Couple Cancels Expensive Wedding, Asks Guests To Donate To Syrian Family Instead (VIDEO)

A Toronto couple had everything set in place for a lavish, beautiful wedding, the venue was set, caters hired, and invitations had been sent out  things changed however, when they saw the photos of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee whose tiny body had washed up on a Turkish beach in September.

Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian were set for a beautiful wedding, costing tens of thousands of dollars, but they cancelled their plans in order to use the money to sponsor a Syrian family of four instead.

The big-hearted bride told CBC News:

“We thought this really has to be an opportunity for us to really use our wedding as a platform, as a way to make a difference alongside our friends and family in what has obviously become an absolutely outstanding humanitarian crisis.”

Aside from giving up her dream wedding, Jackson is also a PhD student studying refugee health-care policy and spends her time volunteering with the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, a group which raises funds to sponsor refugees in Toronto.

Yousefian also explained their decision to CBC:

“When there’s such a dire situation, it’s easy to become overwhelmed about thinking of ways to contribute. We just thought, ‘Wait a second, there’s a better way to do this. Given the circumstances, we need to turn the focus on the crisis and raise awareness and funds.'”

Last month, the couple wed in a courthouse, surrounded by their closest family and friends. They asked for donations in lieu of gifts. Yousefian said:

“I think the best part about this whole process has been seeing people’s reactions, and then seeing just how thrilled they are for the idea and how excited they are about finding a way to contribute as well and to help us contribute. We owe it all to our friends and family. Without them, this really couldn’t have happened a short time frame.”

Jackson added:

“The generosity of our friends and family and people we don’t even know has been incredible. We’re hoping now, with the renewed interest in the story and everything that’s been happening … to really reach our goal soon.”

The newlyweds have raised $17,500 of the $27,000 needed to sponsor the family so far. Supporters can donate to the cause here, by selecting their names from the drop down menu.

Featured image via Jim Martin/Handout