okin provided musical entertainment.
"Shirley Ludford of Swindon 105.5fm was the compere for the two dress shows during the day and the models included Miss Swindon Hannah Golding and Miss Wiltshire Jo Logan and girls from the Locomotion band, as well as my daughter Jennifer who wanted to help to remember her grandmother.
"We sold many dresses on the day as well as raffle tickets for prizes donated by many exhibitors. There were also cakes made by exhibitors for sale and Cancer Research table with many bargains.
"I am very proud to confirm that I have exceeded my target of £10,000 of fundraising since my mother Joan passed away in 2009 from pancreatic cancer.
"The wedding fair was only made possible by the kind and generous support of so many people who gave their time and energy as volunteers to support Cancer Research and I’d like to thank them all."
Miss Swindon Hannah Golding added: "I loved helping out at the special event for a great cause. My family has been affected by cancer and it was great way to give back with a wedding charity fair. I’m getting married in December so it was a perfect time to find a dress. I came away with the first dress I tried for £130 which was donated to Cancer Research. I will feel special on my big day knowing I helped Rachel further her fundraising goal."
Miss Wiltshire Jo Logan said: "I was very proud to be a part of such a wonderful event knowing I was there helping to raise money for such a fantastic charity. It was a lovely day for all who attended and all the exhibitors, musicians and models made it very special."
Images from ©Calyx Multimedia, 41, Churchward Avenue, Rodbourne Cheney, Swindon SN2 1NJ. 01793 520131 MOB: 07836 205196