A New York Love Story- Lilly and Chris

1066-M4848E-HechlerLilly and Chris first met when Chris’ brother offered to drive Lilly home from work and Chris happened to be along for the ride. It was, as Chris says “the ultimate right place right time”. The three of them decided to meet up with some friends at a local bar, where Lilly and Chris broke away from the group and spent practically the entire night talking with each other. The connection was immediate – they began speaking and seeing each other more and more, and it wasn’t long before they officially became a couple.

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After dating for a little while, Lilly and Chris had a falling out. For some couples this might have meant the end of their story, but for Lilly and Chris it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Though a few years went by, they never stopped thinking about each other and gradually began to develop and nurture the deep friendship that gives their relationship the strong foundation it has today.

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Lilly was diagnosed at young age with Parkinson’s Disease and Dystonia, the effects of which cause her both physical and emotional stress on a daily basis.  Lilly was upfront with Chris from the start about her condition, and he has always been supportive and accepting; even taking her to doctors appointments before they became a couple. “In my eyes, it didn’t define her, so it didn’t hinder my feelings for her”, he says. “I always felt and admired her strength, and she was the most genuine and beautiful person I’d ever met.”

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Speaking with Lilly and Chris, you can see how much they truly love each other and can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together. They are best friends and partners in every way. As Lily says “I can’t picture where I would be or who I would be without him in my life”.  The unpredictable nature of Lilly’s condition has made it very difficult for the couple to tackle all the decisions that go into planning the perfect wedding for themselves, but luckily a family friend told them about Wish Upon a Wedding.

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The Wish Upon a Wedding New York Chapter is honored and excited to be granting Lilly and Chris’ Wedding Wish on October 22, 2017 in New York City.

Many thanks to McKenzie Miller for capturing their Love Story, and to Hechler Photography for these gorgeous photos!

Thank you in advance to Lilly and Chris’ Wish Granters (listed below), for donating their services, products, and efforts to making this Wish a reality. We are truly grateful for you all and can’t wait to continue announcing more Wish Granters.

Planning & Wish Ambassador: Leslie Mastin Events

Venue & Catering: The Second Floor

Bridal Stylist: The Stylish Bride

Ceremony Music: Bianchi Musica Productions

Entertainment/DJ: Martin D’Arce

Florist: L’Atelier Rouge

Linen: Nuage Designs

Make-Up: Kimara Ahnert

Officiant: Lisa Traina

Photography: Hechler Photography

Rentals: The Tabletop Company

Stationery: Regas Studio

Videography: McKenzie Miller Films

 

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A New Orleans Love Story- Twila and Chris

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Twila and Christine (Chris) met during their freshman year of high school. While their relationship started out as a friendship, they both agreed it was high school when they knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together.

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Their relationship was put to the test with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina. Twila’s family evacuated and went to live in Arkansas, while Chris’ family stayed behind in Louisiana. This was the first time the two had been separated for an extended period of time. Even with all the devastation and tragedy around them, their time apart only made their love stronger.

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Shortly after the hurricane Chris moved to Arkansas be with Twila. In the middle of the night while in Arkansas, Chris woke up with a headache, feeling nauseous and dizzy. Her symptoms were so bad she needed assistance to stand. Twila rushed Chris to the hospital. By the time they arrived Chris was unconscious. She was taken in immediately and shortly after the doctors discovered a brain aneurysm which required immediate attention. Chris was in a coma for about a week. Complications from the aneurysm required amputation of her hand, a few fingers and toes.

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Once awake, Chris endured over a year and a half of rehabilitation and physical therapy to relearn everything. While it was a long journey, Chris is thriving and has obtained her bachelor’s degree in pre-law. Twila has been by Chris’ side the entire time. Twila attended every class during Chris’ undergraduate studies, to take notes as the amputations make it hard for Chris to write.

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Twila and Chris describe themselves as two puzzle pieces, saying “we are the perfect match”. Even with all they have been through: facing adversity as a same sex couple, Chris’ brain aneurysm and months of rehabilitation, they are proof that love endures. Twila and Chris have already chosen to love each other in sickness and in health. They will reaffirm this as they take their vows and commit to spend the rest of their lives side by side, as best friends, and as a married couple.

Thank you to Twila and Chris’ Wish Granters, for donating their services, products, and efforts to making this Wish a reality. Hi Volt Studios the photos are beautiful.

Planner: Unique Weddings in New Orleans 

Venue & Catering: The Crossing

Baker: Frosted Fantasies

Decor: Candle Light Weddings in New Orleans

Entertainment/DJ: Audio Entertainment

Floral: Kim Starr Wise Floral Events

Photobooth: Photobooth Shenanigans

Photography: Hi Volt Studios

Pipe and Drape: Fleur De Lis Event Rentals

Stationary: Exquisite Events

Transportation: Unique Transportation

Videography: Bride Film

In Loving Memory of Charles

It is with so much sadness and very heavy hearts, we write that Charles passed away on October 5, 2017. He was surrounded by the love of his life, Marybeth, and his sisters. Charles was an amazing man who was always willing to do for others. His disease took him much too early, but his memory will live on. Marybeth, all of our thoughts are with you. We were so lucky to be a part of your amazing wedding day and witness such beautiful love.

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A South Carolina Love Story- Margarette and James

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Margarette and James met during Margarette’s second semester at Charleston Southern University. At the time James, a recent graduate of the Citadel, had just moved out on his own and was working for a local cell phone retailer. Margarette had trouble with her phone and went to the cell phone retailer, not knowing she was about to meet her future husband. James said he knew there was something special about her from her smile when she walked in the door, it was literally love at first sight.

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Six years later, at her post-graduation celebration dinner Anthony proposed to Margarette surrounded by close friends and family.  They were married in an intimate ceremony in November 2009.

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In 2014 Margarette found a lump on her breast, which was later diagnosed as cancer. Since this original diagnosis, Margarette has undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. In December 2015, they found another spot of cancer on her lungs and most recently cancer in her brain as well.  Recent treatments had little effect on the cancer.

Prior to their vow renewal the couple and their son spent the day with Laura of Lola Dee Photography.  Laura captured these beautiful love story photos of the family.

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The couple was looking forward to a day away from the cancer, the worry and the medical bills to be with family and to celebrate 8 years of marriage in a vow renewal ceremony. “I am in love with her and I just want her to be happy, we all have an expiration date and whatever time I can have with her and make her happy and share in the moment with her,” James said about his love for Margarette. Despite an effort to move the vow renewal date up, Margarette’s health did not allow for the renewal to take place.  Her family said they are so grateful for the experience as it gave her something to look forward to.  Our thoughts are with the Johnson Family during this difficult time.

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Although the vow renewal was not able to take place Wish Upon a Wedding would like to thank the following Wish Granters for their generosity and willingness to support our organization and provide for this amazing couple:

Baker: Parties to Go

Catering: Blue Marlin Signature Catering

Florist: Tupelo Grove Events

Linen: Nuage Design

Music: Jim Gaddick

Photo (love story): Lola Dee Photography

Photo (wedding): Palmetto Duo

Venue: Stone River

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A DC Wedding Wish – Chuck and Marybeth

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On Friday, August 25th, 2017 Chuck and Marybeth’s wish of a sacramental marriage within their church, Our Lady of Victory, was granted.  Close friends and family witnessed as the couple recommitted themselves to one another and celebrated their love. Previously, the couple had a small legal ceremony in May at the fire station where Chuck was a live-in volunteer at the time of his diagnosis.

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Chuck and Marybeth met at a long-term care facility where they both worked in January of 2012. Chuck was a Geriatric Nursing Assistant and Marybeth a social worker at the facility. Chuck also worked as an EMT at the live-in station in their area and as a suicide hotline counselor. While Marybeth says that it was not love at first sight, their working relationship brought them closer. Eventually, regular meetings concerning patients turned into sharing lunch together at work.  Marybeth soon came to realizing they had more in common than she had once thought. Six months later, Chuck asked Marybeth on what would be the first of many dates. Chuck said, “Marybeth has helped me to understand love and not to be so selfish about it”.

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On New Year’s Eve 2016, Chuck took Marybeth out for a wonderful dinner where he proposed with a beautiful amethyst engagement ring (her favorite color is purple). They were making plans to get married when a series of events, including Chuck’s diagnosis of Stage IV Esophageal Cancer in October of 2016, put the planning on hold. After the diagnosis, they decided to take things one day at a time.

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Chuck is currently still undergoing treatment for the cancer. This wedding has given Chuck and Marybeth something to look forward to. Chuck said, “despite everything that is going on I want it to be a celebration”, and that is exactly what it was. Following the ceremony, guests gathered at the Maid of Honor’s house for a relaxing celebration.

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This couple spent so much of their life and taking care of others. Wish Upon a Wedding, with the help of amazing Wish Granters, was honored to make their wedding wish come true.

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Thank you to those outstanding Wish Granters that helped to make everything possible:

Planner: Bella Notte

Baker: Buttercream Bakeshop

Beauty: Bridal Artistry

Catering (main meal): Q Caterers Inc.

Catering (appetizers): Well Dunn

Catering (desserts): Ridgewells Catering

Church: Our Lady of Victory

Florist: Toulies en Fleur

Linen: Nuage Designs

Music (ceremony): Dennis Layendecker

Officiant: Reverend David M. Fitz-Patrick, Pastor

Photography: Jacqui Depas Photography

Stationary: Stationary Bliss

Transportation: RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation

Videography: Suburban Video

Vocalist: Zofia Smardz

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Thank You: Christina Currie Events

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Wish Upon a Wedding would like to thank Christina Currie Events and all of those who attended the Grace Meets Glamour Bridal Show for their wonderful donation to our organization.

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The Grace Meets Glamour Bridal Show is an annual event, designed to accommodate discussion, and connect couples directly with some of the top local vendors.  This year the sixth annual event took place at The Barrington White House in Barrington, Illinois and featured local photographers, stationers, musicians, bridal boutiques, artists, and florists, as well as a couture bridal gown fashion show.

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The weather was perfect, the space was beautiful, and the brides to be that attended made great connections and received outstanding advice. Proceeds from the event were donated to Wish Upon a Wedding.

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Thank you, Christina Currie Events, for your continued support of Wish Upon a Wedding.  To learn more about future Grace Meets Glamour Bridal Shows or other great events hosted by Christina Currie Events please visit https://christinacurrieevents.com/.

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An Oregon Love Story: Melanie and Brian

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Melanie and Brian met on myspace.com almost ten years ago. Melanie was moving to Oregon and looking to make a few connections before the cross-country move, when she came across Brian’s profile. They talked online for a while and seemed to have a great connection and a lot in common. After her move out to Oregon, Melanie and Brian made plans to meet up.

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After meeting in person, they felt the timing wasn’t right to start a relationship but agreed to say in touch as friends. They continued to see other people but, they found themselves spending all of their weekends together. Overtime, they realized their friendship was naturally turning into a relationship.

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Even now Brian says, “she just became my best friend and that’s when I knew I loved her more than anything”. Likewise, Melanie says, “I couldn’t imagine my life without him as he is my best friend”.

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Shortly after Brian and Melanie started dating, Melanie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and terminal brain cancer. Since then, she has been through multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy treatments. Her craniotomy initially left her unable to talk and take care of herself but Brian never left her side.  After eight months of rigorous rehab, Melanie felt like herself again. She had regained her speech and was back to her pre-surgery activities.

Unfortunately, since her surgery the tumor has grown back larger than before. Melanie has been undergoing a combination of chemotherapy and radiation to reduce the tumor’s size.

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“You know you love a person when you learn you can’t live without the person” said Brian, who proposed to Melanie last October on their weekend beach vacation. Regardless of the prognosis, Melanie and Brian are committed to spending the time they have side by side as best friends and soon as husband and wife.

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Wish Upon a Wedding would like to thank these amazing wish granters. They are donating their time and services to make Melanie and Brian’s upcoming wedding day extra special:

Planner: We Plan It

Venue: Gray Gables Estate

Attire (bridal gown): Brides for a Cause

Baker: Laurie Clarke Cakes LLC

Beauty: Tina at Glamourise

Catering: Gray Gables Estate

Entertainment: Maurice Eaton

Florist: Blum Design in Flowers

Linen: Nuage Design

Officiant: Jason Presser

Photo Booth: Stumptown Booth 

Photography: Ambient Sky

Stationary: Allison Sims

Videography:  RP Imagery 

Watch their beautiful love story video here:

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A Virginia Vow Renewal: Tanisha and Tony

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On February 26th, 2017, Tanisha and Tony renewed their vows in a ceremony and reception held at Top of the Town in Arlington, Virginia. The vow renewal featured shades of purple, and floral decor. The candle light and panoramic windows, with views of Washington, DC, created a soft and romantic setting.

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Tanisha and Tony met online in 2010. They had an instant connection and became inseparable. They enjoyed even the simple things like watching movies together and making memories through their travels.

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At the age of twenty-one, Tony was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. His quality of life improved in 1994 when he received a kidney transplant.  However, in 2012, the transplant failed.  He has been undergoing dialysis three times a week since the transplant failed. Tony received his kidney cancer diagnosis in 2016, for which he is undergoing treatment. Tanisha and Tony knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, no matter how long that was, and were originally married by the Justice of Peace.

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Close friends and family watched as the couple recommitted themselves to each other through personal vows. There were smiles all around as the couple danced, laughed, and cut their cake together. On this day, the love they have for each other was the focus. The illness and all they have endured was put aside.

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Wish Upon a Wedding would like to thank our New York Chapter for helping with the coordination of this event and all of the generous wish granters who helped to make this day possible and beautiful.  We appreciate you.  Thank you for being so generous.

Planner: Andrew Roby Events

Venue: Top of the Town 

Bride Attire: Cherry Blossom Bridal

Bridal Hair: Alison Harper & Company, LLC

Bridal Makeup Artist: Vivian Wynter

Bridesmaid Makeup Artist: Denyelle D. Beauty

Cake: Winnie’s Bakery

Catering: La Prima Catering

Custom Champagne Flutes: Eikoh Design Studios

Decor Rentals: Cre8tive Touch Events & Rentals

Entertainment and Sound: Elan Artists

Flowers: Petals and Promises

Flowers: Nature of Design

Groom Attire: The Black Tux

Invitations & Paper Goods: The Davis Designs

Lighting: The Light Source Company

Officiant: Ronald “Ray” Wilson

Paper Flower Backdrop: Creative Forte Events & Paper Flowers

Photography: Ronnie Bliss Studios

Transportation: Reston Limousine

Videography: AVS Photo & Video

Wedding Garter: The Garter Girl

Wedding Night Hotel Stay: The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City

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A Chicago Wedding: Erica and Anthony

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On Sunday, May 14th, 2017 Erica and Anthony were married in a beautiful ceremony at the Kimpton Gray Hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Close friends and family witnessed the couple say, “I do” and celebrated with them over a delicious dinner and countless dances on the dance floor.

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Erica and Anthony met through a mutual friend at a party. Erica and Anthony said the conversation was easy and natural from the beginning and exchanged numbers that night. Erica was hesitant to start a relationship with Anthony. She had been diagnosed with stiff persons syndrome, for which there is currently no cure, and was unsure how to tell Anthony.  Anthony knew she was hiding something and when he found out what it was he dedicated himself to knowing all he could about the syndrome. Erica continues to have good days and bad days but calls Anthony her super hero.  The couple enjoys taking walks on the lake front and going on dinner dates. Anthony proposed in the fall of 2016 and Erica said yes.

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Debi Lilly and the Perfect Event team made Erica’s purple spring bling vision come to life with shades of purple and bouquets featuring tulips. Erica’s daughter served as Maid of Honor and participated in the unity ceremony, a visual representation of uniting as one family. The couple had smiles lasted the entire celebration as they cut their cake and shared dances with guests on the dance floor.

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Thank you, Erica and Anthony, for sharing your love story with Wish Upon a Wedding and for allowing us to be a part of your special day. We are honored.

A special thank you to our amazing Wish Granters for helping to make this wedding day wonderful:

Planner: Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event

Venue: The Kimpton Gray Hotel

Catering: The Kimpton Gray Hotel 

Beauty: Christopher Conner

Cake: Toni Patisserie

Ceremony Music: Larry King Orchestra 

Entertainment DJ: Fig Weddings 

Florist: Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event 

Invitations: Stationary Bliss 

Linen: Nuage Designs 

Officiant: Rev. Jim Rehnberg 

Photography: Gerber + Scarpelli Photography

Videography: Fig Weddings

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Nicole and Jose: An Atlanta Georgia Vow Renewal

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On Friday, May 19th, 2017 Nicole and Jose reaffirmed their commitment to each other in a vow renewal ceremony held at the Mason Fine Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The colorful, artwork lined walls provided the perfect backdrop for the celebration.

Nicole and Jose first met as friends.  She was working as a flight attendant on a layover in San Juan. He was in a cover band performing near where she was staying. They reconnected a few years later when Jose moved to Georgia. It was on their third date, when Nicole said, “I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him”. They were married in September of 2013, in a small civil ceremony.

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The vows “in sickness and in health” were put to the test in January of 2016 when Nicole was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. After a year of surgeries and treatments, the couple wanted to celebrate life and their continually growing love for each other.

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Jose and Nicole had their first look as each one opened the colorful, barn style doors. Even after three years of marriage, their smiles were from ear to ear seeing each other for the first time. They walked down a petal lined isle with close friends and family on either side, to recommit and share their love for each other.  The vows they recited had an even deeper meaning with everything they have endured together.

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After an amazing dinner, delicious cake, and dancing with friends and family the couple exited the celebration under an arch of sparklers wearing the same huge smiles they started the day with. Thank you, Nicole and Jose, for allowing Wish Upon a Wedding to share in your love story and be a to be a part of your special day.

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Wish Upon a Wedding would also like to thank all of the amazing Wish Granters who donated their time and services to make Nicole and Jose’s day amazing:

Planner: Anna Panu of Chancey Charm

Venue: Mason Fine Arts Center

Beauty: Vigilante Cosmetics, LLC

Cake: Perfect Wedding Cake

Calligraphy: Mallory Overton

Catering: Simply Catering

Entertainment: Lethal Rhythms DJs

Florist: Stylish Stems

Linen: Nuage Designs

Officiant: The Wedding Minister

Photography: Aline Marin

Photobooth: Robot Booth

Stationary: Stationary Bliss

Videography: The Pros

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