Megan and Ant’s Wedding Wish started a little differently to all our previous wishes. You see, what normally happens is that a couple applies to My Wedding Wish for a gifted wedding – but with Megan and Ant, we had to find them.
This Wish story started on 2nd October 2017 when CEO, Lynette, opened her emails to find this, with the subject: Wanting to Donate wedding in Sydney 11.11.17
I have a wedding (mine, which we called off) at Oatlands House for 120ppl on 11/11/17. I have been looking desperately for someone to help me hook up with a special couple to take the wedding. Please get in touch with me asap.
Lynette and Ann were in conversation within the hour. Ann and her partner of almost 10 years had decided the big white wedding was something they didn’t really want after all, but they’d already outlaid $15,000 and didn’t want it to go to waste. Ann asked Lynette if My Wedding Wish would like to accept her gift. “Of course. We’d love to,” was the reply.
After a quick meeting of the Executive team, Operations Manager, Ingrid Nichols, was on the job. What on earth were we to do with such a gift that was so specific? The wedding must be held on Saturday 11th November, 2017 and the venue, Oatlands House in Parramatta, had agreed to donate the remaining balance of $8,000. This would mean that we had to find a bride and groom in only nine days to ensure the legal requirements of a month’s notice was met.
We contacted all sorts of media – put it out on social media and …. Nothing.
We couldn’t get traction.
The days ticked on.
Eventually, on Thursday 2nd November, with no couple in sight, Ingrid rang Lynette asking what she should do because the venue needed numbers and menu by that afternoon. “Pull it,” said Lynette. “We’re spending far too much time on it and the media isn’t interested.”
It was a sad decision – throwing away a generous gift was not what we wanted. Surely a deserving couple had to be out there somewhere.
But then a little miracle named Keeley Henderson happened. Keeley is a journalist for New Idea magazine and had seen a My Wedding Wish story and she phoned Lynette that day to ask if she could do a feature on one of our couples. It wasn’t until the end of that conversation, Lynette told Keeley about the Oatlands wedding and they couldn’t get a couple. Keeley said she’d be onto it.
Lynette sent a frantic message to Ingrid – “Don’t pull the Oatlands wedding. New Idea are covering the story”.
Within 24 hours New Idea had covered the story online.
And we waited.
On the Saturday night, we had our first application through from Megan and Antony. Antony had been diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer. Lynette rang Megan and the pair chatted. Megan said, “I haven’t told Ant, I just thought I’m going to apply and see what happens.”
What happened is that on the Tuesday, Lynette phoned Megan and told her she and Ant were to be married that Saturday.
There were tears, screaming, shouting and joy – the best sounds in the world!
But, then the scramble began – pulling together a wedding in four days! 120 guests? Easy!
We contacted our closest Wish Leader, Celebrant Karen Dearing who pulled together an impressive list of suppliers. Over the next three days Karen didn’t leave her house until she’d gathered up every supplier a big white wedding needed.
The photographer, Dale from DC images even left family getaway in Canberra for the day to drive back to photograph the wedding. Every possible detail was planned from limousines to nails, a wedding cake and videographer. The Sydney community pulled together to make Megan and Ant’s day something memorable.
At 3pm, on Saturday, 11 November, 2017 after a whirlwind week, Megan walked down the aisle with the couple’s two children, to marry her love. 120 guests (including Ann, the original gifter) celebrated and Ant was blanketed in so much love – just for that one day he didn’t have cancer – he was a healthy happy man with an adoring wife and family.