Susie Osei grew up in Mt Prospect, Illinois, in a tight knit community where her neighbors are “more like family than simply people living next door to one another.”
It was in this neighborhood that she met her childhood sweetheart, Miles, who she began to date in 2008. They grew up together and always knew they were meant for each other and were going to get married.
And so last January, after eight years together, they got engaged. Rather than have an extended engagement they decided to get married right away. Not solely because they were madly in love, but for other more heartbreaking ones.
Susie’s mom has Alzheimers, and they wanted her to be a part of their most special day before the disease robbed her mother of her memory.
They decided to get married right where Susie grew up. Literally, right where she grew up. They would have their wedding outside her parents’ house, a place where they had so many happy childhood memories.
They didn’t want a fancy indulgent, and expensive wedding. A simple wedding at the place where she was happiest. And they wanted to have it soon, so that her mother could experience it in full. Jen said; ‘In the past couple years I think it became more apparent to Miles that more than anything else, rather it being extravagant or waiting for a time when we’re less busy, it was important to us that she be there for the wedding.’
When the neighbors, who had watched Suzie and Miles grown up together, heard about their plans they decided that they would help out and contribute to their special day.
It resulted in a beautiful day, filled with love, with everyone chipping in to add to the occasion.
A local neighborhood DJ agreed to do the music for the reception, Susie’s brother ordained the ceremony.
The decorations were all a result of the neighbors as well. One even cut flowers from his garden for use. The lighting was organized by her dad.
A cake was purchased from a local bakery and was decorated by another one of her mum’s friends.
The end result? A picture book wedding that was made even more special by the contributions of those who saw her grew up, from a little girl who would attend the neighborhood gatherings to the grown married woman she is today.