Broward News

Free Weddings for the Poor in Hollywood

As the head of a homeless shelter in Hollywood, Sean Cononie has hosted more than his share of funerals. Recently, he decided to begin celebrating a lesser-known side of life on the streets: love.

His group, the Coalition of Service and Charity, organizes and pays for the weddings of couples living in poverty. "People want to remember the most precious day in their life," Cononie says. "If you're poor and you want a wedding, we'll help you out."

In the past 18 months, he and his staff have performed six ceremonies. Some couples met in the shelter; one bride was living on disability insurance while her groom worked part-time.  Stores and individuals donated cake and other food for the receptions, while Cononie and his staff went into full wedding-planner mode -- buying flowers, cooking the food, inviting guests. Cononie even paid for one couple to have a honeymoon at a nearby hotel.

"I didn't come to the shelter to fall in love or meet anybody. It just happened," Crystal Vogelsang, who was married in the Hollywood ArtsPark in April, told Homeless Voice TV. For more about her wedding, follow the link for the Homeless Voice video.

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Lisa Rab
Contact: Lisa Rab