In our line of work, we see all the time how much effort it takes to plan and coordinate a Mid Missouri wedding. From the beginning stages, planning for all the expenses, to all the energy it takes to get it together, it’s a giant production. Working a wedding for us is all about capturing a beautiful celebration that a couple can keep forever. However, we cannot imagine trying to plan all of the pieces when there is something even more important in your life that needs your full attention.
So, when our friend Ashley Minor of Delight Events asked us at Schaefer Photography to help with a very special wedding project how could we say no? Ashley had created the idea of offering a Wedding Giveaway to a deserving couple to be married on August 18th, 2023 at Coopers Ridge Event Center with all expenses covered. Couples would be nominated by friends and family giving a background story of why they believe their couple deserved to have a wedding gifted to them, then all the vendors would vote on who would be perfect for it.
So many vendors had joined in on this project by volunteering their time, talents, services, and products to aid in making this spectacular day happen. From flowers, photos, decorations, and the dress – vendors worked to find ways to cover every single tiny detail you could think of for a wedding.
With the nominations flooding in, it finally came time to select our winners. As all of the vendors gathered to read these stories and take their vote, it was overwhelmingly unanimous that one couple’s story had captured our hearts.
The Emotional Entry That Won Our Hearts
Megan Henry and Hunter Murray were nominated by Megan’s sister, Leah, when she wanted to give something to the couple who she believed fully deserved it. She wrote a touching background story on the couple that left many of us reaching for the tissues:
“Megan and Hunter had their daughter Adalynn born March of 2022. After seeing a team of doctors specializing in Ophthalmology, Neurology and Genetics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and undergoing an abdominal ultrasound, MRI of the brain and bloodwork, Adalynn was diagnosed with Tay-Sachs Disease. Over time, this will lead to seizures, vision and hearing loss, muscle stiffness/paralysis and other major issues. There is currently no cure for Tay-Sachs Disease, which means the symptoms will progress, and her body will slowly shut down. We were told that Adalynn’s current life expectancy is 2-3 years. There is a new clinical trial in Boston,Massachusetts…
As of January 31st, 2023, my sister, Megan, her fiancé, and my niece, left home in Missouri, to live in Massachusetts for 4 long months to try and help their baby girl. Adalynn will have lots of testing before and after her surgeries and her surgeries will consist of two injections into the brain and two injections into the spine and from there, they will monitor her progress. Traveling to Boston has affected their ability to work full-time. We have done all we can and more to help ease the financial stress and allow them to focus on taking care of their baby girl but finding a way to help them afford the wedding of their dreams is something our family has not yet been able to do and I’m hoping and praying by some miracle, we can do just that, for them.”
– Leah’s Nomination Story for her sister Megan
Seeing a Dream Become Reality
With Megan, Hunter, and their daughter Adalynn on our minds we knew that this would be a wedding all of us vendors would make amazing. So one day in April we all got together to surprise Megan and Hunter on a video call that they thought they were having with their family. There were several tears and they were so surprised and very grateful for this special wedding.
When it comes to wedding planning there are typically close to 15 vendors that are involved to make up a traditional wedding day . Now how about you add 29 more to that?! For our giveaway, a total of 44 vendors graciously volunteered to work together to pull off this wedding! As Ashley and others continued to share our project and the story of our couple, many members of our community and friends within the wedding industry wanted to help. A wedding – with all the donation of goods and services we had for this wedding – would have easily resulted in a six-figure cost, but for Megan and Hunter it was a gift that we all were so blessed to be able to give them as they focus on helping with their daughter’s fight against Tay-Sachs Disease. If you would like to donate to the couple, they do have a Go Fund Me page.
Even though the wedding was just one day, it took months for all the details to be worked out to make it perfect. During those months, we got to know more about our deserving couple and watched them with excitement as the day came closer and closer. From wedding dress hunting to the selection of the perfect wedding rings, all of us vendors were there along the way!
Now that the wedding has come and gone, we are so happy for Megan, Hunter and their family – and most importantly sweet baby Adalynn. We want to thank our thoughtful leader, Ashley of Delight Events, and all of the other wedding vendors and sponsors that helped pull off this worthwhile project. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it.
-Shannon and Scott
Pampas Rental: @county_line_design_and_company
Cotton Candy: Coops Cotton Candy @coopscottoncandy
Transportation: W&W Transportation
Balloons: Social Balloon Bar @socialballoonbar
Neon: Those Neon Girls @thoseneongirls
Carley Jean Flowers