This is so exciting for me…..I don’t know who is more excited, me or the couples who have entered into the contest. Firstly, thanks to all of you who entered. Your stories have been very touching, they have made me smile and some have made me cry, but the bottom line is two people in love…..
#1 Chelsea and Brandon
He explained that unbeknownst to either of them, both guys were shopping for rings from the same jeweler at the same time, literally working with the same saleswomen. During a softball game, Mike told Brandon he was going to pop the question to me before I left for school, Brandon looked stunned and then told Mike he was going to ask Chelsea the same thing. Both had planned to ask our father permission to marry us the following day at a family picnic. As Mike and Brandon talked through the logistics of two sisters getting engaged at the same time, they soon came to realize each of their girls deserved our own time to bask in the glow of engagement. So Brandon graciously stepped aside and told Mike to ask me. After a long four months of waiting, with a ring in his pocket, Brandon was finally able to give my sister the surprise of her life!
While Mike and I planned the wedding of our dreams for the following Fall, Chelsea and Brandon’s dreams took a backseat. Because our parents weren’t able to give both of us a wedding in the same year, Chelsea and Brandon would have to wait over two years from their engagement to get married. Throughout our planning my sister always had a smile on her face and was first person to offer help. She put on her brave bridesmaid gameface and never mentioned her own wants or needs. While I tried on wedding gowns, tasted cake, and picked out flower arrangements, my sister with a ring on her finger smiled and made me feel like I was the only bride in the world. Mike and I got married on October 24, 2009 with Brandon and Chelsea by our sides. And now we would love for nothing more than to give them all the love, help, and encouragement they gave to us.
WHY DO THEY DESERVE TO WIN:
We’ve been through a lot as a couple, but we made it through everything – we’re finally getting married to seal the deal! Being able to have the pictures to show how much we love each other is very important to me. I came across your studio on The Knot, I liked what I saw and I was even more excited when I saw that you were holding a contest. We are on an incredibly tight budget; although I did tell my sister that I’d sacrifice flowers, the transportation, bridal shower, alcohol – anything – to be able to get nice pictures. While I have no problem sacrificing these things, I would truly love the opportunity to get some assistance by winning your contest. On the financial aspect of this, I am also a diabetic and am currently with very poor health insurance. I’ve had some complications and am currently trying to pay off a hospital visit and ambulance call from December and January. I am sure that I will be able to set up payment plans, but having these large expenses has most definitely cut into our wedding budget and any help would be greatly appreciated.
Nominated by Alex.
#3 ANYA AND ROBERT
In September of 2006, Anya’s fairytale came true and she married her best friend. They had known each other since high school and had grown up together. They went through so much together in the short year and a half that they dated, fighting a demon beyond their control. You see, when she married Michael in 2006, he was in the midst of the fight of his life, literally. Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, had completely consumed his body. Michael had been in active treatment for over two years. The summer before they married, the outlook was great. His body was healing and his doctors were optimistic. Either way, nothing was going to stop them from living their life and fulfilling their dreams. On October 10, 2006, eleven days after their wedding, life took a dramatic turn for the worse. On a routine trip to the oncologist for his monthly chemotherapy treatment, Michael was told that his body could not handle any more treatment, and that his cancer was spreading. Over the next six months, Michael and Anya sought any and all alternative treatments, praying for a miracle. On April 3, 2007, four days after their six month wedding anniversary, Michael lost his battle with cancer.
Two days prior, on April 1, 2007, hundreds of miles away, Robert was speaking in front of family and friends as he and his three siblings said a final good-bye to their mother. After battling years of drug abuse and mental illness, Bobbie Sattely’s life tragically ended, leaving behind her four children. Robert was no stranger to tragedy however, his life until the age of 12 was spent running from his mother’s drug dealers and moving from place to place, living in motels or staying with any family they could find. The children were finally moved out of their mother’s custody, and all went to live with different families. Robert struggled to get through high school, and at one point even dropped out. With the help and guidance of a generous family who took him in at his lowest point, Robert not only graduated high school, but went on to study abroad in Germany and was accepted to Hocking College as a nursing student.
After two years of soul searching and healing, and inspired by what she had been through, Anya decided to begin nursing school at Hocking College. While sitting in clinical math class, Anya and Robert struck up a great friendship and became nursing study partners. After two months of great conversation, coffee shop study sessions, and romantic dates, there was no denying the feelings they had for one another. The tragedy these two had both been through in their life, led them to meet the love of their life. Robert and Anya knew what it meant to be truly in love, and to never ever take that love, or life, for granted. They enjoy each other more and more with every passing day. They share the same hopes and dreams, and long to have the happy and fulfilled life they have always sought out.