On Sunday May 22, 2016, Lonnie and Karen’s Wish Upon a Wedding wish came true in Philadelphia at the esteemed Top of the Tower overlooking the couples’ beloved city. The bride, Karen, was positively glowing and the groom, Lonnie, beamed from within as they wed in front of their family and friends. Lonnie has been battling colon cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries and hospital stays. Lonnie is currently undergoing chemotherapy, a process that has taken over a year to complete. But with all that they are dealing with, they still wanted to become husband and wife and celebrate with family and friends.
It was quite clear to all in attendance how important family really is to Lonnie and Karen. During the ceremony, the bride opted to walk halfway down the aisle with her father, and then walked the second half of the aisle with her brother. What a beautiful way to share the meaningful role of escorting Karen in to the ceremony. Later, when it came time to dance, Karen shared a dance with her father and also shared a special dance with her two sons (there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!).
The couple requested a classically elegant Parisian theme, which Eventricity pulled off with small Eiffel towers and gorgeous linens. Top of the Tower provided a delicious brunch buffet and Desserts by Dana made a delicious cake for the wedding guests to enjoy. Silver Sound DJs kept the celebration going until the last guest exited the building.
The couple had learned about Wish Upon a Wedding while watching Good Day Philadelphia. Karen and Lonnie had looked forward to this day and told us they were so happy and blessed to be married. We were so honored to have been able to play a role in making this dream a reality for Lonnie and Karen, and we wish them the best.
A special thank you to our Wish Upon a Wedding Wish Granters. Without them, this wish would not be possible. Thank you so much for your generous spirit and kind hearts in helping with this wedding wish!
Time to celebrate the long weekend with food, family, friends, and hopefully catch up on some much needed sleep. Our friends at Perfect Linens will be donating 10% of all proceeds from September 12th-19th to Wish Upon A Wedding.
Perfect Linens is truly the sheet expert, testing and identifying the most comfortable sheets in the world. Enjoy “the sleep of your dreams” while giving back to a wonderful cause!
Click here to learn more or purchase Perfect Linens!
Tamara and Archie met through a friend at community college. Initially they were very shy, but the ice-breaker came through when Archie offered to drive Tamara to class. There were definite sparks and eventually they fell in love.
During the 15 years of their relationship, life has definitely thrown major curve balls at them. At the ultrasound of their first pregnancy, the doctors found a malformation in the baby’s lung. They were told the baby would not survive. Going against the doctor’s advice of abortion, Tamara and Archie’s daughter was born with a cleft pallet and a lung malformation. Their daughter had gone through extensive surgeries and therapy to fix them.
Just a year and half ago, Tamara discovered a lump in her breast while pregnant with their second child. Luckily after the hysterectomy, chemo, double mastectomy. Radiation and lymph node removal, the cancer has not spread. This has given Tamara a lot of hope and light into the future with Archie and their two children. Tamara and Archie will have their dream wedding this month of August at the beautiful Mountain Gate Country Club.
It all started with a smile. That’s why Mandy said she was drawn to Derek right off the bat. What kept her coming back? His heart: that he showed to her through his gift of music.
Sounds like a simple, beautiful love story, but it is so much more. Mandy and Derek have endured challenges and emotions that most couples will never experience. Even before Derek met Mandy through a mutual friend, he knew about Mandy’s situation. He knew that even though she was small, Mandy was mighty after all the health complications she had already endured and would continue to endure. In Mandy’s words, “What makes our relationship special? Derek chose me…He is my light in a very dark place. He loves me. He truly loves me.”
Mandy was diagnosed as a type one diabetic when she was six years old. However, this was just the tip of the iceberg on a long list of medical trials and tribulations she’s experienced throughout the years. Fast forward to her college years when the major medical issues started developing. She was in and out of the hospital so much with a multitude of issues that she had to withdrawal from college. After continual confusion of not knowing what was going on, her GI doctor discovered that she had chronic pancreatitis. Through Mandy’s strength, she was able to graduate from college and accepted her dream job of working at the Riley Hospital for Children while dealing with constant pain. The pain was not getting any better though, so with the guidance of her doctor, she decided to get a pancreas transplant. This was a miracle until it started to dissipate in effectiveness, and she is now faced with the biggest surgery of her life: a removal of the original and donor pancreas. This is a risky surgery and a big decision that she is not ready to commit to just yet.
When meeting the couple, one could not help but see how much they care for each other, and how excited they are to get married to the love of their lives. With Mandy’s sickness, she has been unable to plan the wedding this year, but all they truly want is to be Mr. & Mrs. Derek Robinson. This is where Wish Upon a Wedding Indianapolis was able to jump in to help. They took over to spare the couple the stress and the financial burden so instead they can focus on the happiness and excitement that comes with tying the knot. The couple’s wish will be granted at the Indianapolis Yacht Club on July 7, 2016. A special thanks to Kenton Dixon and Unique Heart Productions for capturing their beautiful love story through photography and videography respectively.
With sweeping views of the Las Vegas valley as their backdrop, a deserving couple got their wish to be married at last.
Debray Ayala and Charles Trahan have been together for 25 years, but never formally tied the knot. Debra recently received news that her already-threatening breast cancer had accelerated to malignant neoplasm. After contacting Wish Upon a Wedding, the local Las Vegas chapter turned around a dream wedding 25 years in the making, in only 1 week’s time.
Thanks to a dedicated group of wish granters and board members, every last detail was executed in style. Starting with the ceremony venue, Red Rock Resort’s One 80 Penthouse Suite—their most luxurious and largest VIP suite with over 6,000 square feet of decadence—Debra and Charles were treated to a night to remember. As the bride was pampered with hair and makeup, the groom worked the room. Charles socialized with guests with unparalleled grace and gratitude. He knew just how special this day was and he soaked in every moment.
Following a lovely ceremony with Red Rock National Park as their backdrop, guests made their way downstairs for the reception. They enjoyed a delicious meal and wedding cake, but more importantly, each other’s company. That evening, Debra and Charles retired back to the One 80 Penthouse Suite as husband and wife.
Everyone who interacted with Debra and Charles that night, from friends and family to wish granters and board members, was touched by their loving energy. As the saying goes, “they may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” This deserving couple certainly made everyone feel special and we only hope that we returned the favor.
Charles with Las Vegas President, Adam Frazier
An amazing group of volunteers and vendors donated their time and resources to make this a spectacular event happen for a very deserving couple. A huge thank you to the people who made this day possible, our wish granters!
The Wish Upon a Wedding New York Valentine’s Masquerade Ball this past February was an absolute success. Many generous supporters, sponsors, partners and Wish Granters united to create an unforgettable evening filled with love and support for Wish Upon a Wedding and all of our future Wishes. It’s truly exciting to see the Wish Upon a Wedding mission continue to shine in New York and beyond, with around 300 guests in attendance in their fancy gowns, tuxedos and masks!
Alpine Creative Group brought our vision to life through our fabulous Save the Dates and Invitations. It wouldn’t have been possible without their design talent!
Guests were welcomed into the evening by striking a pose at the step-and-repeat, with all step-and-repeat photography being captured by the brilliant Sarah Merians Photography.
The wonderful Conrad New York Hotel went over the top with every single detail and Union Square Events offered a multitude of delicious hors d’oeuvres and passed entrees, along with a custom craft cocktail. Everything, literally EVERYTHING, fit the overall vibe perfectly! Take a peek at the amazing mask ice sculpture below.
Luxe Event Rentals donated spectacular pieces of furniture and unique décor items that were the foundation of the sexy, Masquerade theme. The marvelous rose couch was a statement that many guests sat in to snap their evening selfie. It was picture perfect!
No party would be complete without the legendary City of Six Band of GenerationEvents. This talented group of entertainers had everyone dancing the night away with their beautiful voices, magnificent music selection and fun energy!
The striking combination of red, magenta and pink sprinkled throughout the luscious rose and carnation arrangements designed by the renowned Fleurs NYC topped every table in sight. All fabulous paper items designed by Invitations by Ana Dolan offered the perfect touch as well!
As guests took a break from dancing and sipping on their drink of choice, Oysters XO surprised guests with live oyster shucking. It was a huge hit and was such a tasty treat!
Guests also had a chance to have an artist from Drawn Together NYC sketch or paint them in their fancy attire, and then were able to take home their work of art as a party favor! Such a unique activity to incorporate into any event.
Nuage Designs stunning linens complemented the overall décor with gorgeous texture and a little sparkle, offering a lovely tablescape for our Silent Auction. Big thank you to all of our Silent Auction donors for offering your products and services! We appreciate it immensely.
As the party continued through the evening, the well-known DJ Jason Fioto of Generation Events rocked it out on the turntables with his perfect compilation of tunes and songs. He knows how to keep the party jamming, with both old hits and popular songs!
Everyone left with a bottle of RESQWATER to stay hydrated throughout the rest of the night! No headaches are allowed on the morning after attending a Wish Upon a Wedding gala.
Lastly, the Valentine’s Masquerade Ball would have not been possible without the Wish Upon a Wedding New York Board. Special shout out to Eyal Tessler, the New York Events Chair, for planning and designing an outstanding gala!
CSW: What does it feel like to grant a wish? Ali: The emotions and love that fill the room at a wedding wish make for the most heart-warming and loving moments of my life. The appreciation from not only the couple, but also their family and friends to their wish granters – who are often times fully donating their services – means so much to all of us at Wish Upon a wedding. I strongly believe helping others makes this world a better place. And that love heals!
CSW: What do you hope will come for your position and the organization in the future? Ali: I am the National President of Wish Upon a Wedding, a position I have held for two years. I will continue to be a part of Wish Upon a Wedding nationally and help it grow to help even more peopl
“Angel has impacted my life in so many ways. He came in a time when I really needed an ‘angel.’ He has showed me how to love and what love is supposed to be,” Betty stated. Betty and Angel met on a brisk fall evening in 2006 through Betty’s best friend and Angel’s cousin. After connecting over multiple phone calls and spending more time together throughout the following weeks, Angel and Betty were certain they had a genuine and special bond.
Like every relationship, Betty and Angel have experienced ups and downs over the last ten years. They created many beautiful and fun memories together, yet the biggest obstacle they continue to face is Betty’s health and Angel stands by her side as her biggest champion. Looking back, Betty vividly remembers the moment when she originally informed Angel of her health condition and the sadness she felt as she told him he could move on. “Angel looked at me and told me, ‘How can I walk away from you?’ and kissed me. We have been inseparable ever since.”
In 2004 when Betty was seventeen years old, she was diagnosed with metastatic incurable Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Throughout the last few years, Betty’s cancer has advanced to Stage IV. Her amazing support system, her loving family and wonderful husband-to-be offer unwavering encouragement and strength throughout her multiple hospital stays, treatments and surgeries. Betty’s positive perspective and sense of perseverance has guided her over the years, even with all of the pain she experiences daily. Betty is a true fighter.
Following the call from Wish Upon a Wedding, Betty and Angel were blown away with the great news. “We are very grateful that people are willing to help us out and make our wedding day happen for us. It’s our fairytale,” Angel added.
The Wish Upon a Wedding New York Chapter is honored to be granting Betty and Angel’s Wedding Wish this spring in New York City. Many thanks to Orange Films for capturing their gorgeous Love Story. You will even get a glimpse of their proposal video, which is absolutely adorable!
“The first time I saw her I remember saying to one of my friends that she was going to be my wife”. – Lonnie
Karen and Lonnie ran in the same social circles about 16 years ago when they first met, living in the same neighborhood. The two were close friends, Lonnie even taught Karen to parallel park, but at the time, they were both exploring other relationships.
When Facebook gained further popularity in 2010, the two reconnected and started talking on the social platform while also exchanging numbers. In August of 2012, Lonnie asked Karen to be his girlfriend, a role that she gladly accepted. After only a few months of dating, the two were engaged.
A year later, Lonnie fell ill to colon cancer and has undergone multiple surgeries and hospital stays. Lonnie is currently undergoing chemotherapy, a process that has taken over a year to complete. He says, “Once I fell ill, a lot of dreams and future plans did not seem to exist anymore. We learned about Wish Upon a Wedding while watching Good Day Philadelphia and this has become one of the things we can look forward to, to creating a moment with Karen and I that my sickness can’t take from us. Being blessed to be married is the ultimate gift”.
Our Philadelphia Chapter of Wish Upon a Wedding is looking forward to working with this deserving couple to bring their wedding daydream to life and to help celebrate such a special and meaningful moment.