By Emma Sarran Webster | November 3, 2016 | Lifestyle
Wish Upon a Wedding helps couples facing illnesses or other serious circumstances to have the big day of their dreams. We take a look at 10 local vendors that give back to the organization in honor of its 100th couple, Rockford natives Anne and John, and its gala at Morgan Manufacturing on November 7.
Anne and John.
On Sunday, October 23, Anne and Jon said, “I do.” It was a beautiful wedding on a stunning Chicago day—but their path to the altar was different than most. When Anne and Jon met online in 2008, Anne had already undergone a mastectomy to treat her Stage 0 breast cancer. Anne was worried her potential suitor may be deterred by her physical appearance, or the fact that she had two sons from a previous marriage (one who was born with a chromosomal disorder, is wheelchair-bound and unable to speak, and dependent on Anne for care), but none of that mattered to Jon. The two fell in love, and now have a five-year-old son together as well.
And, despite the fact that doctors told Anne the chances of her cancer returning post-mastectomy were one in a million, it did. In October 2014, she found out she had Stage 4 Metastatic breast cancer. Jon remained by Anne’s side throughout her illness, and after a long journey together, they decided to get married.
Enter: Wish Upon a Wedding. The national nonprofit organization grants wedding wishes, providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing serious illnesses or life-altering circumstances. The organization operates in all 50 states, and its Chicago chapter got the distinct honor of granting the nonprofit’s 100th wish to Anne and Jon. And next week, the local chapter will celebrate that wish—and all of its recipient couples—at its seventh annual gala. The event will be emceed by WGN TV’s Dina Blair and take place at Morgan Manufacturing, on the evening of Monday, November 7.
In honor of Anne and Jon, and next week’s event, we’re taking a look at some of the generous Chicago wedding vendors who have donated their services for Wish Upon a Wedding nuptials, the gala, or both.
This striking hotel in the heart of downtown Chicago donated its space for Wish Upon a Wedding’s 100th wish couple, Anne and Jon, who married at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel last month. 221 N. Columbus Dr., 312-565-5258
Elysia Root, the woman behind this beloved West Town bakery, creates some seriously impressive cakes that fit pretty much any event, style, and personality. But Elysia isn’t just talented—she’s also philanthropic. She donated her baking services for Anne and Jon’s October wedding. 1939 W. Fulton St., 312-344-1046
Okyne Media Lab offers DJ and emcee services for paying couples throughout Chicago, but they also do multiple pro-bono events throughout the year. Most recently, CEO Al Okyne donated his DJ and emcee skills to Anne and Jon’s big day at the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel. 800-996-5963
Local makeup artist Aga has worked her magic on celebrity clients all over the country and the world, done makeup during New York Fashion Week, and been featured in countless magazines. But, despite her busy schedule, she still found time to provide complimentary makeup services for Anne’s Wish Upon a Wedding day—as well as for the bride’s TV interviews about the event. 773-501-6605
BeatMix Music encompasses three killer band/DJ combinations, Becca Kaufman Orchestra, Time Chicago, and TC Squared, all of which perform and pump up the crowds at events throughout the Chicagoland area. They’ve offered their services to various Wish Upon a Wedding couples, and will be entertain guests at next week’s gala, with their Guilded Garden String Quartet, as well as the three aforementioned BeatMix Groups. 3701 Commercial Ave., Ste. 6, Northbrook, 847-892-4150
Carasco Photography has been capturing Chicago weddings for the past 12 years—and Anne and Jon’s Wish Upon a Wedding nuptials were no exception. Cara and Scott, the team behind Carasco, donated their photography services to beautifully capture the couple’s big day. 773-383-4112
This West Loop venue offers some real character (it’s in a renovated, pre-Chicago Fire building) and some serious elbow room (it boasts a whopping 32,000 square feet of space for events). Morgan Manufacturing is donating all of its expansive space to next week’s Wish Upon a Wedding gala. 401 N. Morgan St., 312-763-3317
This paperie and design studio specializes in the whole suite of wedding stationery, and its contributions to the upcoming Wish Upon a Wedding gala include the invitation designs, programs, cocktail napkins, auction paddles, and more. 472 W. Erie St., 312-951-8300
Paramount Events creates custom, high-end, and delicious menus for weddings and events of all shapes and sizes. Next week, they’re sponsoring the Wish Upon a Weddings gala’s “Afterglow” after party, providing passed sweets, charcuterie, and assorted drinks. 1750 W. Lake St., 773-880-8044
This luxe event rental company offers mostly vintage pieces (with updated fabrics and finishes) that will elevate the style of any wedding. The company is new, but they’re starting off strong by donating several high-style lounges—including a mirrored bar that will be used as a DJ station—for this year’s Wish Upon a Wedding gala. 1500 S. Western Ave., 312-882-1891
PHOTOGRAPHY by Joseph Kang via FACEBOOK.COM/RADISSONBLUAQUA; VIA facebook.com/ElysiaRootCakes; courtesy of Okyne Media Lab; by Carasco Photography (Aga; BeatMix, Carasco); via facebook.com/WUWChicago (Carasco); by Matt Haas Photography; via facebook.com/paramounteventschicago; Amanda Miller Photography (Bowery & Bash); facebook.com/WishUponaWedding (Anne & Jon)