By Debbie HallOfficially launched in January 2010, Wish Upon a Wedding is the first nonprofit wish granting organization providing weddings and vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness or serious life-altering circumstances regardless of sexual orientation. With 13 chapters including one in Las Vegas, the nationwide 501(c)3 organization celebrates the courage, determination and spirit of couples in love during their most challenging times throughout the country.
Wish Upon a Wedding is open to unmarried applicants who are at least 18 years or older, legal U.S. citizens, where at least one individual has been diagnosed with less than five years to live. Special circumstance wishes are also available for couples as well as renewal of vows for married couples.
Michael Coxen, owner of Paper and Home and Las Vegas marketing chair for Wish Upon a Wedding, got involved with the organization, “to do something special for people who need it. To be able to give back and create a lifetime of memories for everyone involved is a great opportunity.”
Coxen was approached by the president of the Las Vegas chapter, Adam Frazier, to join the organization due to Coxen’s expertise in social media and marketing. He immediately agreed.
While there are so many memorable weddings, Coxen spoke about the marriage of Billy and Heidi. “They were married at the Platinum Hotel on November 11, 2011 (11-11-11). This was a very popular day to get married here in Las Vegas. It was so miraculous that we were able to secure this date with the help of our volunteer vendors since they were all booked. The Platinum Hotel donated the rooftop as the venue for the wedding. What made it so special and serendipitous was that Heidi and Billy wanted to get married on a rooftop in Las Vegas on 11-11-11. Normally, since all services are donated, we ask our couples to be flexible.
But it was an important date to the couple to honor their parents’ anniversary and have it become their anniversary as well.
“We were able to pull it off and it was so beautiful with a rooftop wedding at night with the Platinum being such a great venue. Billy didn’t have a long time to live and to be able to grant his wish was so wonderful. Sadly he did pass away but Heidi and their families have all of their wonderful memories for a lifetime and that was an emotional one.
I will never forget the joy in their eyes and it gives me chills to talk it about it now.”
All services are donated through the generosity of vendors for a full wedding and reception including dresses, hair/makeup, tuxedos, photography, videography, cake, catering, venue, flowers, invitations, thank you cards and extras that go into making it a memorable event.
“Las Vegas has the best group of wedding vendors who are so generous,” Coxen said. “Now we need couples.”
Wish Upon a Wedding in Las Vegas has opportunities for many couples, regardless of sexual orientation, who fit the profile to join together in matrimony (or recommit), transcend physical time and create lasting lifetime memories for generations to follow.
“We are reaching out to the community to let couples know that anybody who is in a committed relationship and wants to get married or is married and wants to renew their vows to please contact us,” Coxen explained.
For more information, visit wishuponawedding.org/las-vegas.