This is one of the most beautiful wedding stories we’ve ever had–even though the “wedding” part actually didn’t happen.
Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian are a young couple from Toronto who were planning to wed in style in March 2016. Engaged since the summer of 2014, they’d already picked a venue, hired vendors, and created a guest list of 130 people, when something suddenly put the brakes on all the planning.
What changed was that heartbreaking images of a drowned Syrian child, a refugee whose parents had been trying to get him out of their war-torn homeland, began making their way around the Internet. Shocked and saddened by the disturbing images, Jackson and Yousefian decided to cancel their big wedding plans and instead marry at city hall. They told their guests and vendors that instead of a big party, they’d be rerouting all the wedding costs and any gifts toward helping the refugee crisis.
Once people heard about the couple’s selfless gesture, they responded in kind: The couple’s venue gave them back their nonrefundable deposit to put towards the cause, and friends stepped in to make bouquets, send invitations, and find a facility that would donate its services for a no-cost, last-minute reception.
“The way it all came together quickly created an opportunity for friends and family to get involved directly and passionately,” Jackson told Buzzfeed. “We feel like we made the right decision. After our civil ceremony, we felt like it was very true to what we wanted our marriage to symbolize and how we wanted to start a new life as a couple.”
Can you think of a better way to celebrate love?