Thank you too all the amazing videographers who were part of these past wishes and captured our couples wedding days: Fig Media, I Do Films, One Fine Day Productions, My Touch Weddings, Aria/EVP Films, Isabel Cinematique, White Wedding, DJ America, hoo films, Chicago Cinematic Weddings, Heartistree studios, Suburban Video.
Our hearts are heavy as we write, Margarette Glover-Johnson passed away on October 14, 2017. She was surrounded by family. Margarette was a beautiful wife and mother. She and James were originally married November 28, 2009 and we were working on planning their vow renewal. The love this couple had for each other was inspiring, they were truly living their wedding vows. Margarette’s cancer took her too soon, but she will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with Margarette’s husband, son and all of their friends and family, during this difficult time. We are honored to have heard their love story.
Linda and Gabriel (Gabe) met playing pool competitively. They were on opposite teams and even though they didn’t talk much that first night, Gabe said Linda made an impression on him. A week later, Linda went back to the local bar where the competition had been the week before and saw Gabe again. They struck up a conversation and before the night ended, Gabe asked Linda on a date.
Their first date included sushi, jazz, and pool, which are a few of Linda’s favorite things. The conversation was easy and at the end of the night they shared their first kiss. They both describe their first year dating as amazing. They spent any free time they had together. It was obvious from the beginning Linda and Gabe had a real connection.
Early in their relationship, Linda shared with Gabe that her nephew had been diagnosed with cancer. She explained the situation to Gabe, including the fact that her free time was limited, since she needed to be with her family for support. Gabe not only understood, he was extremely supportive. Their relationship continued to grow and Linda’s family grew to love Gabe as well.
About a year into their relationship Gabriel went to the emergency room and was ultimately diagnosed with Leukemia. Gabe was blown away by the diagnosis. He immediately began to think about Linda and how she had just spent the last few years by her nephew’s side during his battle with cancer. He didn’t feel he could ask her to stay with him while he fought. When he shared these thoughts with Linda her response was: “Shut it, we are going to beat this”!
It was after a bone marrow transplant Gabe says he knew he wanted to marry Linda. “[It was] not just because she was an amazing caregiver, but she brings out the best of me, and I needed to make her my wife” said Gabe. Knowing how close Linda is to her family, Gabe asked her father, mother, brothers and sister for their permission to marry her. Gabe had planned to propose on the anniversary of their first date, but after purchasing the ring he knew he couldn’t wait and ended up surprising her with a proposal at work.
A month or so after the proposal, Gabriel’s cancer relapsed. He was again diagnosed cancer free on April 6th2015, but continues to take medication to prevent a relapse. “Life is different for us,” said Linda, “but the love we had for each other held us together like gorilla glue!” They continue to stick together no matter what life throws at them and their relationship has only continued to grow and strengthen.
Linda and Gabriel are so in love and have such big hearts. The couple also volunteers as mentors for Imerman Angels, a one on one cancer support community connecting cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers.
We are so excited make their special day happen. We would like to thank all of our amazing Wish Granters who are making generous donations of time and services to make this day possible for Linda and Gabe:
Planner: Simply Classic Events LLC
Wish Upon a Wedding is honored to announce the 2017 Chicago Shining Star Recipients. These three people are some of the most inspirational, motivational and giving professionals in Chicago. This is our way to thank and pay tribute to those professionals who inspire others to engage in volunteer service by their demonstrated commitment and example.
The Shining Star Award Recipients for 2017 have shown an ongoing and substantial commitment to the community and have consistently exhibited honesty, integrity and the highest ethical standards in his or her profession.
Congratulations to Curtis Duffy, Jodi Fyfe, and Nicole Zenner. Thank you for all you do!
Grace, a Michelin awarded restaurant is owned by Chef Curtis Duffy whose culinary mastery has maintained Michelin’s highest three-star rating for the past three consecutive years (2015-2017). Duffy’s style is a reflection of his personal taste and drawing upon his wealth of experience. His micro-seasonal cuisine is best described as “thoughtfully progressive” – thoughtful as he puts tremendous time, focus, research and thought into what he creates, and progressive as he utilizes modern techniques to coax the best out of the ingredients. Each dish is an expression of his personality – progressive but grounded – and puts ingredients at the forefront. He continues to source the highest-quality ingredients, allowing flavor to trump technique.
Duffy has earned numerous accolades, including Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond, and 2016 James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Great Lakes” Award. While Duffy continues his culinary evolution, he sits on the advisory board of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with a $25,000 scholarship in his name. He continues his charitable efforts by volunteering with Grand Chefs Gala, a fundraiser benefiting the Greater Illinois Cystic Fibrosis Foundation where he is Chef Chair of the gala, and hosted several dinners at Grace to further the foundation.
Passionate about hospitality and great service, Jodi Fyfe has worked in the food and beverage industry for over 25 years. As the Founder & CEO of Paramount Events, Jodi and the company’s talented team have taken the wedding, corporate, social and drop off markets to new heights, becoming Chicago’s go-to resource for events and catering. The team strives to create custom, creative menus from sustainable and local products, provide every guest with impeccable service and foster growth in community partnerships. In 2016, Jodi opened The Lakewood, a one of a kind event space, and Eden, a restaurant serving American food with Mediterranean influences, in the West Loop.
Jodi is also fiercely supportive of several non-profits close to her heart, including Tickled Pink (which she founded in 2004 in memory of her cousin who lost her battle to breast cancer), Step Up Women’s Network, Hephzibah and Wish Upon a Wedding. Jodi enjoys exploring Chicago’s culinary scene and traveling with husband her two children.
Nicole Zenner, CSEP is an award-winning wedding and event planner. Starting her professional career in Minneapolis MN 13 years ago, she worked with LK Events for the past 5.5 years, and recently launched her own company, Zen Events, primarily focusing on officiating at wedding ceremonies. She is actively involved in the International Live Events Association and is the immediate past president of the Chicago Chapter. Nicole is the only wedding planner in Chicago holding the CSEP (Certified Special Events Professional) designation.
The event industry is her passion and Nicole firmly believes in continuing education for every event professional. It not only helps the individual, but furthers the standards of the event industry. The personal growth and collaboration she finds within ILEA and attending multiple conferences a year is invaluable and she challenges her fellow event professionals to continue their growth in the industry.
Please join us at this year’s 8th Annual Blissful Wishes Ball, Monday, November 6th, 2016 at Morgan Manufacturing.
Lilly 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Thank you to those outstanding Wish Granters that helped to make everything possible:
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.
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.
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.
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/.