Generous Houstonians give a terminally ill bride the wedding of her dreams

Friday, September 11, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It's a day brides-to-be dream about, but one young woman never thought she would live to be able to walk down the aisle.

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Voelkel battles Cystic Fibrosis, and despite a double lung transplant, she may not live to see her first wedding anniversary.

Even with a grave prognosis, Catherine and her fiancee Peter Harris were determined to say "I Do."

"I've been in love with him since I was a little girl," Catherine said of her childhood sweetheart.

That's where Wish Upon a Wedding comes in. The national non-profit grants weddings to people facing terminal illness. After applying, Catherine and her fiancee were given a customized wedding of their dreams. Along with support from local vendors, the wedding did not cost the bride and groom or their families a dime.

Hotel Derek and wedding planners Schwartz and Woodward put together the intimate affair in the hotel's ballroom.

"I'm so proud of the work Hotel Derek has done for this wedding, and I am so proud of the commitment and the services that other vendors have stepped up in providing for this deserving couple," Misty King of Hotel Derek said.

Every detail was taken care of - the bride and groom just had to show up. Many other award winning wedding service providers came together to make the couple's wedding vision a reality, including photography by Tomas Ramos, flowers by Plants N' Petals, rentals by EB Inc., and a custom cake by Who Made the Cake.

"We created a confection with her favorite flower, the cherry blossom in shades of pink, so I hope she will be really excited about it," Nadine Moon, owner of Who Made the Cake said.

For Catherine and Peter, it was a day full of surprises.

"It definitely means a lot to me because I never thought this day would come," Catherine said. "They made me feel like a princess."

Now, a wedding that would have otherwise been too costly or time-consuming is a memory that will last forever.