Wedding Bells Under the Wishing Tree

Rosemary Square, Hilton West Palm Beach, and Cleveland Clinic teamed up to plan fairy-tale nuptials for one Florida couple

Photos by Van Richardson

When engineer Damian Jackson proposed to his girlfriend, physical therapist Melanie Marriott, on December 15, 2019, he hoped to wed her on the twentieth Saturday of 2020 for the numerical pleasure of the mid-June date. Unfortunately, Jackson—like all of us—had no idea the plot twists 2020 had in store.

The Tamarac-based couple enlisted a wedding planner, booked their venue, and Marriott said yes to the dress. Then, one week after receiving their invitations from the printer, Florida entered lockdown and their nuptials had to be postponed.

The bad news kept coming when, a month later, Jackson was laid off. But then Marriott came across something promising: Rosemary Square, Hilton West Palm Beach, and Cleveland Clinic—her employer—had joined forces to offer an all-expenses-paid dream wedding to a Cleveland Clinic frontline worker forced to delay wedding plans due to the pandemic.

Among other perks, the winning couple would receive a ceremony under the glowing Wishing Tree at Rosemary Square; a dinner reception, bridal suite, and four guest rooms at Hilton West Palm Beach; and a photographer and videographer to capture it all.

Melanie’s mother Beverly Marriott walked the bride down the aisle.

With her expectations low but fingers crossed, Marriott entered the Wishful Wedding Come True giveaway—and won. “I never win anything and to finally win something on this scale was absolutely amazing,” she says. Through disbelief and excitement, their plans progressed. And then came another blow: The couple was diagnosed with COVID-19 just weeks before their gifted wedding. Their celebration was, again, postponed.

The couple’s reception at Galley.

After healing from the virus and learning a whole new understanding of the word “patience,” Jackson and Marriott finally tied the knot on September 12, in an intimate ceremony with 30 loved ones in attendance. “I was just so happy that we finally got married and that we were with all the important people in our lives,” Marriott says. Her favorite parts of the experience were their skillful wedding-planning team and their reception at Galley restaurant at the Hilton. Jackson’s most memorable moment was the heartwarming sight of his bride walking down the aisle toward him.

“This special wedding experience started our marriage off with a dose of good luck after our string of bad luck and provided happiness and certainty at a time when there was not a lot of that due to the pandemic,” Marriott says. “Every anniversary we’re going to make the drive and have dinner at Galley—we promised the staff we would!”

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