Love Knows No Bounds: Exton Senior Living Hosts Heartwarming Wedding for Resident’s Son

Exton Senior Living weddingSubmitted Image

EXTON, PAExton Senior Living recently transformed into a heartwarming wedding venue, proving that love and celebration can bloom anywhere. This non-traditional site became the perfect setting for the wedding of James Danser and Allison Bittner, ensuring that James’ mother, Mary Ann Hershey, could be part of their special day.

It all began with a simple request made by Mary Ann’s son a month before the wedding. “They could not have cared if they had the wedding in the parking lot as long as Mary Ann could attend,” shared Liane Bernstiel, Administrative Services Director at Exton Senior Living. Since July 2023, 75-year-old Mary Ann has called Exton Senior Living her home, making it the ideal place for this momentous occasion.

Lauren Mancari, LifeStages Director, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing how honored they felt to host the event. “We know how much this meant to not only the newlyweds but their mother,” she explained. “Sharing special memories and milestones with our residents and their loved ones is what makes our job here so great. It says we are doing something right.”

Although James and Allison initially asked the senior living community to merely host the event, the dedicated team at Exton Senior Living had much more in mind. Bernstiel, Mancari, LifeStories Director Ana Dasilva, and Resident Wellness Director Leslie Simon eagerly took on the role of wedding planners.

“It was fantastic,” said Casey Counseller, Executive Operations Officer. “Watching the excitement of our team was like seeing a group of 20-year-olds preparing for a wedding.”

The preparation extended beyond decorations. The team took Mary Ann shopping for a dress and pampered her with hair styling and makeup on the big day. “We hear the word ‘wedding,’ and we were like, ‘Oh my, we want to do the whole thing,’” recalled Bernstiel. They even considered the wedding colors—white and blue—and made sure Mary Ann shopped for a beautiful blue dress, jewelry, and sparkling shoes.

Mary Ann’s joy was palpable. “She loved the children we saw while shopping,” Bernstiel added. “She picked out her own jewelry. The family was surprised that we got Mary Ann to wear a dress.”

The big day arrived with Exton Senior Living’s Life Bridges room beautifully transformed into a wedding altar. Twinkle lights, flowers, and personalized decorations set the scene for the intimate ceremony attended by roughly 15 guests. An officiant chosen by the couple conducted the ceremony, and a reception followed at another location.

The couple’s wedding had been delayed for four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making the day even more special for everyone involved. “Everything looks so pretty,” was Mary Ann’s initial reaction to the setting. “It always has been my dream to one day see my son and his bride marry.”

Reflecting on the event, Mancari highlighted the importance of building real relationships with residents and their families. “I don’t know many people about to be married who would say, ‘Do what you want. We trust that you and your staff will make it beautiful!’ We were beyond honored to do this for Mary Ann and her family.”

Exton Senior Living showed that with a little creativity and a lot of heart, any place can be a perfect venue for love and cherished memories.

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