Wish to Wed helps couples have their dream wedding
SNOHOMISH - There are a couple of women that want to help a couple of lovebirds get the dream wedding they never would be able to have without a ton of help.
Sarah Swanson and Zerlinda Lochtie have known each other for three years but only recently put their business minds together to start giving back to their community.
Their nonprofit wedding company Wish to Wed helps couples with terminal or life-threatening illnesses plan a wedding without the stress of having to plan one. Wish to Wed takes care of everything with the help of a lot of vendors eager and willing to help.
The two work in the wedding industry. Lochtie’s wedding gown boutique Laineemeg Bridal is located in Snohomish at 1212 First Street. Swanson runs EVENTful Moments, an event planning business, in Arlington.
Wish to Wed, though, is a different kind of wedding service.
Swanson went back to school some years ago to gain more knowledge in the area of event planning and found herself drawn to weddings. One aspect of the industry, however, really turned her off.
Swanson was astounded at how much vendors were charging for different pieces of the wedding puzzle: flowers, photography, alterations, etc.
“You hear so many people say how expensive weddings are, and it becomes more about a dollar figure than what it is really about,” Swanson said. “I made myself a promise that I didn’t want to be that vendor.”
She went to Lochtie and asked her if she wanted to put their connections together and throw one big, beautiful wedding for a couple in need of some help.
“The amount of people coming forward is really amazing,” Swanson said.
After seeing how much she and Lochtie could provide, she asked: “Why stop there?” And so last year, the duo applied for a license to operate a nonprofit and have been gearing up to host weddings ever since.
The nonprofit’s first wedding will be Nov. 24, and it will join Laura Woods, 23, and Elliott Hansen, 27, in marriage. The bride and groom both have cerebral palsy.
“That’s one of the things that I like about him, is that we both know what we’re going through and dealing with,” Woods said about Hansen. “If anything, it’s brought us closer. I’m just so glad that I have him. He’s a really great guy.”
The two were planning on having a small wedding because of their limited budget. Woods was looking at an outdoor venue.
“It was going to be just a basic, small wedding,” Woods’ grandmother Robbie Polzin said. “It would have been a nice wedding, but nothing near what (Wish to Wed is) going to put on.”
Woods was going to have to cut a lot of corners and make a lot of hard choices about what she could include with her limited budget. She said she honestly didn’t even know what she was going to do about a dress.
With the help of Wish to Wed, the couple is getting a much grander wedding paid for by donations from vendors, many of them from Snohomish.
Flowers by Tiffany is donating all of the couple’s centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres; Laineemeg is donating the bride’s gown; Heather Lynn Photographie is donating six hours of wedding day coverage; Hidden Meadows is donating the venue; NW Makeup Artistry is donating makeup for the bride and both mothers and the list goes on and on down to the last button and sash.
“This couple has been through so much,” Swanson said. “For such a young couple, they’ve gone through enough already, and we are so excited to be able to help them with this day.”
On top of dealing with cerebral palsy, Hansen also has a condition that causes polyps to form in his throat. Some can swell dangerously big, cutting off his air supply and suffocating him. Hansen has had almost 100 surgeries to treat the polyps.
“I’m excited every time I get to go up to see the girls,” Woods said of her appointments with the wedding planners. “Every single time, it’s so great. These girls are just so sweet and they have warm hearts. They’re giving and we laugh and they’re truly a blessing. They’re amazing.”
For more information visit www.wishtowed.org.
Check out our online Publications!