Mother Gives Daughter With Down Syndrome Wedding Themed Birthday

Mother Gives Daughter With Down Syndrome Wedding Themed Birthday Party

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PHILADELPHIA -

It was a night to remember for a young woman with Down Syndrome when she was granted the birthday party of her dreams.

Ricchina Grande,25, from South Philadelphia always asked her mother when it would be her turn to walk down the aisle. So, her mom thought of the perfect idea for her 25th birthday party.

“Her face walking in, I'll never forget it,” said her mother, Janice Di Joseph.

From head to toe, Ricchina made a beautiful bride.

Ricchina describes that night as the best night of her life. It wasn't the night she said "I do," but rather the night a crowd of 200 of her closest family members and friends yelled, "Happy Birthday Ricchina"

“I was in shock,” said Ricchina.

A 25th birthday surprise party with a theme: Ricchina's dream wedding.

“We were gonna have a 25th surprise party for her," her mother said. "We wanted to do that as the theme to give her a wish she always wanted."

Janice Di Joseph says she wanted to celebrate her daughter's big birthday in a big way.

“It was priceless seeing her face and watching her interact with everyone and the string band played she was dancing with all of them,” Janice said. "She's really pure love I wish i could be more like her."

Complete with invitations, a DJ, a wedding cake, the young woman with Down syndrome watched as her wishes came true.

The magical night was captured by multiple photographers, including Lindsay Morris, a professional who volunteered to snap photos after meeting Ricchina on a train, and feeling a connection to this special woman. That was almost two years ago , and thanks to the photographer, Ricchina's fairytale is finally being told.

Her mother hopes this love story for her daughter increases awareness about Down syndrome.

“I still don’t think society really treats handicap how they should be treated,” she said.

She pushes people to keep an open mind that everyone deserves to feel special.

“She touches peoples’ lives. I wish I was 1% like her,” said

Ricchina says her favorite part of the night was dancing.

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