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RF Wedding of the Week: Industry Pulls Together to Give Couple Battling Recent Terminal Illness a Dream Wedding

By // February 12, 2014 // Posted in Photolanthropy, Wedding, Wedding of the Week

Today’s Wedding of the Week comes from a particularly inspiring and heartwarming place. We received an email from Shannon Grant, a wedding and fashion photographer, who shared her clients Jenn and Erick’s story with us. As Grant describes, the couple was planning an August 2014 wedding, nailing down details when they received some tragic news: Erick has pancreatic cancer, and it’s terminal. The doctors gave him 6 months to a year to live.

Hospital bills and medical costs aren’t cheap, so right before Christmas, Jenn and Erick decided together that they would cancel their wedding and direct their finances toward Erick’s health. “When Jenn confirmed this on the phone with me, I could just hear it in her voice. Disappointment. That feeling that couldn’t be acknowledged because there are far more pressing things to attend to,” Grant describes on her blog. “But I heard it and it broke my heart.”

Grant shared Jenn and Erick’s Go Fund Me page on Facebook, and she got some intriguing responses. “A couple industry friends of mine private-messaged me to say that if they did a wedding sooner, they would be happy to donate services,” Grant recounts in her email. “This got me thinking that if this was the response just from sharing their story, what would happen if I specifically called out to the wedding industry?”

shannongrantphotography_091shannongrantphotography_099shannongrantphotography_104She created an event on Facebook called “Let’s Give Them a Wedding,” inviting all of her friends, and “from there it was just a snowball of amazing and we got donations from all over,” she describes. “Even a custom bridal hairpiece from a designer friend in Copenhagen!”

shannongrantphotography_106shannongrantphotography_112shannongrantphotography_113The outpouring of help from the industry, including the event planner Whim Events, allowed Jenn and Erick to have a wedding in just a couple of weeks. In fact, the date Grant used just as a placeholder to put the wedding together wound up being the day Jenn ad Erick got married.

shannongrantphotography_123shannongrantphotography_126shannongrantphotography_139Grant’s beautiful photos of Jenn and Erick’s wedding reflect the genuine, heartfelt happiness and bliss shared by all of the guests and the bride and groom. “Using just my network and our collective creative talents, we made the seemingly impossible possible,” Grant says. ” The wedding industry can get a bad rap sometimes and I believe this story goes to show just how much heart we do have and what can be accomplished when we think outside of the box together.”

shannongrantphotography_146shannongrantphotography_147shannongrantphotography_150All photos © Shannon Grant Photography

Check out more Weddings of the Week here, and email Jessica to submit one of your own.

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Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the associate editor of Rangefinder. She graduated from Indiana University’s School of Journalism last year and moved to New York, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern. Having had a full-immersion French education growing up in her native Minneapolis, she especially enjoys writing about culture, design, and the arts.

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