Mary Dann

“I am so thankful that the Wish Upon A Wedding organization is committed to making dream weddings come true. I am amazed at all the talented professionals that are sharing their talents and gifts to help others. I am thrilled to support the group!”

Mary Dann-McNamee, MA Wedding Planner and Author

An idea was born…

Hello!   Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m the founder, Liz Guthrie, but I really hope you’ll just call me Liz. I’m here to keep our supporters in the loop about our development, and hopefully answer any questions you may have.  There will be several volunteers writing about what’s happening at Wish Upon a Wedding all across the country, but I thought I would go first and break things in.

When the idea of Wish Upon a Wedding was born, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into. I just knew that I have always gotten great satisfaction from giving back to the community around me. I also knew that I wanted to create a way to make it easy for other people in the wedding industry to be able to give back, too. Honestly, when I first presented it in 2009 to some local industry leaders, I had no inkling they would so voraciously accept it, and then super-charge it to what it is quickly becoming. This has definitely been a whirlwind of a journey so far.  The support of and enthusiasm for this “little idea” about giving back has been overwhleming. 

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Presidents: Sasha Souza: National  / Kevin Covey: LA & OC / Stella Inserra: NY

I knew the idea of wedding philanthropy had not yet been tried on this level or in this way.  Sure, there were several “Wedding Giveaways” going on around the country, including the yearly San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway I produce.  But I wanted MORE than that. I wanted more than just one couple to receive an incredible gift. So many couples out there need this, and so many more deserve it. 

How could I take a Wedding Giveaway idea and be able to give it to not ONE, but to hundreds of couples in need, from coast to coast?

My sister was visiting from out of town when I started playing with the idea. After a lot of late night conversation, she encouraged me to go for it, using my experience with the San Francisco Dream Wedding Giveaway as a basis.  That contest idea created the backbone of how Wish Upon a Wedding would function. The plan was this: Gather several top notch wedding and hospitality vendors, ask them to donate their goods and services to a couple in need, and multiply that by hundreds of people. REPEAT that action for 18 different chapters over the course of two years, all across the United States, and we would be creating something totally unique, and totally awesome.  Wish Upon a Wedding quickly became America’s ONLY nonprofit wedding wish granting organization, and things have been full-speed-ahead ever since!

Of course, founding the organization as a  501 c 3 charitable nonprofit would be a necessity to our success.  In order to do that, there was a lot of research to do, mountains of paperwork to file, bylaws to write, and articles of incorporation to draft, but we were soon on our way. The creation of a 200 page constantly evolving handbook, a user-friendly website, and the development of five AMAZING Regional Chapters launched us into the world of WOW.  And Holy Cow—-  I still cannot believe we are really up and running!

But we could not do it without so many generous and dedicated individuals.

The wedding industry is an incredibly giving group of people, and they were ready to give something back.  I’ve heard from many vendors that this is the opportunity they’d been looking for.  They were waiting for something like this to come along.  The professionals who are signing up in droves to be Wish granters tell us that it’s the perfect way to give back, by offering what they know and do best!  What better way to participate in community service than by using the skills they have perfected, from their experience at the weddings they produce every weekend?

I want to THANK everyone who has joined our cause so far.  You are true pioneers, creating this wonderful organization TOGETHER as a team.  Every single Wish Granter who signs up to make a dream come true.  Every volunteer who donates their valuable time to help behind the scenes.  And all the dedicated Board Members across the nation.  Thank you for believing in us as the organization blossoms, as we create something incredible from what was nothing just months ago.

Thank you ALL for your amazing support!  Keep it coming and help us spread the word!!!

~Best Wishes~

~Liz

Florence and Michael's Wedding Wish

Florence & Michael | Wish Upon a Wedding

In 2002, Florence had moved from Oklahoma City to be with her mother in the San Francisco Bay Area. After moving there, she decided to stay.

A few years later, in 2006 Florence was on her way to a birthday party, to hang out with her girlfriends. As usual, she waited for the Route 93 Bus. That evening, Michael the bus driver noticed Florence and began a conversation with her. Route 93 was his regular route, and Florence and Michael began to see more and more of each other.

He asked for her phone number, and eventually called her. After playing hard to get, Florence finally decided to answer the phone. For their first date, Michael asked Florence out to dinner in San Francisco. They ate dinner by the wharf, watching the boats come in and out of the bay, and they began to fall in love.

Michael told Florence he’d found his other half and wanted to be her husband.

When Florence was diagnosed with cancer, she worried Michael might leave. But he was always there for her, supporting her throughout the entire experience, including a double mastectomy.

Michael proposed to Florence by saying “I want to make you my wife” and “make our family official”. He let her know that no matter what happens, he loves her and wants to be with her unconditionally.

Florence and Michael | Wish Upon a Wedding Wish Recipients

Wish Upon a Wedding is proud to grant Florence and Michael their wish of a very special wedding, which took place on March 13, 2010.