Shandee's Mum marries in bittersweet ceremony

EXCHANGING VOWS: Vicki Blackburn and Paul Beardmore were married at the weekend.
EXCHANGING VOWS: Vicki Blackburn and Paul Beardmore were married at the weekend. Contributed

IT was a bittersweet day for friends and family of Vicki Blackburn and Paul Beardmore as they watched the couple exchange vows at the weekend.

The dresses had been purchased, flowers ordered and the venue booked when tragedy struck in February.

Vicki's 23-year-old daughter Shandee was murdered.

Vicki almost cancelled the wedding but decided last month they would go through with it because it was what her beloved Shandee would have wanted.

She laughed with tears in her eyes as she remembered how much Shandee loved her husband, Paul, and how she would always take his side in an argument.

"She kept saying, 'For God's sakes mum, just marry the man'," she said.

"Shandee was really looking forward to it, she was so happy.

"I had to prepare myself, from the moment we said we were going to do go ahead with it, I was very angry that I had to do this without Shandee.

"It didn't matter if I postponed this or not, Shandee will never be there."

Shandee's boyfriend Arron Macklin stepped in for Shandee, walking Vicki down the aisle with her eldest daughter Shannah.

Despite their grief they did their best to make the most of the day and managed to include Shandee in much of the day's celebrations.

The bridal party all wore fluoro underwear, which Vicki said would have amused her daughter; 23 balloons were also released to honour her life.

To say they experienced a roller coaster of emotions would be an understatement, but Vicki said including her in the day brought some comfort.

Shandee Blackburn was viciously stabbed to death, on Boddington St in the early hours of February 9, as she walked home from work at Harrup Park.

She was buried in the bridesmaid's dress she should have worn to her mother's wedding.

Her killer is still at large.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.