“She put on the dress and tears came to my eyes. She said this is the one, my mum has picked it.”
That is how Mansfield mother Joan Hill, whose daughter Lisa died aged just 22 from cancer, remembers her daughter’s wedding day 25 years on.
Lisa, from Bull Farm, and fiancé Paul McNaster tied the knot during a “marvellous” service on her 22nd birthday at St Peter and St Paul’s Church .
Her big day came about thanks to Mansfield Rotary Club, which was looking for people who had put things on hold because of illness.
Joan remembers how her daughter – who would be 47 now – surprised everyone with how well she looked and held her stomach throughout the service as she had “butterflies”.
Tragically, Lisa’s leukaemia returned the Christmas after her wedding and she died on May 4 1994.
Joan, 74, of Shaftesbury Avenue, says the years since her death have been “awful”.
She said: “We were told on her 21st birthday that she had leukaemia, so everything got put on hold, including her wedding.
“She took it in her stride and said: ‘I don’t mind taking months off I’m going to be ok after’.”
When Joan found out about the Rotary Club appeal, she got in touch with officials for help.
She said: “Paul had given up his job to be in hospital with her and I was taking time off to see her so their wasn’t much money.
“She used to say one day I will walk down to the registry office and get married and I said: ‘not with what you’ve been though’.
“When the Rotary got in contact they had booked the church and at that point they didn’t know that they were getting married.”
Joan broke the news to the couple, who married three weeks later.
“People did all sorts of things. Martin Wilkinson Jewellers gifted Lisa a ring and she was loaned a dress from Elizabeth Morley.
“Traffic was stopped and bells were rang for her.”