When a community comes together in the spirit of love and generosity, anything is possible.
That's the case with Hannah and Matthew Brown, who are now building a new life together after they were married in a fairy tale wedding on Dec. 13 that was "literally a dream come true."
There wasn't a dry eye in the house in Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, Downtown, as the Giambelli String Quartet played "Here Comes the Sun" while Hannah Reese, 23, walked down a glittering gold carpet to marry the love of her life, Matthew, 30.
The couple, both of East McKeesport, won a Warrior Wedding Giveaway through a Facebook contest for veteran couples.
Warrior Wedding was the brainchild of Bonnie Walker of Bonnie Walker Events and Kim Racan of studio e entertainment. Warrior Wedding partnered with Revolution Events, Troy and Theodora Polamalu's The Harry Panos Fund for Veterans, and Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh. Vendors from the region and beyond donated to the special day.
"I am overwhelmed by how everyone came together to make this happen," said Ms. Walker. "This is what life is all about."
The Brown's children were part of the ceremony. Their flower girl, Alayna, 4, pulled a white wagon down the aisle with her baby brother (and ring bearer) Colton, 10 months, nestled inside. Colton was diagnosed in February with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic disorder that affects the control of muscle movement. He requires 24-hour care, putting the family's plans for marriage originally on hold.
After the cocktail hour, the guests enjoyed a three-course dinner on beautiful golden table settings donated by Lendable Linens and Event Source. Fuchsia roses and orchids filled the tables, courtesy of Cuttings. As the newlyweds had their first dance, the band encouraged all the guests to encircle them on the dance floor, enveloping them in love.
"Being a part of this team is incredibly humbling. Thank you for allowing us to celebrate with you and bearing witness to your amazing union," Theodora Polamalu with husband Troy told the couple before the dinner.
A honeymoon is not planned at this time because of the care needs of their son. There is a four-day conference for spinal muscular atrophy at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., coming in June. If they can make it there, they will turn it into a family honeymoon.