18th May 2015

Lucy Bowen

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Weddings are always special events. They allow us to celebrate love, life and all the possibilities they bring, in the company of those who mean the most to us.

Rebecca Shellard-Renna chose her wedding as the perfect opportunity to celebrate the life of her best friend, actress Lucy Bowen, who was just 32 when she died of lung cancer.

“I met Lucy when I was 11 in comprehensive school. Lucy was in my form and I knew straightaway we would be good friends. We were very different but got on really well and had the same sense of humour – in fact, Lucy was one of the funniest people you could ever hope to meet.

I have so many memories of laughing until I couldn’t breathe. She was larger than life, a massive drama queen (so it was no great surprise that she went on to become an actress!), extremely thoughtful and just so much fun.

So it came as such a shock when Lucy was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 32. We were devastated to learn that the tumour had spread and there was little doctors could do. She lived just three months after her diagnosis.

Lucy had been so excited about my wedding. I had never seen the point of traditional favours such as sweets so it seemed like a fitting tribute to have Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation wedding favours to honour her.

Wedding favours are a fantastic way to remember a loved one.

As I laid them on everyone’s place sittings, I had a chance to think about Lucy and how much she meant to me. On the day, I felt like she was there with me, through the reading, during the ceremony (which was a poem Lucy had written for me and my husband), the quaffing of prosecco (her favourite drink), during the reception, and of course, through the wedding favours.

Our guests thought they were lovely – many of them had never seen a wedding favour in aid of charity before and thought it was a really great idea. We got a lot of comments on how it was a lovely way to remember Lucy.

Seeing my friends wearing their badges gives me a lot of comfort. When someone close to you dies, you want to keep their memory alive, and you don’t want anyone to forget them. The pin badges are a little reminder that people remember Lucy and how amazing she was. A friend of mine sends me pictures of her wearing the pin from different places around the world, which is really sweet.

You’re giving people a little memento of your day while, at the same time, helping to fund research into lung cancer. It’s a no-brainer!”