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Weddings

This Bride Got Married In Her Childhood Neighborhood And It Was Totally Beautiful

It takes a village — or a neighborhood — to plan a wedding.

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Susie Osei grew up feeling like her neighbors on her block in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, were "more like family than simply people living next door to one another." So, when it came time for her to get married on July 30, she did it right on the block where she was raised.

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Though, her dream wedding was a little more complicated than just a sidewalk celebration with all her neighbors in attendance.

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Osei and her husband, Miles, are high school sweethearts who began dating in 2008, she told BuzzFeed News.

They got engaged in January after eight years together, and immediately started planning a wedding for as soon as possible for a heartbreaking reason: Osei's mother has Alzheimer's, and the couple wanted to tie the knot while she was as mentally present as possible.

Instead of rushing to find a venue available at the last minute, Osei and Miles decided to get married right outside her parents' house on South Pine Street, a place where she'd grown up going to parties and celebrations.

Osei pitched the idea to her father, who not only loved it but told her he'd already discussed the possibility with a neighbor and was hoping it would happen.

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To get the ball rolling, Osei's father sent his neighbors an email letting them know of the plans.

"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," she said.

It turns out, they weren't just OK with it — they started offering their help with the planning.

Right off the bat, Osei said, people offered up their lawn space and trees just in case she and Miles might need them.
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Right off the bat, Osei said, people offered up their lawn space and trees just in case she and Miles might need them.

But those neighbors Osei grew up loving also ended up being undercover wedding rock stars. For instance, that kid who grew up across the street from her? He's now a professional DJ, so he spun tunes at the reception.

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The gorgeous hydrangea centerpieces came not from a florist's shop, but rather a neighbor's garden.

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A local bakery made a simple wedding cake, but Osei's neighbors helped jazz it up with "flowers and fruit," she told ABC News. "No one can believe how pretty it was.”

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And three other neighbors helped Osei's dad string and wire all of the lighting in advance of the big day.

In addition to all of that, Osei's brother acted as the officiant, another neighbor offered his videography services, and everyone on the block let wedding guests use their bathrooms in case the porta-potties were insufficient, and much more.
Lindsay Kay Photography / Via lindseykayphotography.com

In addition to all of that, Osei's brother acted as the officiant, another neighbor offered his videography services, and everyone on the block let wedding guests use their bathrooms in case the porta-potties were insufficient, and much more.

Osei credits her wedding's success to everyone who helped, but reserves special thanks to her father for his hard work.

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“He was the brains behind the entire operation," she told ABC News. "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."

The day, however magical, wasn't without its bittersweet moments.

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"The hardest part of this entire wedding was not being able to cry to my mom about all the stupid, silly, stressful wedding crap that brides cry over. I needed her over and over again, and it was much harder than I had prepared myself for mentally, to go through this without her, but seeing her right in front of me at the same time," Osei said.

But watching her mom dance and laugh with her dad and her lifelong friends made the hard times worth it.

"Miles and I have no idea how we will thank everyone for helping the way they did," Osei said. "I think the only real way to thank our family, friends, and neighbors is by being true friends to them for the years to come, and by being there to help them in times of need just like they were there to help us."
Lindsey Kay Photography / Via lindseykayphotography.com

"Miles and I have no idea how we will thank everyone for helping the way they did," Osei said. "I think the only real way to thank our family, friends, and neighbors is by being true friends to them for the years to come, and by being there to help them in times of need just like they were there to help us."