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Friday, January 1, 2010

Start the New Year right and get involved with WISH UPON A WEDDING tonight!


I hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Year and I wish you all much love, peace, happiness and prosperity in 2010. It’s been a very busy past few months for C. Brower & Co Creative Events and we’re excited about the upcoming New Year and what it holds in store for us. We have lots of great news to share already!

First, I am thrilled and honored to announce I am a Finalist for Designer of the Year for the prestigious 2010 Event Solutions Spotlight Awards! Out of 500 applicants little old me is one of eight designers chosen as a Finalist! This is truly one of the proudest moments of my career. Voting is now open to the public so I hope you will all please take a moment, click on the link below, scroll down to Designer of the Year and vote for me! Please pass the word to all your friends and ask them to vote too!

Next, I’m excited to tell you all about an incredible non-profit organization I learned about called Wish Upon A Wedding. Their California Chapter is launching this month, with New York, Florida New Jersey and Chicago to follow in the upcoming months. I’m delighted to announce I will be serving on their New York Chapter Board of Directors as the Events Chair under Chapter President Sharon Naylor, author of over 30 wedding planning books.

I love, love, love the entire concept of this charity and what it stands for, and you will too!

Wish Upon A Wedding is America's only wedding wish granting organization. They grant weddings & civil union ceremonies at destinations across the US to couples facing life-threatening medical conditions, celebrating the courage & spirit of these couples. Their hope is that chosen recipients can inspire other couples facing similar situations to find hope and strength.

The organization was founded by Liz Guthrie of San Jose Wedding Consultants in California and its founding Board of Directors is a powerhouse of California’s finest wedding and business professionals. Recently Liz was interviewed by the Chicago Marriage Examiner to discuss Wish Upon A Wedding. Below are a few excerpts from the article:

How does it work? Please describe the process.

Guthrie: The application process includes an online submission form, where the couple tells their story, explains why they’re seeking assistance, a description of their illness, how long they have to live and proof from their doctors. The application also includes a photograph and a personal letter that is no longer than one page in length and describes their dream. Applications will not be accepted however until the organization’s launch in January 2010.

The founding chapter is located in Northern California and consists of a mix of wedding professionals and other prominent business people. We are currently establishing regional chapters across the country, each with its own board of directors (11 different volunteers). Wish Upon a Wedding will grant weddings and civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States.

When a wish application is received for a certain part of the country, the wish will be forwarded to that regional chapter. It is then up to the regional chapter and their board of directors to execute the wedding planning process. That regional chapter will then call upon their database of volunteers (known as “Wish Granters”) to put together a wedding for the applicant.

Each chapter will maintain a database of “Wish Granters,” based on 20 different wedding vendor categories:

Wedding Planner- will oversee all aspects of wedding coordination, including timeline creation, ceremony choreography, and will work with volunteer coordinator and all vendors to ensure a smooth wedding and reception
Wedding and Reception Venue - site where wedding and reception will take place
Caterer - will provide basic meal for wedding reception - no alcohol
Rental Company - will provide basic rental of tables, chairs, linens, china, flatware, glassware, etc.
Photographer - will provide basic, four-hour wedding day photography package
Videographer - will provide basic, four-hour wedding day video package
Cake Designer - will provide basic wedding cake
Gown Shop - will provide basic wedding gown
Tuxedo Shop - will provide basic grooms’ tuxedos or suits, if preferred
Limo Company - will provide four hours of wedding day transportation for couple getting married.
Officiant - will conduct the custom ceremony, based on couple’s desires
Hair - will do couples’ hair for wedding
Makeup Artist - will do couples’ makeup for wedding
Stationery Designer/Printer - basic invitations, ceremony programs, menus, escort cards and table numbers
Florist - will provide basic flowers: bouquet, corsages, bouts and centerpieces for reception
DJ - will provide music and audio needed for ceremony and reception
Musicians - will provide music for ceremony
Jeweler - will provide basic wedding bands
Hotel - will provide up to four rooms for two nights for couple and immediate family or loved ones
Miscellaneous Entertainment based on couples’ wishes, i.e., caricature artist, photo booth, magician, etc.

NOTE* The term BASIC to be defined on a case by case basis.

Sometimes that may mean the ceremony will take place in a hospice or at a hospital bedside. If the applicant is healthy enough to be married at a wedding venue, Wish Upon a Wedding will make it happen. Wish Upon a Wedding will also fly up to four family members or loved ones in to the city the wedding is to be held in. If the couple wishes to marry outside of the area they live in, and the request is reasonable, Wish Upon a Wedding will do everything it can to get the couple to their destination of choice.

What separates your non-profit from others that may be designed to carry out similar functions?

Guthrie: There is no other organization in the country specifically designed to grant wedding wishes to terminally ill patients. Wish Upon a Wedding is filling a unique void, relying on the generosity of wedding professionals’ donated time and services.

Our design team at C. Brower & Co Creative Events cannot wait until the New York Chapter launches so we can get started! It’s clear to us this is a great labor of love started by Liz and her founding Board members, so we hope to help spread the word about this organization to everyone. If you are interested in becoming part of the Events Team in the New York Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding, please feel free to contact me at christine@cbrowerandco.com. If you are interested in joining any of the chapters or forming a chapter in your local area, please contact Liz Guthrie at liz@sanjoseweddingconsultants.com. She also is accepting donations of money, volunteers wishing to be on the “Wish Granter” database/list and committee members.

So get out there, start the New Year off right, spread the word and get involved with Wish Upon A Wedding tonight!
Oh, and don't forget to vote for me for Designer of the Year too!

Hugs, kisses and lots of New Year Wishes!