Leyland salon owner pays unique tribute to pal Paula

Owner of Aphrodite Salon, Hough Lane, Leyland, Sophie Wilding, with one of the wedding dresses donated for the Gift of a Wedding charity.
Owner of Aphrodite Salon, Hough Lane, Leyland, Sophie Wilding, with one of the wedding dresses donated for the Gift of a Wedding charity.

A salon owner from Leyland is paying a unique tribute to her friend who lost her battle with cancer just one week after she got married.

Sophie Wilding, who owns Afrodite82 salon in Hough Lane, is collecting wedding items to donate to the charity which helped to make her friend Paula Garside’s dream come true, by organising and funding her wedding.

The wedding of Leyland mum Paula Garside

The wedding of Leyland mum Paula Garside

The 31-year-old said: “When Paula got the terminal diagnosis, we decided to hold a ladies’ night for Gift of A Wedding, who organise weddings for terminally ill people across the UK, because they had made such an effort to give Paula her wedding.

“We had already held one for Macmillan nurses that raised about £750 so when Gift of A Wedding got on board to organise her wedding we started to arrange another because she wanted to do more to help them.”

Sadly, 38-year-old mum-of-three Paula, from Leyland, died a week after her Valentine’s Day wedding to Mark Lancaster earlier this year and never got to attend the charity event she had so hoped to help with.

The ladies’ night went ahead on March 21 where X Factor finalist Jon Jo Kerr performed, as well as a drag act and male stripper.

When Paula got the terminal diagnosis, we decided to hold a ladies’ night for Gift of A Wedding, who organise weddings for terminally ill people across the UK, because they had made such an effort to give Paula her wedding.

But Sophie said they aren’t going to stop helping the Manchester-based charity.

“The last ladies’ night raised £797 which tipped Gift of A Wedding over their first £1,000.

“But then I saw them keep posting on social media asking for items to help them organise more weddings.”

Now Sophie is asking for kind-hearted locals to donate their wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, veils or any other wedding items throughout the month of April.

“It would be a great tribute to Paula if we could help other people in our area have their dream day.”