An Oregon Wedding: Melanie and Brian

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On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, Melanie and Brian were married at the beautiful Gray Gables Estate in Portland, Oregon. The couple said their vows in an intimate ceremony surrounded by close friends and family.

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Melanie and Brian met on myspace.com almost ten years ago. Over time, they realized their friendship was naturally turning into a relationship. 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. Unfortunately, since her most recent surgery the tumor has grown back larger than before. Melanie continues to undergo a combination therapy reduce the tumor’s size.

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On July 26th, all health concerns took a backseat and the couple was showered with love and support from friends and family. The We Plan It team helped bring the couples rock and roll star theme to life. One of the couple’s guitars was even used as a guest book. They plan to display the signed guitar on a wall in their home.

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The weather was perfect and the bride looked stunning in her dress donated from Brides for a Cause. Melanie also chose pin roll curls for her hair to match the rock and roll theme. The groom and groomsmen looked handsome and from Hollywood wearing long suit jackets with pin stripes.

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The love this couple has for each other was visible throughout the entire day. They shared a few tears, huge smiles, tons of laughs, and danced into the evening.

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“You know you love a person when you learn you can’t live without the person” said Brian. Already living the vows in sickness and in health and regardless of the prognosis, Melanie and Brian are committed to spending the time they together and now as husband and wife.

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

 

Planner: We Plan It

Venue: Gray Gables Estate

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

Wedding Dress: Brides for a Cause

Watch the wedding video here:

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A Las Vegas Wedding: Concetta and Gaobain

HOP_3740On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Concetta and Gaobain were married in an intimate ceremony at MEET Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Concetta and Gaobain met over 27 years ago in a Chicago bar where Concetta was tending bar. They shared their first kiss the day they met, thanks to a dare from Concetta’s sister. However, it was about a year before Gaobain asked Concetta out on their first date. Things moved quickly after that. They were engaged the same year, and on March 23, 1992, they went to the courthouse and were married. After 14 years of marriage, sickness and life got in the way and they divorced. Although they split apart, they never stopped loving each other and kept in contact regularly. If only took a year before they both realized they could not live without the other and Gaobain proposed again.

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This family is no stranger to illness, as Concetta has battled cancer more than once. But, in 2010, Gaobain was diagnosed with renal failure and congestive heart failure. While on the transplant list waiting for a kidney, Gaobain was advised that even if he found a match, his heart would be too weak for surgery. As a result, Concetta drives him to dialysis three times a week and tries to keep him comfortable and take his mind off of things. When asked what Gaobain likes most about Concetta he said, “everything, she is always there no matter what”, and that is exactly where she intends to stay for the rest of his life.

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“I can’t lose this man, he is my soulmate. He has such a big heart and he is always there for others” said Concetta. With his prognosis, the couple wanted a day away from the illness and that is exactly what they received as they married for the second time.

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Being from Chicago originally, Gaobain is a huge Cubs fan, and along with his suit he proudly wore his Chicago Cubs baseball hat. Our wonderful chapter managed to arrange a video message from Cubs player Kris Bryant, as a surprise to the couple. In addition to the Cubs, Concetta and Gaobain also love Elvis. Their next surprise came when Elvis showed up at their reception and put on a short performance.

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The couple’s smiles spanned ear to ear as they danced and laughed with close friends and family.  They both agree that at on this special day, year 27 feels just as exciting as year one. They are both looking forward to spending whatever time they have left side by side, hand in hand.

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

Venue: MEET Las Vegas

Catering: Divine Events

Planner: Scheme Events

Photography: Harry O Productions

Flower Wall: Rock Paper Bloom

Floral: Destinations By Design

DJ: Livinh Events

Videography: Newfly Films

Baker: Peridot Sweets

Officiant: Rev Phil York

Beauty: Glam Squad 702

Backdrop: Starry Eyed Events

Lounge Furniture: LED Unplugged

Pipe and Drape: Quest Events

Elvis: The Mobile Minister

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Wish Upon a Wedding Video

Wish Upon a Wedding just recently granted it’s 120th wish on Monday, November 6th and that same day celebrated the 8th Annual Blissful Wishes Ball in Chicago.

We woud like to thank Keith Jorgensen of Poetic Weddings for this wonderful video that was shown at the Chicago Gala.

2017 Wish Upon A Wedding Video from Keith Jorgensen on Vimeo.

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.

In Loving Memory of Margarette

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.

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A San Diego Love Story: Linda and Gabriel

034 Linda and Gabe Engagement October 18 2017Linda 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.

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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.

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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.

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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”!

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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.

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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.

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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

Venue: Grand Pacific Palisades Resort

Baker: Sweet Cheeks Baking Co.

Bridal Hair and Makeup: Elwynn + Cass Style Bar

Bridal Party Hair: Belle Sirene Salon

Catering: Bekker’s Catering

Dessert: Birds and Bear Bakehouse

Entertainment: Encore Entertainment

Entertainment: Kylie Hughes

Favors: Sugarplum Farm

Florist: Blooms by Bressa Lee

Linen: Nuage Design

Officiant: The Great Officiants

Photography: The Good Photographer

Photo Booth: SocialLight Photobooth

Pool Table Rental: West State Billiards

Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

Stationary: Love Notes Stationary

Wedding Shoes: Kate Whitcomb

Videography: Hoo Films

Watch their beautiful love story here:

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Wish Upon a Wedding Announces 2017 Shining Star Award Recipients

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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!

Curtis Duffy

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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.

Jodi Fyfe

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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

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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.

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

Accessories: Nina Accessories

Attire (bride): Mark Ingram Atelier

Attire (groom): Baldwin Formal

Baker: Nine Cakes

Bridal Stylist: The Stylish Bride

Ceremony Music: Bianchi Musica Productions

Entertainment/DJ: Martin D’Arce

Florist: L’Atelier Rouge

Grooming: Martial Vivot

Hair: Tamara Bosworth

Hotel Stay: Kimpton Hotel Eventi

Jumbotron: Big Screen Plaza

Lighting: Pegasus Productions

Linen: Nuage Designs

Make-Up: Kimara Ahnert

Officiant: Lisa Traina

Photobooth: D’Primo Photobooth

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 James 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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