PHOTO: George Kamel and Whitney Woloshyn in front of the Ravenswood Mansion.
By LANDON WOODROOF
Just three weeks ago George Kamel and Whitney Woloshyn were not even engaged.
Cut to Tuesday, though, and the ecstatic couple were not only engaged, but had lined up a wedding venue and a wedding date as well as florists, hairdressers, photographers, designers, caterers, videographers, bakers and more for their big day.
All it took was winning a contest.
The Ravenswood Mansion’s Romantic Wedding Giveaway contest asked couples to send in a video where they talk about themselves, their relationship and why they want to win the contest. The winners would get a wedding package valued at over $28,000.
The contest was narrowed down to five finalists on Febuary 7. Voters were asked to “like” their favorite couple’s video on YouTube. The winning couple was announced Tuesday.
“I feel like it hasn’t even sunk in yet,” Whitney Woloshyn said Tuesday at the Ravenswood Mansion. “We just found out today that we won…so I think it’s just gonna take a few days.”
Woloshyn and her fiance, George Kamel, submitted a video centered where they talked about their engagement and how they met. The video was set to the backdrop of an original song, “Whitney Jane,” that Kamel, a songwriter and musician on the side, wrote for the occasion.
Woloshyn found out about the giveaway online while she was researching wedding venues.
“The moment I saw it George was like, ‘We are going to win that,'” Woloshyn said.
There was just one slight step that had to be taken first.
“At the time she told me about this contest we weren’t even engaged yet,” Kamel said. “We were planning on getting engaged soon, but we didn’t plan on this soon. But I was like you know what I knew she was the one, and so I was like I’m going to put this whole plan together.”
He wrote the song, had a friend record him singing it and had another shoot a music video. Kamel then planned a big, public proposal to Woloshyn at the company where they both work.
“That all happened just a few weeks ago,” Kamel said. “So it has been down to the wire just all of the logistics that had to take place for us to be here. It’s amazing.”
They ended up getting engaged on their one-year dating anniversary, January 26. The deadline for the contest was January 31.
Tuesday was the first time that Woloshyn and Kamel had ever actually toured Ravenswood Mansion. They liked what they saw.
“To see it in person and get the tour, it’s even more amazing than the photos,” Kamel said.
“I probably would have picked this venue if I would have had to pick on my own,” Woloshyn said.
Kamel is looking forward to the process of working with the various contest sponsors to plan the wedding. Those sponsors include the caterers, photographers, florists, etc. mentioned above.
“I feel like once we start planning with the vendors we’ll think, ‘Oh this is actually happening, this is a real thing,'” he said.
Katie Kendall, of Beauty by K2, is one of the people who is volunteering her time and expertise to make the November 2 wedding a success.
“I’ve never done a wedding giveaway, which I’m really excited about because I feel like every couple deserves something special, and I look forward to giving it to them,” she said.
Lindsey Stickline, of Gradient & Hue Floral Design, felt similarly.
“It’s so awesome,” she said. “It’s nice to have a meaning behind your work and then to get to know that a couple is appreciative of your work. You can kind of put your creative energy into a good cause.”
Kamel wanted to thank the City of Brentwood, which owns the Ravenswood Mansion, and the various vendors for their generosity in making he and Woloshyn’s dream come true.
He also wanted to single out all of the people who helped he and Woloshyn win the contest.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “The one thing I’ve realized through this whole thing was how many amazing, supportive friends, family, even strangers have just come around us to support us, to say we love you, we support you, we connect with your story, we’re cheering you on.”
You can find Kamel and Woloshyn’s winning video here.