WEDDINGS can be dauntingly expensive but for one remarkable schoolgirl it is a fundraising challenge worth taking on to see her parents walk down the aisle.

Nine-year-old Melissa Todd stunned her parents by announcing that she wanted to help them pay for their special day by selling bracelets and necklaces she has made with her six-year-old sister Courtney and cousin MacKenzie Hartley-Neal, aged 10.

The girls have been busy making the jewellery out of wool in the hope of selling them to help pay for the wedding which their parents John Todd, a window cleaner, and Lyndsey Neal have always wanted but not been able to afford.

Melissa, of Seaforth Avenue, Atherton, said: "My parents have been engaged for a really long time, since before I was born I think.

"I would probably faint to actually see them walk down the aisle."

The Atherton St George's Primary School pupil had begun secretly planning the day and wrote to the Journal in a bid to gain more publicity for her fundraising appeal before finally spilling the beans to her mum on Sunday.

Lyndsey said: "It is such an amazing thing for her to have wanted to do but I think there are much needier people out there than us, so Melissa is going to carry on fundraising among our friends and family.

"We have always wanted to get married but we have never been able to afford it.

"Unfortunately I can no longer work due to an illness but I have told Melissa we will try our best to put some money aside for a wedding when we can."

In her letter to the Journal Melissa said: "I am secretly planning my mum and dad's wedding.

"It is a secret so please don't tell them. Me, my sister and my cousin are raising money to pay for it and we are making bracelets and necklaces and selling them.

"I would be really happy if you could put my story in the paper to help raise money for the wedding. Thank you."

Melissa's teacher Chris Leyland has been helping her to come up with fundraising ideas.

He said: "Melissa came to me and told me what she wanted to do.

"I was quite shocked but I thought it was the kindest thing I had ever heard someone want to do.

"It is truly heart-warming."