Teri Wilson
November 22, 2015 8:42 am

Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian were in the middle of planning the big, fancy wedding of their dreams last September when the heartbreaking photograph of little three-year-old Aylan Kurdi found washed up on a Turkish beach hit the news. For Samantha and Farzin (and a lot of the rest of us), seeing that terrible picture was something of a wake-up call to just how terrible the Syrian refugee situation had become. They were inspired to take action and do something to help, so they canceled their wedding. Not their marriage, just the traditional, fancy ceremony. They cancelled the caterer, the venue and everything, and decided to use the thousands of dollars they would have spent on a big party to help a Syrian family relocate to Canada instead.

Samantha told ABC News, “We realized how all the money we would’ve put to our wedding would be better used helping give Syrian refugee families the second chance they deserve.”

The bride, who is working toward her PhD in public policy, had been volunteering at Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, and knew that $27,000 is the amount needed to sponsor a Syrian family of four, which helps pay for rent, clothing and food for one year in the Toronto area.

She and Farzin decided to plan a city hall ceremony with a small reception at a bar in Toronto that took place last month. Their change of plans enabled them to donate $17,500 for Syrian relief. Not quite $27,000, but close! And they’re still working toward that number as their ultimate goal. Rather than wedding gifts, they’ve asked friends and family to donate to the cause. Their loved ones have been overwhelmingly supportive.

We can totally understand why. Samantha says, “Our wedding was perfect, and it was definitely the perfect way to start our marriage.” We couldn’t agree more. What a beautiful way to begin their life together as husband and wife. We wish nothing but the best for this special couple.

[Image via Twitter.]

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