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Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian were well into planning their lavish wedding when images of a drowned Syrian child went viral in September. Upon seeing the heartwrenching photos, the Toronto couple shocked their venue, vendors, and 130 guests by announcing that they would instead wed at city hall and reroute wedding costs and gifts toward aiding the refugee crisis.
The couple’s decision sparked a powerful response. The venue and vendors offered returns on typically non-refundable deposits, which — combined with donations from friends and family — helped raise over $17,500 for the cause.
Guests kept the goodwill coming by orchestrating a nearly cost-free reception at a local bar, complete with homemade bouquets and invitations.
“The way it all came together quickly created an opportunity for friends and family to get involved directly and passionately,” Jackson told Buzzfeed.
“We felt like it was very true to what we wanted our marriage to symbolize and how we wanted to start new life as a couple.”
Now those are real relationship goals.