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Peoria Bride-To-Be Will Get Dream Wedding

A Peoria native won a major prize, thanks to a kind stranger.
PEORIA – Marissa Mercer was one of hundreds of brides that registered to win the grand prize at the Weddings Unveiled Bridal Show last month. She was also one of hundreds to walk away without it.

Mercer said, “I had already stopped thinking about it, I was like, aw I wish I would have won that, but there's like a one in a million chance.”

It was a one in a million chance she’d win discounted photography, flowers, and food. All things Mercer and her Fiancé, Grant Wenger, would truly appreciate. She explains, “My fiancé got laid off in May, so we had to push back the wedding indefinitely because we couldn't afford to save for it.”

However, Marissa’s prayers were answered when she found out the bride who won the prize had already had her big day. Nelly Rasmussen, of Chicago, said, “I've had my first wedding and I was just looking for vow renewal stuff so I figured if this was supposed to go to a first bride, let me just go ahead and give it back.”

Rasmussen gave the prize back - more than $12,500 of wedding necessities.

Marissa’s name was drawn next. She said, “It's literally a dream come true. It is. We wouldn't even, if we were able to do the wedding, we wouldn't have done it to the capacity that we can now. It's like a fairytale. It really is.”

But Marissa’s fairytale keeps getting better. The couple was not only able to set a date, but a very special one. She explains. “My grandfather passed away October of last year and he always said he wanted to see his only granddaughters get married. So we thought what better way to memorialize him than to do it on their anniversary.

Nelly and Marissa have never met, but if they did, Mercer said, “I would just thank her and hug her and say you know you really don't know what you did for me by giving that back.”

Marissa and Grant are set to get married on Oct. 4, 2014. We wish them the best!

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