Generous Lismore businesses help Northern River's couple
IT WAS the wedding which captured Northern Rivers residents' hearts.
While the love story between Casino couple Lachlan and Alisha is a tear-jerker, it is the circumstances of their wedding day which has captured the region's hearts.
Dozens of our local businesses have donated goods, time and their expertise to band together and give the happy couple a fairytale wedding, all out of the goodness of their hearts.
The groom was recently diagnosed with stage four terminal metastatic melanoma, but rather than focusing on that he chose to celebrate life last Thursday when he married 'soulmate' Alisha on a sunny afternoon at Shelly Beach in Ballina.
My Wedding Wish, a national charity that gifts weddings to terminally-ill people, was touched by the couple's story and together with the generosity of local businesses, made Lachlan and Alisha's dream wedding happen.
The newly-weds said their special day was "a long time coming”.
Lachlan said getting married "sealed” their love after a seven-year engagement, and it was important to show their six kids "mum and dad are married”.
Getting married at the beach was what they had always wanted - it is a special "go-to family place”.
"We met in high school and were in the same year, but met a fair few years down the track at a friend's New Year's Eve party,” Alisha said.
"He's my soul mate.
"(The diagnosis) changed everything. It just makes you think the things you thought were important are not important anymore and you just focus on living each day with family to the most we could.”
"It's so nice to see the small community of Casino and surrounding towns can get together and provide us with a wedding that we wouldn't have been able to afford,” Alisha said.
One of the local businesses who donated their time and effort was Friday Hut Studios.
Friday Hut Studios is a film and design business created in Lismore by former Southern Cross University students Anita Loneragan and Corey Middleton.
Anita said that they made the decision to donate a ceremony wedding film, which includes giving the couple a video with a three-camera set up to give ne two hours of coverage, including the ceremony and parts of the photo shoot.
"It seemed like a really important cause and it felt wonderful and important to give back,” Anita said.
"Lachlan and Alisha are a local couple, so it gave us the chance to feel like we're giving back to the community.”
My Wedding Wish co-ordinator Kath Murphy said the community support was inspiring for the charity's first ceremony on the Northern Rivers.
A wedding organised by MWW relies heavily upon the generosity of professional wedding suppliers, alongside invaluable community fundraising efforts. that support these wishes to keep coming true.
"To be able to gift something like a wedding, you can't even put a price on it ... they do have a lot of expenses ahead of them so to be able to take the financial and organisational stress away from them, while also working closely with them to tailor their special day was a lovely thing,” she said.
"They were blown away and seemed incredibly overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. I had no shortage of people coming forward to offer to help.”
"It shows as a community when it gets tough we come together really well as a community.”
Ms Murphy said couples or people on behalf of a couple put in a formal application supported by medical reports and doctors' interviews to ensure the integrity of the charity.
"It may be as small as a simple bedside ceremony or it could be all the bells and whistles like we tried to produce for Lachlan and Alisha,” she said.
"When you get a terminal diagnosis it's all consuming and to be able to focus on something positive and beautiful and to be surrounded by love and generosity I think is incredibly important.”
The couple thanked the community for putting together such a special day, and said without them it would not have happened.
Local businesses who donated include:
-Feathers & Lace Photography Group
-Friday Hut Studios
-DJ Deb Lismore
-K & E Makeup and Lashes
-Jade Stevens Special Event Hairstylist
-Kaye Adam Creative Hair & Make Up
-Boho Limo Event Hire
-Light It Up Event Hire
-A Touch of Elegance Wedding & Party Hire
-The Suit Up Den
-Bliss Bridal & After 5
-Black Tie Photobooths
-Casino Golf Club
-The Fitting Specialist
-Ramada Hotel & Suites Ballina Byron