Susie Osei, of Mount Prospect, Illinois, chose the same street she grew up on, where her parents still live, as the venue for her block party wedding.
“We just wanted to get married, be around people we love and have a big party,” Osei, 24, told ABC News.
The unconventional venue wasn’t without purpose, though. Osei’s mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and although the happy couple only just got engaged in January, she and now-husband Miles rushed to put the wedding together so her mom could truly enjoy it.
“Me and Miles have been dating since high school and we pretty much always knew that we were going to get married so we didn’t really put a lot of pressure on it,” the bride explained.
“My mom has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed four or five years ago when she was 52. In the past couple years I think it became more apparent to Miles that more than anything else, 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.”
“We also didn’t want to put pressure on either of our parents to pay for anything extravagant,” she added. “Ideally, we wanted to not have to ask them for anything.”
That’s where Osei’s neighbors stepped in.
“My block is crazy. We all grew up together and are very, very close-knit,” Osei said of the 200 block of South Pine Street.
“We always have block parties on the 4th of July. It’s been something like 80 years we’ve been doing this block party. For Christmas we all put mini Christmas trees out in the front yard. We all do cookie exchanges and decorate them together and take a little bit of each other’s cookies.”
“My dad sent them all an email not really asking them because in his mind we had already decided that’s what we were going to do,” Osei explained. “We have a couple new neighbors that I didn’t grow up with, so he sent a general email letting them know about me and Miles and that I grew up on the block and to make sure everybody was OK with it.”
“Everybody just responded with total love,” she recalled. “There was no issues, everyone just wanted to help. Everyone was saying we could use their lawn and use their trees and offered to help, so it worked out.”
“My dad above anyone else is to credit for the entire thing,” said Osei. “He was the brains behind the entire operation. Especially without having my mom present throughout this whole thing, my dad stepped in and helped out with decorating and making the centerpieces for all the tables, he built us the welcome doors which we walked through for the ceremony, my uncle built the arbor. My dad literally was the brains behind everything.”
Osei was so overwhelmed with all the extra help they received she tearfully added, “I’m never going to be able to truly have people understand how much my neighbors did for this wedding.”
Source: ABC News