Friends organise beach wedding for couple after cancer diagnosis

Andy and Laura MacDowel with their children Eden and Jackson. Pictures: Carly Sinden Photography
Andy and Laura MacDowel with their children Eden and Jackson. Pictures: Carly Sinden Photography

A YANCHEP couple have celebrated a dreamy beach wedding after friends stepped in to organise it in less than two weeks with services donated by the business community.

Andy (32) and Laura (24) MacDowel celebrated their wedding on May 24 with their children Jackson (5) and Eden (2).

The couple had originally planned to get married next year, however Andy was diagnosed with cancer after going to see a GP with stomach pains in April.

He was sent to the emergency department with suspected appendicitis but further tests revealed he had stage four small cell bowel and liver cancer, so he was admitted for a bowel operation then started chemotherapy in early May.

Laura and Andy MacDowel. Picture: Carly Sinden Photography

The couple decided to bring forward their wedding and go to a registry office, however Laura’s best friends Brooke Lockhart and Kelsey Hilton stepped in to plan a bigger celebration.

Brooke said they posted on Facebook wedding groups, contacted local vendors asking them to donate products and services, and managed to arrange it in 72 hours.

“The response was overwhelming with so many amazing businesses and people coming forward offering to help make their day one to remember,” she said.

“With very little notice, family and friends flew in from New Zealand and the UK.

“George from Oceans 27 offered to host the wedding at Shore Cafe and provide food and drink for 45 guests.

“Invitations and signage were designed by Lala Designs.

“Bella Wedding and Events and Perth Wedding Decor set up the ceremony decor; The Flowergirl provided the most amazing flower decorations and bouquets.

“The sky lit up and the weather was perfect.

“Carly from Carly Sinden Photography, with help from Lauren, photographed the whole day; Matt and his assistant from Direct Films videoed it.

Laura and Andy MacDowel. Picture: Carly Sinden Photography

“Karen at Bridal by Aubrey Rose took care of Laura’s dress and veil; Georgie’s Bridal Shoes donated her shoes and Jarred from Suited for Him kitted Andy and his boys out with suits.

“Model Chic donated the bridesmaid dresses and PinkyBlu Kidswear provided the most adorable flower girl dress for their daughter.

“Laura’s pre-wedding prep was done by Ocean Beauty Two Rocks.

“The day started for the girls in a two-bedroom marina view suite at The Marina Mindarie hotel where Amber from Amber’s Hair Design and Hayley from HACartistry made the girls up; grazing platters were dropped off by Gourmet Graze Perth.

“Robes and glassware were provided by The Shantii Gypsii.

“Aldi Butler donated a voucher towards consumables for the ceremony.

“The beautiful cake was made by the Butter Nutter, macaroons by Petitcakes and biscuits by Michelle’s Kitchen.

“Amazing entertainment was provided by acoustic Mitch Smith and DJ Pete May.

“Uplights by Northern Lights lit up the reception area.

Andy and Laura MacDowel. Picture: Carly Sinden Photography

“Laura and Andy had a perfect day and night and are so thankful to those that contributed to make it happen so quickly for them.

“They are so overwhelmed with the support, generosity, love and kindness of not just friends but complete strangers at this time.

Brooke said Andy had powered through the diagnosis, with positive oncology results this week.

“He is feeding his body with nature’s best, fuelling his mind with positivity and is surrounded by the most amazing bunch of friends and family who have been the best support network,” she said.

Another friend, Kimberly Aporo set up a GoFundMe page, ‘Help the A Team beat cancer’, to support the family which has raised more than $32,000 of its $50,000 goal.

Brooke will also run an online auction over the June 15-16 weekend and several businesses are running raffles to raise funds for the family  .

<3 MR & MRS MACDOWEL <3Last Friday I had the absolute honour of photographing the beautiful wedding of an amazing…

Posted by Carly Sinden Photography – Newborn & Family Portraiture, Perth, WA on Wednesday, 29 May 2019

❤ MR & MRS MACDOWEL ❤💫💫💫T H A N K Y O U!💫💫💫From the bottom of our hearts. Thank you.Kelsey and I posted on a…

Posted by Brooke Alyce on Wednesday, 29 May 2019