Lonnie and Karen’s Wish Upon a Wedding

Philadelphia Wedding, Wish Upon a Wedding


Lonnie and Karen had known each other way back in 1999. They were good friends, and in fact, Lonnie even taught Karen how to parallel park. Lonnie, remembered seeing Karen for the first time and thinking, ‘That is my wife.’ But they were both young and parted ways. In 2010, the two of them reconnected on Facebook and never looked back.

While Lonnie knew from the first moment he met Karen that she was the one, it wasn’t until they reconnected that Karen began to see Lonnie as the man she would want to settle down with. After spending more and more time together, Karen realized that she could be herself with Lonnie, and that he brought a sense of peace to her life. The two of them had only been dating for about six months, but one day when the two of them were driving home from work, Lonnie looked at Karen and called her Mrs. Brown. From that point on, it was just a matter of time before they would be united in marriage.

Bride and Groom walk toward the wedding celebrant to be married. There is a room full of people who are standing to celebrate their union. Located at the Top of the Tower in Philadelphia.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t long after that when Lonnie was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer. Just as they began planning their wedding, Lonnie was admitted to the hospital and was there for close to a month. Life would take a sharp turn and their plans would have to go on hold.

One day Lonnie saw a program featuring Wish Upon a Wedding, and the wheels started turning. There was little money for a wedding after the hospital bills and not knowing what his prognosis would be, they worried that there was little time, as well, so they sent in an application.

“We granted Lonnie and Karen’s wedding wish because we wanted to give them and their families something joyful to look forward to. We knew that they had to postpone planning a wedding on their own after Lonnie’s illness progressively worsened,” said Randi Martin, president of the Wish Upon a Wedding Philadelphia Chapter. “It was our pleasure to give them a special experience.”

Karen and Lonnie were put in touch with a host of wedding professionals who worked in record speed to put together their dream wedding. Hair and makeup, dress and suit, top-shelf venue, flowers, photographer, videographer, decor, planner, and yes, me – their Celebrant. Each of us felt this was a labor of love and were honored to be part of this heartwarming celebration.

This wedding was a beautiful reflection of the love these two shared. Their families were honored, and they included a Sand Ceremony, to represent how they were now inseparable.

Less than a year after they tied the knot, Lonnie lost his battle with cancer. Karen says there is not a day that goes by that she doesn’t watch the video of their wedding. It allows her to connect with Lonnie and relive the happiest day of her life.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the Wish Upon a Wedding  organization, click icon below for more information.


Lonnie and Karen’s wedding video, by Kathryn Burkholder Productions.

The following are the wonderful vendors who were involved in this special Wish Upon a Wedding event:

Officiant: Lehigh Valley Celebrants, Bethlehem, Pa
Venue: Top of the Tower, Philadelphia
Catering: Top Of The Tower
Flowers and decor: Eventricity, Glenside
Photographer: Jenn Roberts Photography, Center Valley, Pa.
Videographer: Kathryn Burkholder Productions
Music: DJ Silver Sound Entertainment, Frazier, Pa.
Dress: David’s Bridal
Planner: The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants, Glenside
Hair and Makeup: Bella Angel Hair & Makeup, Philadelphia
Alterations and Veil: Nilah & Company, Havertown
Cake: Desserts by Dana, Newark, Del.

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