December 2013 | Ideal Bride Magazine
Save the Date
The Wedding Wishing Well Wedding Fair
In the years leading up to the launch of The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation, Naomi Thomas had been through more than most people contend with their entire lives. At thirty years old, Naomi is a happily married, mum of one and settled in the beautiful Somerset town of Wellington, with her new husband, Graham.
However, one thing you would not know about Naomi if you saw her in the street is that she is living with Secondary Breast Cancer, a disease that has transformed her life and the lives of others, in so many ways.
In 2005, she began working as a self-employed Wedding Planner across the county of Devon. Life was going swimmingly, it seemed. It was during this time Naomi learnt how to create the ‘perfect’ wedding for brides-to-be, from the dress, the venue, the flowers to all the little finishing touches which help make the day personal and extra special for all involved.
It was unquestionable; Naomi loved her job and flourished in helping brides-to-be with all the arrangements for their big day, helping to ensure it would be a day never to forget. However, after only four years pursuing her dream career and only three months with her fiance Graham, Naomi’s world was turned upside down, as she was given the devastating news that she had Breast Cancer. She was only 26.
Three years on and the issue is still as important as ever before; around 9,000 women under the age of 50 are diagnosed with breast cancer every year with the other eighty percent effecting women over the age of 50, with the risks increasing with age.
Despite these figures, it seems the awareness of breast cancer amongst younger women is not as prominent as it could be. Many young women, just like Naomi, simply believe that are not at risk of developing breast cancer. Furthermore, many are unaware that once diagnosed, a high percentage will be told they have the more aggressive forms, often resulting in higher mortality rates.
Having had to cancel their wedding day due to the financial impact cancer has on people going through it Naomi decided to arrange a charity event in the town she grew up in, Sidmouth, Devon to lift her spirits.
Naomi’s extraordinary story and the way the disease affected her as a young woman soon caught the attention of local Wedding Planner Sam Williams. Unknown to Naomi, this event was to signal the first step towards her becoming the beaming Mrs Thomas, as she is today.
Through the enormous generosity of Sam, the local community and from complete strangers, a dream wedding was arranged with donations from wedding suppliers on 6th June 2012, Naomi and Graham eventually tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony at St Audries Park, Somerset.
Determined to put her experiences to positive use, Naomi set about ways to help others enjoy the wedding day of their dreams, just as Sam and her event planning business Perfectly Planned Events had enabled her to. In early 2012, with this passion and determination right at the centre of what she wanted to achieve, The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation was born.
However, as with any new venture, there are always challenges, as Naomi has found out: "One major challenge has been receiving the applications and the dealing with the range of emotions it stirs up. It is exciting to think we can help people have a fantastic wedding day but at the same time, it is difficult to think about the limited time couples will enjoy as husband and wife."
The foundation is going from strength to strength and with the support and generosity of not only suppliers and businesses, but individual fundraising efforts, the project is really coming into its own. "It’s going really well and I cannot wait for our new fundraising teams in each county in the UK to be in full swing and generating vital funds so we can continue the great work we do," Naomi tells us.
Still, as Naomi explains, "Of course, we need more money to develop the organisation and such funding is vital for the foundation to continue in its quest to ensure people can enjoy their perfect wedding day, without the stress, uncertainty and financial burden that cancer inevitably brings to families."
It is clear that Naomi wants this project to continue even after she is no longer around to see her project continue to thrive. "The foundation will be my legacy and that makes me a very proud woman."
If you are a supplier, individual or business and can offer your services for free or at a reduced rate, The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation would love to hear from you.
Whatever your niche or specialism, with your help you will be supporting this inspirational organisation, be it through cake decoration, wedding dress supplies, food distribution, venue hire, stationery, floristry or car hire.
Any wedding products, services or support are always welcome and the foundation continually searches for enthusiastic people to generate vital funds too; through donation, sponsorship or fundraising.
Save the Date
The Wedding Wishing Well Wedding Fair
3rd March 2013 @ 11am – 16.30pm
Hosted by Jo & Co & Blanc Events
Taking Place at Bakers & Cutlers Halls, Brasserie Blanc, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3DF, The Wedding Wishing Well Wedding Fair is raising money for The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation. A charity set up to help arrange weddings for terminally ill people.
If you are already married and wish to donate your dress/suit or any other items which are pre-loved, then the charity will be collecting them at this wedding fair to then offer to future brides and grooms. All donations will be very much appreciated.
Entry to the fair is free, donations to the charity will be welcome. Make your donation at weddingwishingwell.org.uk for further information please contact Jo on 07989 974 736.
Image Credits: Images courtesy of Piece of Cake, Little Wedding Helper, St Audries Park & Daisy Lane
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