May 08, 2005 11:01 PM by Joe Blackmon
Meet deserving couple Kyle Garlett and Carrie Riordan, whose heart warming story of love and courage inspires an incredible team of wedding planners and designers — dubbed the "I Do Crew" — to throw the wedding of their dreams in just three days, on "Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition," MONDAY, MAY 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Groom Kyle Garlett, 33, is the very face of courage: A four-time cancer survivor, he has spent most of his teenage and adult life in and out of hospital. The toll of ongoing chemotherapy has destroyed his heart, and he is currently waiting for a heart transplant to save his life. Our bride, Carrie Riordan, 29, is a community activist and marathon runner who met our groom when she was training for a charity run for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society in 2002. Despite their deep love, they’ve been unable to have a wedding due to costs they will incur with the heart transplant.
The couple get the surprise of their lives on the grounds of City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, CA, where Kyle has received medical treatment for the last several years and where the ceremony is to take place. To prepare for the big event, celebrity dance choreographer Cris Judd teaches Kyle, who has never danced with Carrie, moves for their first dance together as husband and wife. And to keep the fun going, Kyle’s favorite hometown team, the Kansas City Chiefs, sends one of their own, Tony Gonzalez, to help celebrate at his bachelor party. Bride Carrie wears a custom made wedding gown by cancer survivor Amy Michelson, and is covered in diamonds by Tacori, as is her entire bridal party, creating a spectacular sparkle effect during a ceremony that is lit by 1000 candles.
The theme of the reception is "Christmas in New York," to combine the couple’s favorite city and holiday — marking a milestone in Kyle’s life as, at one point, he wasn’t expected to live past Christmas. A New York City skyline is built to create Christmas-decorated store fronts, and Kristi Yamaguchi helps install a synthetic ice skating rink which can stand the California heat, built to resemble the famous rink at Rockefeller Center. To complete the New York at Christmastime theme, snow falls at the reception and the newlyweds, surrounded by 150 family and friends – who were flown in within 48 hours – dine under 10,000 strands of twinkle lights on filet mignon and lobster. To top it off, legendary Liza Minnelli performs the classic "New York, New York" at the newly married couple’s reception.
The "I Do Crew" includes: Stephanie Lydecker, who helps guide the couple through the special moments leading up to the wedding; Scott Corridan, responsible for theme and concept of the wedding; Joel West, in charge of building the venue and construction; Joann Richter, overseeing everything to do with style and etiquette; renowned chef Eric D. Ernest; and Steve Kemble, the organizer, whose years of experience with major events make him uniquely qualified for this grand undertaking.
"Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition" is produced by Stoney Hill Productions. Craig Armstrong is the executive producer. Sally Ann Salsano is the co-executive producer.