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Friends plan dream wedding for paralyzed Hanover woman
Jess Strunk just wants to feel beautiful again for one day.
In October 2014, the Hanover woman spent nearly four hours in a ditch, screaming for help after an ATV crash. The experience left her paralyzed from the waist down, making her wheelchair bound for the rest of her life.
Now, her friends have come together to throw her the wedding of her dreams at no cost to the couple, hoping to help Strunk feel as radiant as possible on her big day.
"I couldn't believe it," Strunk, 26, said. "I still can't believe my friends came together like that for me."
Filling a need: Strunk and Amanda Lubold grew up together. The two have been friends since they were 10 years old. When Lubold heard her friend was getting married, she was excited.
However, when Lubold found out Strunk wasn't going to get the wedding she deserved, Lubold turned to other friends who are business owners.
"All (Strunk) really wants is her dream, but they can't afford it," Lubold said. "They deserve this."
So far, different businesses have donated hair and makeup, DJ services, a venue and a photographer. Lubold is still looking for a dress and a caterer, among other smaller things.
The wedding: Strunk and her fiance, Seth Stough, have simple, rustic tastes. Lubold, who knows Stough is a singer-songwriter and Strunk isn't working, has worked hard to keep the couple's preferences and budget in mind while organizing their wedding.
The ultramarine blue and sunflower yellow main colors with sand tan and snow white accents fit the couple's country theme for their Oct. 9 wedding.
Lauxmont Farms Rotunda venue in Wrightsville gives the couple a picturesque overlook of the Susquehanna River on their big day. The 4 p.m. wedding time gives them an opportunity for stunning sunset photos during their reception.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover some of the costs. The page is hoping to raise $1,200 and has collected more than $200 so far.
Lubold is trying to get as many things as cheaply as possible but knows the realities of running a successful business. Those interested in donating can do so on the GoFundMe page or by contacting Lubold at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 717-779-3333.
True love: Stough said he couldn't believe how fortunate the couple is to have so many friends coming to support them in planning their wedding.
"It's pretty emotional," he said. "This is unbelievable, nothing short of amazing. We've been planning it on our own. We were just going to do a courthouse wedding, but no girl really wants that."
Both Strunk and Stough said they're grateful for the work their friends have put in for them. At the end of the day, though, it's all about the love between the two.
"Honestly, I just want to be married to Seth," Strunk said. "He's my best friend."