CLAYTON, MO (KTVI)-It was a wedding for the ages in Clayton Saturday, drawing a crowd from Chicago, New York, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. FOX2 went behind the scenes with the bride, her mom, and sisters, as they got ready for a real life, Cinderella story.
Perhaps no one had ever dreamed longer and harder of her wedding day, than Lydia Orso, 35. She was born for it.
“She had binders and binders of vows she’s written; songs she’s wanted to sing; dreams, poems. She’s collected pictures forever,” said Lydia’s bridesmaid, sister Melanie Orso.
“I’ve been dreaming about my wedding since I was 2. I was planning my wedding since I was 2,” Lydia said.
Orso was born with Down Syndrome. As she grew up there were doubts whether someday a prince really would come for her. She graduated from high school and community college; yet always dreamed of being Cinderella.
“I always think about my mom telling me that the doctor thought she wasn’t going to walk or talk or any of that,” said Lydia`s sister and bridesmaid, Angie Thomas. “Look at her. She’s just an inspiration to everybody. Here she is getting married!”
The ladies were all getting their hair and makeup done at David`s in Clayton in the hours leading up to the wedding, Saturday.
Yes, she’s found her prince, Tom Swenson, 39. He is the whole package.
“Very polite, very loving, thoughtful...good lookin’... definitely good looking!” Lydia beamed.
“You watch the two of them; they laugh at each other’s jokes and you see the two together. They just have their own music and it’s just awesome to see,” said Tom`s mother, Laurie Swenson.
“Coming into it you think, well that isn’t going to happen. To see it happen I think makes everyone feel like, ‘Hey, maybe some things I thought couldn`t happen, can happen’. I think it`s the reality that the possibilities are still there,” said Linda Orso, Lydia’s mom.
The pair met playing basketball at St. Louis ARC. They plan to live with Tom's parents in Creve Coeur.
Lydia works for the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds and Tom works in the cardiology department at St. Luke’s Hospital. He has epilepsy and a developmental disability.
There will be challenges for the couple. But dreams have a way conquering challenge and dreamers see things coming the rest of us never do: like a prince searching for a princess, who had been searching for him all along.
“She’s a great girl,” Tom said of his bride. “She always has her heart out. She always puts people first.”
“'He just brings so much joy to my life!” Lydia said.
They were married at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clayton. Their big day was everything Lydia dreamed.
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