Wishing for a Wedding has been a rollercoaster of emotion. We received over 1500 nominations for the most outstandingly beautiful and deserving couples from all over the world. Australia (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide and countless other rural towns), Ireland, England, America and New Zealand. But, after much deliberation, we came up with our finalists. At this point we simply couldn’t separate them and so we sent them across to Anna Pedersen, Editor of The Bride’s Diary. Anna had just as much difficulty selecting the winner as we did selecting our finalists but she decided on the winners yesterday.
We are thrilled, honoured and outrageously excited to introduce Megan and Ryan as our winners of Wishing for a Wedding!!!
Megan and Ryan’s story:
Being a parent for some is a life long dream. For others it’s something we stumble into. Either way, having children is a blessing that fills your heart with an indescribable amount of love. A parent would do anything and everything for their child, which is why when something happens to them that you can’t control or fix, it is truly incomprehensible.
Indyana, Megan and Ryan’s daughter, was diagnosed with severe epilepsy at a very young age. It is something that could claim her life at any time. This debilitating disease has turned Megan and Ryan’s life upside down and has seen this beautiful family living in and out of Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Facing something so life changing, so devastating and so costly could lead some into a very dark place. But not Megan and Ryan. Rather than allow Indyana’s disease to darken their life, they have decided to use their experience of life inside the hospital, their understanding of the disease and their generous spirits to give back and be as positive as they can.
From the time Indyana was diagnosed, Megan has been raising funds for the Sydney Children’s Hospital; specifically Indyana’s ward which cares for children with severe brain issues (C1 North). She has said that ‘you never intend to have a sick child but I don’t let that rule our life. It was so important to me to stay positive and I felt I could do that through trying to make life a little better for the people inside Indy’s ward’.
Through her fundraising efforts (through raffles, the Gold Telethon and a number of other activities) she has raised over $10,000; enough funds to purchase a specialised machine that measures children’s brain pressure as well as an additional high/low bed specifically designed to assist children who might need the bed lowered instantaneously to keep them safe. Both of these expensive and highly specialised pieces of equipment have been named in honour of Indyana as a result of Megan’s efforts.
Megan said of her fundraising “I know personally what that ward needs. We’ve experienced what the children and the families of the children in it need and that’s what I wanted to help with. I really wanted to be able to make a difference and try to make life inside that ward a little easier for the families who spend so much time there”.
Putting their lives on hold to support their daughter has been difficult enough and has meant that they have had to put their home and wedding dreams on hold while leaning on the support and love of their families. Megan and Ryan have also keenly seen the impact it has had on Kylah, their eldest daughter, who has ridden the roller coaster of ups and downs along with Indy. This has heightened their understanding of the impacts debilitating diseases can have on each and evert one of the child’s family members as well as the family unit as a whole. It is this understanding that has driven them to help the other families, siblings, friends and, of course, children experiencing this hardship inside the Children’s Hospital. Ultimately, it was the way they have focussed on others and on the positives life has to offer while working around this disease that truly encapsulates what it means to ‘pay it forward’.
Megan and Ryan (and their two beautiful daughters) are inspirations. As Anna Pedersen, Editor of The Bride’s Diary put it “As I’m sure you know, when you have an unwell child your heart literally breaks, even when it is just the flu. To have a child with severe epilepsy would be truly heartbreaking. And to think that they have gone out and raised so much money, while dealing with their daughter’s sickness is awe-inspiring. I feel this shows they are truly living the concept of ‘paying it forward’”.
And that is why she selected them as our winners. We are so excited to be able to give them the wedding of their dreams as a way of saying “Thank You” for all of the fundraising efforts they have managed to do for the Sydney Children’s Hospital while dealing with such a heavy burden. These two extraordinary people deserve to have something truly astounding happen to them and we are honoured to be able to give them that through our love, passion and expertise in exquisite weddings.
Wishing for a Wedding has indeed been a long journey but we are beside ourselves with excitement to see what we can create for Megan and Ryan. You can follow their story, and see what becomes of their magical day by following our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Congratulations Megan and Ryan – you are truly worthy of the wedding of your dreams xx