Charity helps Terminally Ill Couples Forget their Pain
NST Pictures recently joined Wish Upon a Wedding, an organization that provides wedding services to couples affected by terminal illness or other life-altering circumstances. We were able to talk to the New York President, Lindsay Landman, to find out more information about the organization.
How long have you been with Wish Upon a Wedding?
I’ve been with WUW for two and a half years. We launched the NY Chapter in October 2012. I’ve worked on the National Board of Directors as Events Chair since before the launch.
How many weddings has WUW provided as a whole?
As a whole, we’ve done about 70 weddings. We have two New York weddings coming up in the fall, and the chapter has already done two. Chapters handle wishes in their immediate area, but they also fulfill weddings in the surrounding areas if they have the resources. We’re the northernmost chapter, so we handle the entire Northeast region.
One of challenges is getting through the planning process. In one of our New Jersey weddings, a bride unfortunately passed before the wedding date. We try to grant wishes as quickly as possible to avoid situations like that, but it’s unfortunately something that a lot of chapters deal with.
Has there been a particular couple that stood out to you?
All of our couples are quite amazing. I’m amazed every time to see people that are faced with such adversity remain strong. The New York Chapter sponsored a vow renewal in New Hampshire for a couple that never had a wedding. I got a chance to be at the wedding and see it all happen. It really reminded me of how important the day is, not just for the couple, but for the family. After knowing that they’ve dealt with so much sadness and struggle, to see everyone supporting the couple in a happy way is amazing. After you get to know the couple, it’s impossible to not get attached. We help a lot of great people.
How does a person apply to have their wedding wish granted?
Each candidate initially applies through our website. It’s a pretty simple online application. Then, the National board reviews it to make sure they meet our criteria, for example, they have to be a US citizen over eighteen, and they need to have a serious medical challenge, life altering circumstance, or other exceptional challenges. We look for couples that really need us, someone that’s wanting a wedding and can’t have one. After that process, the wish is assigned to the chapter that will most likely able to help. We have ten chapters across the country, and we reach out to the closest chapter to the couple to see if they have the resources needed to provide the wedding. We make the match based on who can provide the resources.
What’s your favorite part of working with WUW?
They’re all unbelievable people. I’m blown away by how strong the couples are. In my experience with starting the New York Chapter, it’s a long journey to establish yourself. Now, we have two local wishes that we’re granting soon. One bride has breast cancer, but she’s been able to have reconstructive surgery, and she’ll be wearing a wedding dress that Kleinfeld’s donated.
Damaris and Sean will be getting married this fall in New York. Photo courtesy of Wish Upon a Wedding.
For our other upcoming wedding in the New York Chapter, the groom was a New York police officer. He had a stroke, and his recovery involved learning to walk again. As a result of the stroke, he had to retire from the police force. They’ll be sharing the experience with their children, so it’s going to be something great for them to have as a family.
Do you have anything exciting coming up that you’d like to share with us?
Besides our upcoming weddings, we are launching our new website in August, and the new layout is great. We’re really excited about it.
Update: The new website is up and running! Check out their awesome new layout!
For more information on Wish Upon a Wedding and how to get involved, visit their website here.