Anita Lesko and Abraham Talmadge Nielsen are getting married on September 26th. This, in and of itself, is crazy-exciting for the couple, but to make things exciting beyond exciting, Anita and Abraham will be making history with their wedding. The bride and groom have both been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and their ceremony, which will take place at the Love and Autism Conference in San Diego (and is open to the public!), will feature a wedding party entirely comprised of people with autism. As Take Part reports, everyone from the harpist to the cake baker to the flower girl and the ushers are on the spectrum.
It’s the first known bridal party to be 100% representative of the autism community and it’s an inspiring way to honor what brought this couple together.
“Before they met, Anita and Abraham longed to have someone in their life to love and form a deep relationship,” Dr. Jenny Palmiotto, founder of Love and Autism, explained in a statement. “Both living with autism, they knew the odds of that ever happening were stacked against them. Then one day, they met at Anita’s Asperger’s Support Group. Over the course of a year, the developed a meaningful friendship. During a celebratory dinner, they fell in love with each other. Already best friends, they became lovers, and soulmates.”
Anita and Abraham have designed their big day to be as inclusive as possible for their community, because, as people living with autism, they have so often felt excluded.
“Neither Abraham nor I had ever been invited to a wedding,” Anita told Bustle. “This is typical for people on the autism spectrum to never get invited to anything. So, I started thinking that by us getting married at the Love & Autism conference, it would give others on the spectrum an opportunity to attend a wedding.”
It’s always hard to get people to a wedding, but it’s particularly difficult with a wedding that includes so many people on the spectrum, because, as Anita explained to Bustle, 85% of people with autism are unemployed. And as anyone who’s attended a wedding knows, those suckers do NOT come cheap. Which is why Anita and Abraham have started a crowdfunding campaign to ease the financial burden for their guests. Whether or not they reach their goal, the wedding is still most definitely on, but if you have a few extra bucks burning a hole in your bank account, this is a most worth cause to throw a little change toward.
We are so glad that Anita and Abraham found each other, and so excited for this couple to make history this month!
Image via YouTube