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Darlene and Matthew pose in front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel for their anniversary stay

Darlene & Matthew Celebrate Their 40th Anniversary in Style

Birthdays, graduations, weddings, memorials… the list goes on!

Honoring the significant moments of our lives is an experience that connects people—across traditions, cultures, geographies, and all walks of life. The urge to commemorate meaningful times seems practically universal.

Perhaps that is because celebration does so much for the human psyche. Special occasions are opportunities to create lasting memories with those we love. They bring fun and excitement to life. They create structure by giving us goals and things to look forward to. And most of all, they are a way to acknowledge core parts of our shared human experience—like love and happiness.

This was Darlene’s wish: To commemorate her 40th wedding anniversary with a celebration fitting of the great love she and her husband Matthew share.

Their story is one of love at first sight, and Darlene can even remember when she first saw Matthew. He was just getting out from serving in the Army, and she remembers what he looked like in his uniform. They’re also proof of how opposites attract! Matthew is reserved and quiet, while Darlene is outgoing and full of energy.

But one thing they have in common is the respect and appreciation they have for one another. They’ve supported each other through all of life’s ups and downs, and most recently, through the unique challenges of the pandemic.

In 1984, Darlene worked at one of Denver’s finest hotels when she and Matthew got married. As a wedding present, her boss treated them to a free stay at the hotel. It was an experience that Darlene reflects on fondly to this day, especially when they pass the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is right around the corner from where they live.

Darlene often thought, “one day we will get ourselves a nice room,” remarking, “I had a dream about it. The dream was so nice, but it wasn’t real.” Over the years, Darlene and Matthew celebrated their anniversary with a date night, often a movie and dinner at Red Lobster. Having a big anniversary celebration always felt out of reach.

That’s why Wish of a Lifetime was thrilled to help the couple commemorate their anniversary with a celebration fit for the occasion!

Darlene and Matthew celebrated their 40 years of love and commitment by staying in a beautiful suite at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. They enjoyed fine dining with a delicious surf and turf dinner. And they even indulged in the spa—a brand new experience for the both of them—complete with chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne.

“Throughout my entire life, my husband and I have never gone to a spa.” She said. “The spa was something that made us both full of joy.”

Darlene and Matthew had a wonderful time during their stay and made memories to last them for many more years together.

“I am still telling my family and friends about this wish,” Darlene said. “I think they can see the glow on my face because of this experience.”

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