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Couple wins $40,000 Geneva wedding package for nuptials 12/12/12

Sarah Hamparian 25 John Fern 27 will exchange vows 12-12-12 Geneva.  |  Courtesy Tom Nicol Photography

Sarah Hamparian, 25, and John Fern, 27, will exchange vows on 12-12-12 in Geneva. | Courtesy of Tom Nicol Photography

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Many Geneva vendors played a part in the 12/12/12 wedding. To learn more about them, visit

Updated: January 13, 2013 6:11AM

When Sarah Hamparian and John Fern were planning their dream wedding, they never dreamt it would turn out like this.

“The highlight of this experience has been the overwhelming support of an entire town,” the 25-year-old bride-to-be said. “Usually, friends and family are the most excited and invested in a wedding; however, we also have the entire town of Geneva supporting us as we start our lives together.”

The couple won the Geneva Wedding 12 Giveaway, and will exchange vows on 12/12/12. Their prize — a $40,000 wedding package — was made possible by donations of goods and services by Geneva merchants.

“This has been more than I ever dreamed of,” said Hamparian, who lives in Hanover Park. “We are so blessed and fortunate to have been chosen. All of these vendors have come together to make our dream day special.”

Engaged since March, Hamparian was looking for a wedding dress during the summer when she learned about the contest. Fern, 27, admitted to being skeptical when Sarah suggested they enter the contest.

“When Sarah brought up the idea to enter, I thought she was joking around,” he said. “When I realized she was serious, I thought sure, why not? Let’s go for it.”

With a “nothing to lose” attitude, they created a You Tube video and entered. After online votes spurred them to the finals, they faced off against two other couples in a newlywed-like game show finale at Wildwood restaurant in Geneva.

The rest is history.

On 12/12/12, they will exchange vows in Geneva. Drinks and appetizers at the Herrington Inn & Spa will follow, before heading to Riverside Receptions for a “wonderful collaborative dinner from some of Geneva’s top chefs.”

Tina Drzonek, general manager of Riverside Receptions, is the mastermind behind the wedding giveaway concept. She said Geneva is not only an ideal place to work and live but an extraordinary spot for a wedding.

“The businesses here support each other, and we are blessed with beautiful parks, natural areas and churches,” Drzonek said. “It is simply the best place to have a wedding.”

From the wedding invitations to the cake — and everything in between — the couple has worked with Geneva merchants to select every element of their wedding day.

The date, 12/12/12 comes around once in a lifetime. The same can be said about their love.

“At the end of the day, this is about John and I becoming one,” the bride said. “That’s what truly matters, no matter what our wedding day looks like. This is one of the most amazing and unique stories I’ve been able to tell. I just can’t wait.”

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