Wish Upon A Wedding – NJ/NY Metro Chapter Grants New Jersey Couple’s Wish

September 20, 2011

Valerie and Larry plan to marry in New Jersey this November with the help of local wedding professionals. Blissful Wishes Ball / Gala Celebration fundraiser set for Wed., October 5th in Livingston to help raise money and awareness for WUW-NJ Nonprofit

Have you heard of Wish Upon A Wedding? Founded in 2010 by California wedding planner Liz Guthrie, WUW’s mission is to provide weddings or vow renewal ceremonies to couples facing terminal illness or other serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation. The New Jersey/New York Metro chapter was launched in the beginning of 2011 (view photos of launch event). The organization now has over 20 chapters across the country and has granted 30 wishes since its inception. WUW does not give a couple money. Instead, the chapter mobilizes participating vendors who donate services to make the wedding possible and to allow the couple an opportunity to enjoy the special day without the stress of planning. (Source: New Jersey Newsroom article by Rhonda Bassat-Rivera, March 2011).

Learn about the first couple, Larry and Valerie, that the WUW-NJ/NY Metro chapter will help below, followed by ways you can get involved or donate to this organization:

WUW-NJ/NY Metro's First Wedding Wish Recipients

WUW-NJ/NY Metro's First Wedding Wish Recipients

How They Met:

Larry and Valerie met in March 1999 while she was working at Headquarters Plaza Hotel (now the Morristown Hyatt). His best friend, who also worked there, introduced them.  Their first date was at his favorite mall and they ate dinner at the Sizzler, Valerie’s first time to either locations.

Their love story:

Valerie states, “I’ve always believed that people are brought into our lives for a purpose. Whether for a moment or an eternity, I believe that we learn from everyone that crosses paths with us. Every situation has an opportunity to grow us and show us who we are. Every person has a purpose in our lives. Meeting and falling in love with Larry, has taught me the true meaning of reconciliation, patience, forgiveness, hope and love.  It’s given me strength in my weakness and peace through my dreams with him. His strength is proven daily while going through his battle and I feel honored to love him despite the circumstance.”

Their love story truly could make a great novel!

Boy meets girl. They have a child together. Boy and girl break up. Boy and girl get back together after being apart for almost 5 years.


Since April of 2009, Larry has been admitted to the hospital on 6 occasions resulting in 5 surgeries and with 19 days being the longest time spent in the hospital. At 38 years old, he is legally blind in one eye due to complications from Type 1 Diabetes. He has had open heart surgery to replace and infected aortic valve and he is undergoing weekly treatments of dialysis 4 hours/3 days a week.

What Makes Their Relationship Special?:

Valerie and Larry’s relationship is truly special because of its untraditional nature and is made up of many stories and circumstances. However, they finally feel they are all were where God has planned for them to be from the beginning, TOGETHER. Valerie and Larry live with their 10 year old son, 15 year old daughter, Larry’s younger sister who is 17 and also see Larry’s twins often who are 3 years old.  That is truly a full house!

What Does The Future Hold?:

Despite all of the hardships, Valerie and Larry still manage to laugh and love every day. They have learned not to take anything for granted. They hope to raise their children and encourage them to live life to the fullest extent. They are hopeful that a kidney and pancreas donor will become available for Larry in the near future.

Wish Upon A Wedding New Jersey is pleased to be able to grant this couple’s Wedding Wish in November this year. Some of the very generous Wish Granters who are helping with Valerie and Larry’s wedding are listed below:

Minister/Celebrant- April Beer
Florist – Massiels Wonders
On-Site Hair and Makeup – The Powder Bar
Custom Wedding Stationery and Favors – Creatively Engaged LLC
Videography – Majestic Cinema Productions
Photography – Rita Rojas-Sullivan Photography
Event Planning – A Divine Affair
Catering – Park Avenue Club
DJ – Instinctive DJ’s
Personalized Handkerchief – Lil-Inspirations
Photobooth – Jersey Photobooth
Formalwear – Top Hat & Tails Tuxedo
Bridal Gown – Maplewood Bridal Image / The Bridal Nook

Register for the Blissful Wishes Ball, a Gala Fundraiser for WUW-NJ/NY Metro Chapter at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ on October 5th

Register for the Blissful Wishes Ball, a Gala Fundraiser for WUW-NJ/NY Metro Chapter at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, NJ on October 5th

About the Blissful Wishes Ball on Wednesday, October 5th

This Blissful Wishes Ball is a gala celebration benefiting Wish Upon a Wedding, New Jersey/New York Metro, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide weddings & vow renewals for couples facing terminal illness and other serious life-altering circumstances, regardless of sexual orientation.  By giving the gifts of dream weddings & vow renewals, Wish Upon a Wedding is able to grant some of the most intimate and heartfelt wishes of these people’s lives, and help them share this important day with close family members.  A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales from the Blissful Wishes Ball will benefit Wish Upon a Wedding, New Jersey/New York Metro, and its mission.

The “Shining Star Award” will be presented this year to our honoree Alan Janoff.  Wish Upon a Wedding’s Shining Star Award recognizes and honors the most inspirational, motivational and giving professionals in the New Jersey/Metro New York Area. This is our way to thank and pay tribute to those professionals who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. A Shining Star Award recipient  will have demonstrated an ongoing and substantial commitment to the community and have consistently demonstrated honesty, integrity and the highest ethical standards in his or her profession.

Please join the celebration by purchasing $150.00 tickets or a $1000.00 table for ten guests.  Each option includes a Cocktail Hour, full sit-down dinner, open bar, and an amazing dessert display in the tradition of Marie Antoinette!  Valet parking will also be provided. Entertainment provided by Silver Pro Entertainment- The Rhythm Shop Band! Guests will also have a chance to experience a photo booth, have their photos taken by CLB Photography, as well as view the extravagant decor provided by A Touch Of Elegance. Donations will also be accepted at the door. For more information and a listing of Participating Vendors and Partners, including donations for a Silent Auction, visit the official invitation page for the Blissful Wishes Ball.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from this organization or you would like to help as a wish granter or make a donation, please go to www.wishuponawedding.org. Also visit the WUW-NJ/NY Metro Chapter on facebook and twitter.

Source for Valerie and Larry’s story: Wish Upon A Wedding – NJ/NY Metro Blog

%d bloggers like this: