Mission, Vision and Purpose
Wish Upon a Wedding is a nationwide 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness and serious life altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. Our organization was created to celebrate the courage, determination and spirit of these couples by granting their dream wedding Wishes. Our hope is that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength.
A Message from our Founder
Based on the concept that two people in love should never be denied the chance to marry their soul mate, Wish Upon a Wedding has helped dozens of amazing couples say “I DO” since its launch in January 2010. Our organization provides this opportunity to those who have endured far greater challenges than many of us could possibly imagine.
As an event planner and community advocate in Northern California, the idea to start a nonprofit wish granting organization came to me while I was producing a large scale wedding giveaway in San Francisco in 2009. Over 350 participants entered to win a contest where there could only be one winner. There were so many couples in need, and and at the same time, so many generous business owners offering to donate their time and services to the couple. I wished there was a way to donate dream weddings to hundreds of couples in need of these services all across the country.
The stories were all compelling, but one bride-to-be who entered the giveaway, in particular, really stood out in my mind. Vanessa was battling Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma while her fiance (an officer in the US Air Force) was deployed overseas. This couple ended up winning the Giveaway (through public voting) and it was their Love Story that ultimately inspired the creation of Wish Upon a Wedding.
I was raised by parents that ”gave back” to the community in many ways, as a part of their daily lives. Poor for a number of years during my childhood, my mother eventually turned our home into a board and care facility for physically and mentally challenged individuals, to help keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Because of those experiences, I learned early on the importance of compassion and community service.
What makes me feel “rich” beyond measure is that Wish Upon a Wedding now allows me to help people celebrate love, while encouraging those in the event planning industry to give selflessly to others.
It’s a magical organization ~ One I hope you will join as we continue to make these special Wishes come true…
Liz Guthrie, Founder & Executive Director, Wish Upon a Wedding
Vanessa and Mike on their Wedding Day in 2010