For most of us, Anderson Cooper showing up at our wedding is a rare moment that would only happen once in a lifetime, but most of us have never met Maureen and Will. This is a story that must start at the beginning, to the first of many “wows” and things that “could never happen” in their relationship. In an interview with their astounding and fearless photographer, Mike Olbinski, they confided one of the most interesting stories of love, chance and survival.

“Will and I met on an online dating site. He was six years younger, so I don’t know how much hope I had. But over the next several months our relationship grew stronger and we both knew.

Our proposal did not go as planned (according to Will). We went ring shopping on a Sunday and he had planned to talk with my dad later that evening and ask for permission to marry me. Life changed that night when I was injured in a pedestrian hit and run. Two months later while living in a rehab facility Will had dinner brought in from my favorite restaurant. He wheeled me into a room in the cafeteria and took his shirt off. Underneath he had been wearing a tuxedo t-shirt and he kneeled down on one knee. He asked me if I would marry him and of course I said yes. We sipped cranberry juice from wine glasses and he talked about the “speech” he had in his head but forgot while on one knee. As I write this I can remember smiling and thinking about how lucky I am. I say it did not go as planned because Will still feels to this day that I did not get what I deserved. In his mind he had a plan and it involved a day trip and the outdoors. The truth is I got more than I could have asked for. In the end I married my best friend and it did not matter where the question was asked.

We wanted the wedding to be a celebration. Will and I have both been in serious accidents at different times and were somehow able to survive. We wanted the opportunity to stand in front of our family and friends and share our love.

Our family did a lot for us. The guys had a great time getting ready and lounging outside smoking cigars and toasting with a shot. I was actually sick with a 24 hour thing so the women were a bit more low key. After I was ready I went to see my dad and that moment was incredibly special to me– may have ruined my makeup a bit with some tears!

Highlight of the reception was Anderson Cooper! He was staying at the hotel and my mom ran into him and asked if he could stop in and say hi–I’m a fan!”

Maureen’s advice- “You will get stressed out even if you are low key and keeping things simple. But on the day of, all the stress and worries go away. You may have nerves, but the day will be more special than you can imagine. It will be over before you know it, and you will wish you could live through the day again. Mike’s amazing work will allow you that opportunity!”

Thanks to all of the amazing vendors that made Maureen & Will’s wedding amazing! Wedding Coordinator: Brooke Molumby, Invitations: Wedding superstore, Men’s formal wear: Men’s Warehouse, Hair and Makeup: Sarah Brown, Flowers: Rita’s Floral Design, Officiant: Matt Anderson, Music: DJ Steve, Cakes: Classic Cakes, Reception Venue: The Biltmore.

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