New Jersey City couple Elaine Bran and Mario Lantigua marries in surprise ceremony after cancer delays wedding


Seven years ago, and met on the set of a zombie movie in New York.
Bran, a film-school graduate and movie buff, was the script editor
and production assistant on the film “Zombie Chronicles.” Lantigua was
an extra.
By the end of the production in summer 2008, Bran knew that she had met her leading man.
That fall, the Jersey City couple were talking marriage. But they were forced to delay their wedding plans. In September 2008, Elaine Bran was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. ( 

“When Elaine got sick, I was working full time and I had to quit my
job as a property manager to help take care of her,” said Lantigua, who
works part time providing party entertainment. They moved out of their
apartment and into the basement of her sister’s Jersey City home to save
Then, in May 2012, Bran’s mother died. With mounting medical bills
and the funeral expenses, Bran and Lantigua abandoned plans for their
dream wedding.
But last month, thanks to the entertainment and humor website’s pay-it-forward campaign, Prank It FWD, the pair’s dream to wed at the Landmark Loews Jersey City Theater became a reality.
The wedding was arranged with a partner charity titled,
“I saw the Prank it FWD video ‘She’s Got it Maid‘ in
November 2014 and, by the time it was over, I was crying like a little
kid,” Lantigua said. “So I decided to email them and tell them about
Lantigua, 35, shared his bride-to-be’s desire to wed at the Jersey City movie house.
“What was special about the wedding venue is that Elaine used to go
there as a child to watch movies with her family,” Lantigua said.
Season one of Prank It FWD, which is described as “pranks for
good” on its YouTube page, launched in April 2014. During the “She’s Got
It Maid” video, a single mother of three in Cleveland, Ohio, who works
as a housekeeper, was given a new house. 
Lantigua had about three weeks to arrange a wedding with the Prank It
FWD producers — unbeknownst to his bride. ( 

“Never, in a million years, would I have thought we would be chosen,” Lantigua said.
By late February however, he received an email from a producer — a
save-the-date, of sorts — informing him that he and Bran, 37, had
been selected to receive an all-expenses-paid wedding. The letter
included his wedding date: March 18.
Lantigua had about three weeks to arrange a wedding with the Prank It
FWD producers — unbeknownst to his bride, who is still fighting the
cancer as well as graft-versus-host-disease, a complication that can
occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.
The show’s producers provided tuxedos, bridesmaids dresses and a
wedding gown. Bran’s sister, Ethel, picked out her dress, which the
bride did not see until her wedding day.
“It was hard to keep it a secret from Elaine,” Lantigua said.
On March 18, Lantigua found himself sharing a set with his wife again — only this time, he was no extra.
He lured Bran to the theater for what she thought was a typical date
night at the movies. Once they were seated, he excused himself “to use
the bathroom” but actually went off to prepare to propose. When the film
started rolling, it was a movie trailer with actors portraying Bran and
Lantigua’s love story.
After the trailer ended, the lights in the theater turned on and Lantigua emerged.
“We’ve been together through so much. You’ve been by my side
throughout everything and I want to know if you will marry me, right
here, right now,” Lantigua said in his proposal. Elaine
Bran and Mario Lantigua were given an all-expenses paid trip to
Hollywood for their honeymoon and a check for $20,000 on behalf of Prank
It FWD and Barefoot Wine. ( 

Without hesitation, Bran said: “Of course.”
The pair then changed in to their wedding attire and joined their bridal party on stage.
“You know, I never expected you to be there for me, through thick and
thin, and when you stayed, through everything, I just knew you were the
one,” Bran told her groom through tears.
After saying, “I do,” the movie buffs ate, danced and took photos with their 40 or so wedding guests.
Bran and Lantigua also were given an all-expenses paid trip to
Hollywood for their honeymoon and a check for $20,000 from their wedding
sponsors, Prank It FWD and Barefoot Wine.
“We are looking into starting a GoFundMe page so that we can do the
same thing that Prank It FWD is doing,” Lantigua said. “We need more
people like the team at to help others. They change lives and that’s what we want to do.”

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