Worthy Wedding-Deb and Larry
Deb Spangler and Larry Greene sit on the front porch of their Cranberry Township home. Photo by Jerry Sowden
A Cranberry couple plagued by health issues that prevented them from getting married over the years will receive the wedding of their dreams this month, thanks to the Worthy Wedding Giveaway.
About 30 area businesses and vendors are coming together to offer their services to two couples, including Deb Spangler and Larry Greene of Cranberry, who will finally be able to get married on Aug. 19 at The Commons at Franklin after a myriad of issues got in the way of them having a wedding over the past 11 years.
Wedding planning for Spangler and Greene is being expedited, as time is of the essence, and the couple is incredibly grateful.
“We were taken aback,” Spangler said. “We had just got back from 15 days in Pittsburgh after a major surgery and that’s when I found out. After being away for that long for something that is so trying, I felt honored that somebody felt that way about us to do this for us.”
Greene is suffering from stage four colon cancer that has spread into his liver, leaving him unable to work for about a year now. Spangler had to take a leave of absence from work to care for Greene as his health deteriorated.
The Worthy Wedding Giveaway was originally only going to benefit one deserving couple, but organizers decided to do it for two couples since Spangler and Greene’s story was so touching.
The Worthy Wedding initiative is headed by Soon2BMrs, a program that offers a local wedding planning magazine and website and includes a roster of dozens of local businesses and vendors in the area that offer the various types of services needed during the wedding planning process.
Created by Nicole Russell, owner of Nicole’s Bridal Boutique in Seneca and Butler, and Aaron Weeter and Lucas Salusky of Identity Studio and Design, Soon2BMrs is now a limited liability corporation (LLC) owned by Russell and Weeter.
“We went through the applicants and narrowed it down to three, but one had backed out,” Russell said. “We picked two younger couples with good stories and haven’t picked the winner of those two yet. But we read this one story (Spangler and Green’s) and really loved this couple.”
Spangler and Greene were nominated twice, and Russell said the couple is very deserving of this wedding.
“It seemed like they never put themselves first,” Russell said. “They always put their family first. They’re really good people. They’ve been together so long and with his health being in danger recently, this will be special day about them where everybody can appreciate them and what they’ve done.”
Spangler and Greene, who live together on Hill City Road in Cranberry, have certainly been through a lot together.
Spangler, 52, has two children from a previous relationship, and Greene, 60, has three from a previous relationship. They also have nine grandchildren.
“We planned on getting married soon but then Larry got sick again so we put it on the backburner,” Spangler said. “Every time we planned on getting married, something happened. So we’re all crossing our fingers that this wedding is going to go through.”
Spangler said she’s been amazed by the caliber of people she’s been working with during the busy albeit short wedding planning process.
“You would not believe the people I’ve worked with; they’re phenomenal,” Spangler said. “These people are warm and they’re people I’ve just met but I feel like I’ve known them forever. They’re wonderful. I don’t know how to thank them for doing this.”
Receiving this honor will give Spangler and Greene a wedding suitable for the kind of love they share.
“We just knew when we met each other that we were ‘the one,’” Spangler said. “I feel that we’re soulmates and I know he feels the same.”
Greene was diagnosed with cancer last August and had to quit work immediately, Spangler said.
“Larry was a man that worked seven days a week all the time to help his family out,” Spangler said. “It was really sad. He went from working every day and now he struggles. He went from being a strong man to having everything undone.”
Spangler took a leave from work after working 40 hours a week and coming home to take care of Greene and everything, which became too much. The various stresses also prevented them from having a wedding.
“We tried so hard to get married but every time we’d start planning, Larry would get sick,” Spangler said. “It’s so easy now because somebody else is planning it and I can take care of him. It’s my day they’re giving it to me so I don’t care what it looks like. I’m going to have fun. I’m getting married!”
While Greene’s health prognosis is uncertain, the wedding will be a bright spot in an otherwise bleak time for the couple.
“It means the world to us,” Spangler said. “I bawled like a baby when I found out. I called everybody and I cried. For a while, I lost sight, but this made me believe there are good people in the world again.”
Russell said despite the short amount of time, Spangler and Green’s wedding is well on its way.
“It’s actually coming together really well,” Russell said.
The “worthy” couples don’t have to worry about a thing in the wedding planning process and Russell said value-wise, the wedding will be close to $20,000.
The second “worthy” couple will be chosen soon and will also have their wedding and reception at The Commons at Franklin in March.
Soon2BMrs will be sharing updates at their website, http://www.Soon2BMrs.com, and on their Facebook page, which can be found by searching Soon2BMrs.com on Facebook.