When Luisa and Brad tied the knot earlier this year, they asked family and friends to donate to one of three charities – including Australia for UNHCR – instead of giving gifts. Luisa explains what motivated them to turn their wedding celebration into a fundraiser. 

What motivated you to ask for charity donations instead of wedding gifts?
Neither Brad nor I were ever comfortable with a gift registry or a wishing well. We already have a lot of nice things and limited space to add more possessions. But we knew some of our guests would still want to show their love, so we decided to pick three charities in different sectors that they could donate to.

Why did you choose Australia for UNHCR as one of these charities?
We chose Australia for UNHCR because we wanted to support a charity that was delivering support on the ground to people who are suffering as a result of the terrible conflict in Syria.

You more than doubled your fundraising goal for Australia for UNHCR! How did you encourage friends and family to donate?
Unlike other fundraising initiatives we’ve participated in where you send links and updates to your family and friends encouraging them to donate, on this occasion we sent the fundraising link to our guests just once, and it included information about the wedding.

We got married on the South Coast of NSW and knew our guests would be spending money to travel to be there, so we really emphasised that no gifts were necessary.

However, if people did feel they wanted to give something on our behalf they could choose one of our charities. Receiving the first donation really did feel special and to see that we have more than doubled our goal for Australia for UNHCR, as well as the charities we supported, was fantastic. So many guests were very generous and wrote us lovely messages.

Luisa and Brad told their guests to forget buying a gift and turned their wedding into a fundraiser

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