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05/12/2014

Bush generosity bringing outback Queensland bride's wedding dream to fruition

The kindness of strangers is allowing the wedding dream of a couple in outback Queensland to finally come true.

For the past three years, Gabrielle Connolly's family have been struggling with drought on their property at Mitchell in south-western Queensland.

The Connolly family had been hoping for the drought to break so they might have some money to pay for their daughter's wedding.

But with no end to the dry in sight, the bride's mother Madonna Connolly gave Stan Johnston a call.

Mr Johnston and other members of the Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association have been providing drought relief to hundreds of families across western Queensland.

He said he knew plenty of people who could pitch in to help the Connolly family stage an outback wedding for little or no cost.

Wedding planner Stan Johnston with bride-to-be Gabrielle Connolly.
picture: bridal dresses

"So they have set the date for the 10th of January," he said.

"They've had to destock. No cattle, [so they have] very little to help their daughter in the wedding.

"We've got the whole industry behind it."

He said one man was providing a penthouse at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast for the couple's honeymoon.

"A lady rang me up and said, 'look Stan, I'd like to do the wedding cake'."

"Then she said we've got to find out how many tiers they have - apparently they have tiers or decks or whatever they do."

Mr Johnston said he was putting a wide range of potential donors in touch with the bride.

"Kenilworth Cheese said they'd provide all the cheese - they even offered a wedding ring, but she's got a wedding ring," he said.

"We've got so much - quite a bit of wine, prawns - me brother's mate rang up and got enough prawns for bloody 140 guests.

"I got her to write a list and I'm sure we'll fill the list, I'm sure it won't cost them anything."

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